What do you use for labels on your containers?

boone_2009October 11, 2013

Hi everyone,

Joy, oh joy, I'm now beginning to move all my kitchen paraphernalia - canisters, utensils, cookware etc - back into our ABB kitchen, hurray!! ;-)

I have lots of stainless steel canisters; in my pre-reno kitchen, they had adhesive labels on the sides ( I stored them in uppers cabs) but, of course, with time ( and cleaning) the paper wore out. Now I plan to store them in lower pull-outs next to the cooktop for ease of access, which means I need to label the lids.

In yet another old kitchen ( eighties!), I'd used my trusty Dymo labelmaker - sadly, it is no longer with me.

I am thinking of ordering it again from Amazon, because the tape beats paper and can also be removed easily without leaving any stuck-on adhesive ( if I remember correctly).

What do you all use? Barring engraving :-), is there any alternative type of labeling that will stay put, stay clear and withstand repeated washing?

Thanks a lot ...and I promise I'll post a reveal before the end of the year ;-). ( Still have to get the backsplash done, walls painted and window treatments put up).

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On plastic containers, I just use indelible marker. Magic Erase gets rid of it if I want to change the contents. Very low-tech, but it works for me:

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Sharpie here, too - mine looks a lot like fouramblues!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:24AM
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fouramblues and annkh: Thank you both so much for not only your feedback but for the pics! Yep, annkh, when I saw the 2 pics, I thought they came from the same kitchen :-).

Will the markers work on stainless steel? I don't have *any* plastic ( kids have grown ;-)) - only ss and glass. (Well, I do have *one* large Tupperware container - something I bought 20 plus years ago for 11 dollars - quite a sum then).

I still like that Dymo label maker, lol!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:39AM
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I have a label maker similar to the one in the link. I could/should have used it for labeling my canisters, but I was upstairs, and it was downstairs! I'm not sure how long they would last through washing, but I find I don't wash the tops of my canisters that often.

Here is a link that might be useful: label maker

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:52AM
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I got some stickers that you write on with chalk ink (found both the stickers and the chalk pen on Amazon). If you want to change the label, you just wipe off the writing, dry, and write a new one. I like how they look, but I did learn not to touch the label with wet hands!

I'm sure the stickers would go on stainless steel canisters no problem.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:00PM
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I also use the brother p-touch.
The labels are great and when I get to my computer, I will post.
If your canisters are metal- the label sticks forever. I gave metal water bottles to my work team almost 2 years ago with brother labels on them. I toss mine into the DW 1-2 times per week and the label lives on. Another nice feature is there is no residue when removed.
I did toss plastic with labels into the DW with mixed results. Some stayed while others came off.
I had an old fashioned dymo as a kid and had lots of fun and some very sore hands.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:03PM
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I use a small p-touch label maker, too (I think it's a p-touch!). I have awful handwriting so the printed labels look a lot better than handwritten ones.

I do use small stick-on handwritten labels for freezer-bound containers of food since those are peeled off and tossed when we take the containers out of the freezer.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:16PM
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I use sharpie. I am too lazy to grab the label maker. :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:46PM
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You are all so helpful - thanks a million!

annkh: thank you for that link. I was looking at this one on Amazon:
DYMO LabelManager 160 Hand Held Label Maker ( I have to learn how to do those tiny url's), but it looks like the Brother p-touch has not only your but a2gemini's and cat_mom's endorsement :-).

Thanks, a2gemini and cat-mom!

bethinnc: I *love* those chalkboard stickers - thank you so much. Do they peel off easily without leaving any residue?

ILoveCookie: LOL! Cookie Monster would do the same :-).I love him!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:58PM
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I also use a sharpie. On containers I will reuse, I stick a piece of scotch tape on the container and write on that.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:13PM
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The labels almost make me look really organized - in essence I have an OCD/ADD disorder (just kidding but I can be really organized or everything is a disaster)

For general containers hitting the freezer - sharpies work great and I just cross out the old until they crack or just wear out. My handwriting is the pits as well - but love those chalk markers as well

