StickerYou Blog

Removable vs. Permanent Vinyl Labels and Stickers

Removable vinyl and permanent vinyl are two common sticker options usually used for packaging and branding. They share some similar characteristics, such as being waterproof, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and capable of writing over with a permanent marker. 

But they do have significant differences, particularly when it comes to the permanence and strength of their adhesive. Let us explain further.

What is Removable Vinyl?

Removable vinyl, from the name itself, is a removable sticker that doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue when peeled off. Because of this, it’s commonly used for objects like food packaging, home organization bins or canisters, name tags, or , liquor bottles, and even custom meme artwork stickers.

labels, removable labels, permanent labels

What is Permanent Vinyl?

Permanent vinyl is not as easy to remove as its removable alternative. And if it does get peeled off, the adhesive is likely going to be left behind. Its permanent nature makes it ideal for labeling beauty products, clothing tags, watercraft, work gear, waste bins, and industrial machinery.

How can you tell if vinyl is permanent or removable?

Permanent and removable vinyl differ mainly in terms of their adhesive. Permanent vinyl has a stronger adhesive that’s harder to cleanly remove compared to its removable counterpart. Without removing the sticker, however, you can tell whether it is permanent or removable through its finish. Permanent vinyl usually has a glossy finish while removable vinyl is commonly matte.

How long does removable vinyl last?

When used indoors, removable vinyl will retain its quality and adhesive for one to three years. But several factors can affect its lifespan. Humidity and water, for example, can affect the adhesive and cause the vinyl to lose its stickiness much faster. If removable vinyl is applied outdoors or on an item that is frequently exposed to water, such as a mug, it will only last one to three months.

How do you remove permanent vinyl?

Permanent vinyl can still be removed, but the surface from where it was peeled won’t be as clean as in the case of removable vinyl. One way is to use a liquid vinyl remover. You can simply spray it over the vinyl, leave it to sit for 5 to 15 minutes, then peel the sticker off. If you’ve already peeled the sticker and need to remove the sticky residue, soak a wet cloth with white vinegar and use it to wipe over the residue until it’s removed.

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StickerYou blog posts are written and published by members of the  at our headquarters, located in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada.