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Identification Labels

Placing identification labels

Ever put a sticker on something, only to find that it came off a week later? That could be due to poor adhesive quality, but it could be due to a dirty surface, too. Surface preparation is an essential step in placing an identification label, and the best way to ensure that the label stays put is to first wash and dry the item that'll be receiving the label if possible, then take another adhesive to the surface. (Scotch tape or an adhesive lint roller will do in a pinch.)

Adhesives exploit a number of physical properties to make things stick – from van der Waals forces that cause molecular attraction to phase changes from liquid to solid (think glue guns). These effects rely on surfaces without too much dust or granular material between the adherends, though, and since the most common adhesives rely on pressure, anything in between the two substances can disrupt the chemical bond you're trying to make sure forms. (If you're curious about how adhesives work, you might enjoy making your own casein-based glue out of milk, vinegar and baking soda!)

It's a good policy to place identification labels in a place where they're highly visible but away from the elements. (Rain and heat both have the potential to degrade some adhesives.) If your label is going on your car, it's far better to place it on the inside whenever possible. In the case of a laptop, labeling the outside cover is a good idea because labels act as a deterrent, telling potential thieves that you're keeping track of your property. Flat surfaces with just a hint of texture are best for sticking, but you might find yourself with a HELLO! MY NAME IS sticker on your clothes at a conference or large meeting.These labels aren't usually very sticky, but adhesives sometimes adhere to certain fabrics.  
Place Identification Labels
Parking permit labels work best when they're on the inside, away from the elements.
If that happens, Good Housekeeping recommends laying the damaged area face-down on a terry cloth towel, then pouring a little acetone-based nail polish remover on the back of the part with the adhesive. Gently work the acetone through the back of the fabric, repeatedly if necessary.
 
 
 
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Identification labels
Placing identification labels
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