Common Mistakes About Packing Tape Expiration

Common Mistakes About Packing Tape Expiration

Rummage through your "junk drawer" for me, I'll wait. Start with the drawer in the kitchen, probably the entire garage, the box in the office closet, be careful in the shed, and lastly the bathroom. Find all your packing tape, just make it all your tape honestly, and find me the expiration date. Look at the packaging and the cardboard center for the expiration...there isn't one...so it doesn't expire...well no and here is why. 

More accurately, instead of "expiration date", let's call it "optimal usage date" when referring to tape. 

So you don't have to scroll to the end for the final reveal, tapes should be used within 12 months of purchase for the advertised performance. What you will keep scrolling for is why that 12 months time has now become 6 months since it came home with you or 24 months for the rare few!

Here is the secret! How tape is stored makes all the difference in how long that tape will perform as advertised. That tape you found in the shed, garage and car are now ideal for only 6 months. While the tape buried in the kitchen and office closet is living the life with 12 to 24 months optimal usage time. All tape has an optimal temperature and humidity the manufacturer says it should be stored at to perform as advertised.

Tape is best stored in its packaging until ready for use and kept in a cool, dry area between 40 and 80 degrees F, with ideal conditions of 40-50% relative humidity. The tape inside a temperature/humidity controlled home will perform as advertised the longest. While tape stored in areas that are influenced by the outside environment (shed, garage, or car) are unable to consistently remain within these ranges.

The last piece of the puzzle! Packaging tape should also be kept away from direct sunlight. UV rays from the sun degrade components of tape quickly, which makes them brittle and dry. Storing packing tape on a shelf or inside a clear plastic container are susceptible to a shortened life, even though they are in a temperature/humidity controlled environment.

With a strong love of visually stunning packing tapes my final recommendation is:

  1. If you ship regularly: use the tape, use it properly to completely secure the contents from escaping during shipping. Love it, use it all up, and keep your tape supply fresh.
  2. If you don't regularly ship: write the purchase date on the corrugated interior, store in a non-transparent bin, and keep the bin inside your home/office.

All tapes have recommendations from the manufacturer on how they should be stored. More than that, each tape has recommendations on how it should be used, packing tape isn't a one fit all package sealing solution, but more on that another time. 

TikTok Tape Tip: Coming Soon

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