I ended up with a much larger label maker than I needed as I had a really good rebate from Office Depot - but it allows me to do 2 lines (maybe more) and fancy labels - just remember to tell it minimal tails - or whatever they call it so you have less waste.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:24PM
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I too have a p-touch label maker. I never have neat enough handwriting for my liking. Works great, survives the dishwasher and comes off when I need to change it.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Still another vote for the P-Touch. There are "TZ" tapes of varying widths that will print black on white and will stand up to strong sunlight without fading. (Good for garden labels...)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Geez...you guys are making me want to go and dust off my P-Touch (which I bought and used for garden markers). Never even thought of it for the kitchen....though I don't know if mine could get fancy like a2gemini's!

bought mine used on eBay for a song, and also scored a whole box of tapes for next to nothing too...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:54PM
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a2gemini - thank you for posting those pictures. Your labels are pretty!

lolauren - thanks for your response. I think that now I have a nice, 'new' kitchen, I'm getting a little too big for my boots ;-).. at least, the Sharpies may think so) ;-).

With lmsscs, smiling and raehelen also seconding ( or should I say "sixthing" ;-)) the Brother p-touch ( thanks for your input), it looks like I'll have to decide between it and bethinnc's chalk labels. Brother should really give all of you a gift card for popularizing their product!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Would not recommend the ptouch based on the wasting of the labels. I love my labeler but half my roll is scrap because of the way the ptouch advances the label. I wonder if the dymo does this. I agree that a labeler is the best way to tag your containers. I have a ptouch pt-2700.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Homepro has a point. Haven't used mine in a while (hence it needing to be dusted off), but think I recall organizing myself to doing all my labels at one time, and then cutting the individual ones rather than 'wasting' the tape. (I'm such a cheapskate, even though I probably will be handing down rolls of tape to my children...I really got a super deal on eBay)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Definitely need to plan ahead and print out a bunch of labels "in a row" and cut them individually, rather than letting the P-Touch do them one at a time, or there is MEGA wasted tape....
That said, it works great for pantry/cabinet container labeling....

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 7:05PM
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There are settings to adjust the feed. It takes some practice but there is still waste - although I am still on my first roll

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I have glass containers in my pantry - I use the P-touch and print a bunch at the same time, then cut them apart.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 9:56PM
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I also use the Brother P-Touch label maker for many things (not containers ... Yet!). Quite often they have them on sale at Costco. I want to say around $20 and it comes with 2 rolls of label tape. When I labelled the shelves in our kitchen (vacation rental house), I also adjusted the settings and made all my labels at once so there was virtually no waste.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:46PM
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P-Touch here, too. (I no longer lend mine out.)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:31AM
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No one has mentioned this yet - waterproof sticker paper. Amazon carries a few different brands at a few different price points. Things I like:

Unlike a label maker, I can make LARGE or tiny labels, depending on the container and/or where I store it. My spices get tiny labels but they look too tiny on my flour canisters. They come in white or clear, which I love. I have some ceramic canisters with beautiful printing; I like that I can slap a clear label on them and not interrupt the picture. You can even use fancy craft scissors to make nice edges.

I have bad handwriting, but my computer doesn't. I also don't care for the very basic font of label makers.

The stickers really are waterproof. My daughter had a gymnastics birthday party last year, and one of the items I supplied were water bottles with unique custom labels and names, so the girls could identify which was theirs - saved a lot of barely-drunk water bottles, and prevented sharing germs. I tested the labels extensively before making them with a standard home inkjet printer.

You can add more than text. I've labelled toy bins with pictures of the contents (rather than words that 3-year-olds can't read) and I don't worry that the labels will wear off with kid abuse. This can also be useful for tool boxes (all those screws!).

A few caveats: They need to CURE for a few hours - dry to the touch isn't fully cured. They probably can't be used in a dishwasher, and regular handwashing may not work for long-term either. But for an occasional wipe, they're great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterproof sticker paper

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Celtia - On the water bottles that I gave to all of my staff - I used the Waterproof labels on the front with our department name and the move to the new peds hospital. They worked great as well but as you figured out - the DW eventually nuked them, so the front label wore off in a couple months - but it looked great until then.
They would hold up to gentle hand washing but not frequent washes.
I wanted to have the bottles silk screened but the price was too high so the stickers lasted awhile, the p-touch lives on so at least each person knows it is their bottle.
I will probably buy some more waterproof labels for canning (I don't do a lot but they would look nice for gifts)
Thanks for triggering a memory.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:42AM
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I also use Sharpies on plastic. The writing goes through the dishwasher well, though it can lighten. Sharpie comes off easily with an alcohol wipe. Haven't tried Sharpie on stainless steel, but it might work.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Here is how I made labels for my spice jars. First started with Avery frosted address labels, printed than placed on jars, using a piece of cardboard cut so I could get the same placement on the jars. Than I tried wiping the labels and the words and frosted areas wiped off. So I printed all the labels than after putting them on the jars I took clear avery address labels than put them exactly over the printed labels. Now I can wipe them off no problem. Also did this with my plastic canisters.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Thank you so much, everyone!

homepro01, raehelen, a2gemini, dawn_t, new-beginning: thank you for pointing out the problem with label wastage and then giving me helpful tips on how to avoid this :-).

angela12345: thanks to you too for the above :-); also, I appreciate the tip about Costco...never entered my head as I have been so fixated on Amazon recently, looking for things for my 'new' kitchen!

kitchendetective: et tu?? Brother really should be contacted ;-). Can you believe I'd never heard of the p-touch until this thread??
Lol @not lending it.. I started doing that with my books when people either didn't return them or 'abused' my babies ;-) I feel mean...but.... :-) :-)

CeltiaKris: Another great idea - and such detailed information, too. Thank you! I do use the DW for cleaning my canisters, though.

repac - I tried the Sharpies on the ss but they don't look as good as they do on plastic, sadly.

renovationronnie: clever idea! thanks for taking the time to pass it on!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:38PM
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I feel so inadequate ...

If I'm repackaging something - such as putting bagged spice into a jar - I cut out the original container's label and tape it to the jar.

Other jars, and freezer containers get a strip of masking tape and hand-scribbled Sharpie.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 4:24PM
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lazygardens: Lol! My DH uses the masking tape/ hand scribble method( sometimes he leaves out the masking tape part). I've never heard him describe himself as inadequate. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Lazy - LOL - I try not to repackage except for flours - most of my spices/herbs are in the original container except for my Vietnamese cinnamon - which gets a special canister...
I love the taping the original label to the container - I frequently put the directions into a small zip lock mini bag and keep with the oatmeal, etc.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:51PM
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I buy a lot of cello-bag herbs in bulk so have to put them into jars** or they go stale and leak all over the spice cupboard.

** which my abysmally low self esteem will admit are recycled jelly and jam and spice jars of motley origin and lowly pedigree, not the hand-blown ones with ground stoppers made by leprechauns and sold on Etsy.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:25PM
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lazygardens - don't feel badly about not using the hand-blown ones with ground stoppers, my jars are pretty much Ball canning jars!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Well phooey. It looks like the label maker just went off sale a few days ago. But, I have seen them go on sale several times a year over the last few years. It does say that the sale may differ in your location, so wouldn't hurt to call up there and ask.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.frugalhotspot.com/2012/12/costco-deal-brother-p-touch-label-maker-pt-1880c-19-99/

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:18AM
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Thank you for this post and great information! My bulk storage area is a disaster of epic proportions. Things are mostly stored in bags from the bulk section at the grocery store. (I feel like hiding my face in shame now.) I've been wanting to buy some bulk storage containers and this thread is helping inspire me and helping me think about how I'll label things. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Hey thanks, angela12345.

Double phooey :-(. I missed that Costco sale completely - trying not to smash every backsplash tile in the various tile stores I visited, lol. Am I glad the tiling is over and done with!!).

pricklypearcactus: I'm glad you are keeping me company!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Hi everyone,
I'm back again to ask you *which* PT to buy!! On Amazon they have different models plus a newer version of the one suggested by ankh. I'm like a kid in a candy store, unable to decide. Why, oh, why can't we have just two choices for *any* items bought by the American consumer??? Sigh.
Help, please!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:08PM
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It depends on what you want it to do.
I wanted one with 2 lines and could take tape up to 1 inch (or at least 3/4 inch).
I also wanted to be able to use a few different fonts and frames - and I had a big rebate coupon burning in my hand so I went with the fancier model - case, transformer, and all - the case is big and not sure I would do the case again - but it does protect it.
Now after buying one - I am still on my first two rolls of tape...

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Lol! Thanks a lot, a2gemini!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:24PM
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