Removable vs. Permanent Labels: Which is Best for Your Product and Industry?

reusable vs permanent labels, what labels to use on products

Which are the best, removable, or permanent labels? It depends on your product and industry. Have you ever brought home a new vase only to spend time scrubbing and scratching the sticky residue off? That pain point was caused by a mismatch between the product and label adhesive. Do you have a bottle of wine you’ve been keeping cool until the perfect moment? The wine label adhesive is designed to withstand cool temperatures and time. When creating product labels that add to the value of your product, choosing the right adhesive is key. 

Between removable and permanent labels, which is best for your product? This article will help you understand which label adhesive is best for your product and industry. An experienced label printer can also help find the perfect adhesive or face stock for your label. 

What is a removable label? 

A removable label can be easily removed from a product without leaving behind any residue. Some removable labels only need to stay on the product for a few weeks, for example, the label that seals a candle is removed before the customer takes the lid off. Other removable adhesive labels, like a patient information label at the hospital, may stay in place for longer.   

When to use a removable label? 

Removable labels are used personally and professionally. Removable labels are used in day-to-day life for home organization, name tags, reusable containers, and more. Removable labels are prominent in business; common industry uses are below along with shelf life, environment, and handling frequency information. This can be used to indicate what face stock is appropriate for your product. Don’t see your product or industry? Contact us to learn what label is best for you. 

BR Printers prints removable labels for the food and beverage industry.

Food and Beverage 

Labels in the food and beverage industry are mainly removable. You know the little sticker you take off your apple? That’s removable. In addition to “use by” labels, the food and beverage industry relies on removable labels to boost branding and inform customers. Due to unpredictable environments, food and beverage product labels are expected to be waterproof and stay stuck to their surface no matter their climate. Since reusable containers such as wine bottles and honey jars can have multiple uses after their initial sale, removable labels give those containers another life.   

BR Printers prints removable labels for the education industry.


From books to classrooms, removable labels are used when the labels information is frequently updated. Labels are used on the spine of books for organization. These labels need to be removed and replaced as systems update but they’re constantly being handled so they must be strong. Temporary barcodes placed on the back cover of books ensure the barcodes and pricing is accurate. Marketing book labels are usually circular stickers that educate customers about a sale, the book’s best-seller status, a TV show based on the book, or other temporary announcements that aren’t meant to be a permanent part of the book cover design.  

BR Printers prints removable labels for the medical industry.


The medical industry uses both removable and permanent labels. For patient chart data, office management, injectable medications, drug warnings, and equipment management, labels must be removable to keep up with updated information. It’s important to note that these products might be kept in freezers which means the removable adhesive needs to be capable of sticking the cold. Labels on patient charts might be removed from the paper, which means they can’t rip or damage the surface. 

What is a permanent label? 

A permanent label is a product label that is strong enough to stay on a product’s surface permanently, no matter the environmental conditions it faces. Both permanent and removable labels can be waterproof, but a permanent label is stronger than a removable label.  

When to use a permanent label? 

Permanent labels are primarily used professionally for products that encounter cleaning chemicals, extreme weather, and consistent handling. Permanent labels are used in many professional industries; common industry uses are below. 

BR Printers prints permanent labels for the medical industry.


The precision within the medical industry requires high-quality labels. If a label is meant to be permanent, there can be serious repercussions of that label falling off. Products and uses for permanent labels in the medical industry can include laboratory specimens, medical equipment signs, and pharmaceutical safety labels.  

BR Printers prints permanent labels for the construction industry.


Construction equipment that is handled often or susceptible to harsh weather should use permanent labels. Similar to permanent medical labels, permanent construction labels often advertise safety information that can’t fall off. Permanent labels should be used in the construction industry on warning labels, instructions, chemical labels, and machinery labels.  

BR Printers prints permanent labels for the shipping industry.


If a shipping label falls off its packaging that is unlikely to affect public health or safety, but it will result in some lost boxes. Permanent shipping labels are used to communicate shipping information and barcodes. Permanent labels are also used for custom printed labels that can feature your logo, colors, and marketing campaigns.  

Start Printing Your Labels 

Neither permanent nor removable labels are better because there is a right choice for your product and industry. Your label adhesive is half the battle, from here you can decide what face stock is appropriate. 

Unsure which type of label adhesive or face stock you need, Contact a rep and we’ll get you paired with one of our label experts. Based in San Jose, CA, BR Printers is a provider of marketing and printing services. Our label printing capabilities include the production of shipping labels, medical labels, food labels, beer labels, and more. Our marketing and printing capabilities offer solutions for every business in every industry.   

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