4 Proven Tips To Prepare Surfaces For Packing Tape

4 Proven Tips To Prepare Surfaces For Packing Tape

We thrive on the experience of packing a box, poly-mailer, or bubble mailer for shipping. Someone is eagerly anticipating a package arriving on their porch. Waiting days to receive it, only to find it's open or missing items. TEARS follow! Was this all avoidable? Why did it happen? Spoiler alert, the surface was not properly prepared for the packing tape.

Here are our top 4 tips for packing tape surface prep:

1. Clean the surface of debris

Boxes and mailers are often stored for a lengthy time before they are used. This includes manufacturing, distribution, and then finally shipped to you for your packaging needs. Then it finally arrives ready for you to use and is subjected to all new storage conditions.

Raise your hand if you're guilty of grabbing a box and slapping packing tape on it, without considering surface debris. 🤚, yes I’m guilty of it also. All tapes have "Pressure Sensitive Adhesives" (PSAs), the entire sticky surface must come into contact with the surface to achieve the advertised results. PSA tapes need downward pressure along the entire surface to adhere. Any debris on the package surface will stick to the tape instead of the tape sticking to the package.

Next time you're grabbing a box, run a lint free cloth over the surface before applying tape. This will remove debris from the surface, giving you a clean, debris free surface. If you're in a constant dusty environment, look into water-activated paper tapes.

2. Remove old tape

Recycling old boxes for new use is a fantastic way to reuse materials. Giving these packages even one more use is helpful to reducing shipping waste. Be careful this doesn't cause the box to open during transportation because the old tape wasn't removed before new packing tape was applied.

Taking the time to remove old tape from the box gives the new packing tape the proper surface it needs to adhere. Loose, ripped, or crinkled old tape will cause the new tape to fail during shipping.

3. Damaged surface

Damaged surfaces are consistently an issue seen when reusing boxes. Removing the old tape can cause the top surface of the corrugated box to completely rip off. This exposes the corrugated flutes (the S shaped waves/arches inside a corrugated box).

Once the flutes are exposed, the flat surface necessary for taping is gone. The box at this point should be retired from further use.

4. Rough edges

Rough edges are an issue with boxes and mailers. These are surfaces that could catch on things during the shipping process. It may cause the package to rip open or become intertangled with another package and never reach its intended destination.

For boxes ensure the top flaps are aligned and packing tape has sealed any surface that could get caught during shipping.

Rough edges are a particularly prevalent issue with poly-mailers and bubble mailers that have been folded over. When folding mailers to reduce their dimensions, tape both exposed sides to prevent catching during shipping. Taping the side will also prevent theft by removing the ability for a hand to reach through the side and into the unprotected top.

Any combination of these 4 can cause your packing tape to not stick and open during transportation! Following these tips prior to applying packing tape will save everyone from the heartache of a damaged/lost package.

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