Smear-proof Labels?

I’ve done a bit of a seach here and I don’t think I’ve found the answer I wanted.

I thought I had amateur label-making down to a fine art. I have various sizes of white sticky labels, different coloured biros and various widths of clear sticky tape . I colour code the different mg stengths with the biros, so that even if it smears, I still know how much nic (if any) is in the bottle by the colour of the smudge. 0mg is green, logically enough, and my highest mg is red. Then I do my damnest to prevent smears by covering the lot up with clear sticky tape. I’m very generous with the tape., not the slightest corner is left uncovered . Yet still, somehow, some of them manage to smear anyway, which is insanely annoying when it’s, say, an SF test that;'s been steepingfor probabl;y a month or so (no knowing cos the date is smeared out) and might be at 0.5% , or might be at 2%, or any number you like, it’s completely illegible.

So…does anyone know of a (preferably half-way economical) way of making smear -free labels. Never mind if some labelling machine manufacturer claims that their labels don’t smear. Do you have such a machine and does it really work out in practice?

Also, I’ve been wondering if shrink wrap might work better than sticky tape? Anyone tried that?


My labels never smear and are cheap as sh*t
Small piece of paper and a little tape over it :grin:


But that’s just a version of my method. I want to know what you’re doing that’s different from me! I mean, besides generally being a whole lot more competent and awesome

Hmmm, well, your labels are not self-adhesive. That;'s different, but that can’t be it, can it?


Well, I don’t need my labels to look like professional made liquids… people would run away with them like when I was walking around with lighters, they were also always disappearing.
It’s cheap, it looks like DIY, it works for me so I have no need to invest more money in something that doesn’t bring added value to me.

When you get more professional labels, you’re also going to get in trouble when you have different sizes and shapes of bottles. My method works for everything :slight_smile:


Believe me, my labels do not look the least bit professional :laughing: They are scawled all over with my notoriously messy handwriting, which I do manage to just about make legible, if I concentrate.

I don’t need a professional look, just smear-free, and if professional gear is what it takes, well I might just go down that route to save myself frustration.

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I can easily make them semi more professional like this :rofl:


I’m happy with my ZINK happy printer.

Before happy I was using

Printed with my p-touch printer… still use it from m time to time to print a quick label for a tester . Or if I’m out of happy paper.


I use this to print my label and the problem is they don’t sell moisture resistant labels
so what I started doing is sealing them in clear heat shrink bottle tamper seals
works pretty good


I am fairing ok with Sharpie on painter’s tape. The ink does not seem to react to liquid once dry.


@tartarusspawn @Steve-o_54 Do these printers (ZINC and Brother) print small enough labels for 30ml unicorn bottles?


The ribbon printer can print very small labels, down to 6mm width. The faff of having to prepare the label on computer/device is more than I am ready to put.
An 18mm/24mm label in portrait would do fine on a 30mm :unicorn: I reckon, as on the photo above

There is a brother model where you can use a tablet/phone to design the label and connect via Bluetooth. Felt like the best option to me when I thought about it.


These bottles are the 30ml unicorn bottles from dropper

With the ZINK I print a label to wrap the bottle…

Here’s my post about the ZINK


Thanks for the suggestion @tartarusspawn and everybody else.
My question is can you knock the bottle over and leave it swimming in an unnoticed pool of vg on the counter and still read the label a day or two later?

Now, i’m not saying that happens to me all the time (though it did happen once , TBH) I’m just trying to come up with an extreme example of the kind of stress a label might have to endure (especially around myself, cos I’m notoriously clumsy , and when my clumsiness reaches the extemes that I might as well just go bed, well, then, I just drop everything, go to bed, and clean up the next day)

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mine will


What @SuperFrog said

Have you checked out this thread. I posted the picture above a good while ago there.

There may be some ideas there.

The painters tape would be a cheap easy solution especially for your testers that need to steep.

I have never had an issue with the labels smearing with this method and they pull right off of the bottle easy with no sticky residue left behind.


I use a label printer for smear proof…

You have the option to have two lines and the font can get pretty small…works for 30ml +


I simply print a label on a normal laser printer on normal paper, cut it out and use clear packaging tape to cover and attach the label. Before getting some package tape I used normal scotch tape that didn’t cover the entire label with one piece, but overlapped the individual pieces of tape top-down like roof tiles, so no drops would get in between the two pieces of tape.

I don’t know exactly why you get this problem @jay210, but perhaps it is because you are overlapping pieces of tape the wrong way, so drops get trapped and are “guided” in under the tape.

Edit: Not sure this method would survive being completely submerged in liquid, but it should be able to withstand normal drops or spills of liquid.


neither do I! :rofl: I most often don’t need to ovelap, but where I have overlapped (eg when none of my tape was quite the right width for the bottle in question) i’ve done it exactly like you.

I think it’s maybe just that nothing is quite foolproof enough for a fool like me. if there’s a way to cock it up, i’ll generally find it.


lol im happy to see im not the only one not making labels … i use masking tape and a sharpie no smears

my label maker


There was an offer :wink: