Does Custom Packing Tape Expire?

Custom Packing Tape

If your stockroom or warehouse is bursting with extra rolls of custom packing tape, you may wonder whether they can expire – and the answer is yes. Just like the appeal of your favorite foods dwindles with time, most types of custom packing tape will lose their zest when they’re past their prime. While an expiration date for packing tape may sound surprising, it’s just another helpful nugget of information we love to share on our mission to help you package your goods smarter.

This post is loaded with helpful insights on the shelf life of custom packing tape, including signs that it’s expired and tips for prolonging its useful life. Let’s get started.

The Shelf Life of Custom Packing Tape

While the precise shelf life of your custom packing tape varies depending on the adhesive and the storage and handling conditions at your facility, most pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes last approximately 12 months in the ideal environment.  An ideal environment is a temperature-controlled location with the tape left inside the box away from any light source.  PSA refers to adhesive tapes or any tape that bonds to a surface with applied pressure without requiring water or a solvent for activation. These PSA tapes include polypropylene, PVC, freezer, filament, and flatback. Consulting the manufacturer’s datasheet for your specific custom packing tape will provide even more detailed guidelines for how long your rolls will last.

Is your stock still good? Continue reading to discover five warning signs that it may be expired.

5 Warning Signs of Expired Custom Packing Tape

The following are a few signs that it’s time to refresh your stock with new rolls:

  1. It doesn’t stick to surfaces as well as it used to
  2. It feels hard and brittle
  3. It takes more layers than usual to form a secure bond
  4. Your packaging team has invested a lot of time reworking failed surface bonds
  5. Your company has experienced increased damage or loss due to poor package seals

Sealing your packages with expired custom packing tape isn’t only frustrating, but it can also be costly to cover downtime for reworks and replacements for damaged or lost goods. The solution? Mind the shelf life and do what you can to prolong the life of your tape. Keep reading to find out how.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Tape

When you invest in custom packing tape, you want it to last as long as possible. Arming yourself with these simple tips can stretch your stash further:

Only purchase the amount you need.

While buying tape in bulk makes sense for heavy use applications, it’s better to pare down your order quantity if you anticipate a lighter load. If you’re not sure how much to buy, consult a packaging expert to help you determine the right amount for your company’s usage.

Follow the ‘first in, first out’ method.

When you reach for a new roll of custom packing tape, go for the stock that arrived first. This way, you won’t have tape rolls sitting on your shelf for longer than needed. Labeling or otherwise noting the delivery date can help you keep your custom packing tape in the correct order, ready for the taking.

Store it properly.

Last but not least check the manufacturer’s storage and handling requirements to give your tape the longest life possible. A few standard storage guidelines include:

• Keep the tape in the packaging or box that the tape arrived in
• Maintain ideal storage temperatures at room temperature
• Keep in a dark, cool, dry area, ideally between 40 to 50% relative humidity
• Avoid direct sunlight and prolonged exposure to heat greater than 110 °F
• Use hi-tack freezer tape for cold environments as low as 20°F
• Lay larger rolls over 1,000 yards flat on their sides to avoid misshaping

No matter which custom packing tape you use to make your packages stand out from the rest, our sales and design team are here to help you maximize its useful life. Reach out to our packaging team to learn more about our unique solutions designed with your business in mind.