Ink on Labels are running, bleeding, scratching or smearing after water contact. (LX Series Printers)

Ink on Labels are running, bleeding, scratching or smearing after water contact. (LX Series Printers)

In most cases, ink should not run or bleed from the label when exposed to water.   However, certain images/label designs may be more susceptible to slight bleeding.   Follow these steps to minimize bleeding.

  • Use 53013 CMY + Ultra Black.  If you are using the LX600, LX610, or LX910 you can try the new CMY+ Ultra Black Dye cartridge.  It's our most water-resistant ink yet, and it works especially well on Gloss BOPP.  For full comparison details visit this article.  
  • Use Only “Extreme” label stock or Gloss BOPP.  Only this label stock is rated for water contact.  This includes the following label stock: Extreme White Matte BOPP, Extreme White Matte Vinyl, Extreme High Gloss White Poly, Extreme High Gloss Clear Poly, Gloss BOPP, Extreme High Gloss Gold Poly, and Extreme High Gloss Silver Poly.  Follow this Material Guide
  • Let label stock dry for 24 hours before exposing it to water.  This will give the ink a chance to fully cure.
  • Reduce Saturation to 85% (LX500, LX600, LX610, LX910).  Lower the Quality setting on the LX2000.  This will cause less ink to be placed on the label.  Typically, a label will bleed because not all of the ink was encapsulated under the water-resistant layer.
  • Adjust the Ink Cartridge setting between Color Only and Color + Black (LX900 and LX2000 Only).
  • Full coverage of the label is best.  If possible, design your image to take advantage of the great features of the label stock and design around the limitations.  If you have color graphics or black text set against a white background, you could experiment with different text colors or invert the label so you have white text inside a solid area.  The white areas of the label stock act as pathways for excess ink that has not been encapsulated inside the inkjet printable layer.
  • Matte BOPP or Matte Vinyl are susceptible to scratching only when they are wet.  The inkjet surface itself can be scratched off the BOPP or Vinyl material regardless of whether the stock is printed on.   While dry or if wet labels are allowed to dry out again, the printed surface once again becomes very scratch-resistant. 

Note  1: If water droplets are allowed to dry on a label, you may notice color blooming in the areas of those droplets, especially if the printed area is surrounded by an unprinted white area.  The unprinted areas are like open roadways for the ink.  They allow ink to flow into them, and once the ink is on the unprinted area, it stays in place.  If the entire label is filled with ink, bleeding of any kind is less likely because there are no places for the ink to go.

Note 2: Proper testing in the final application environment is recommended, especially when used near water or chemicals.  As with all pressure-sensitive materials, this product should be tested thoroughly under end-user conditions to ensure it will meet the requirements of the specific application.

If, after following all of the suggestions above, you still have bleeding problems, it is possible that this material may not be suitable for your particular environment.  Before returning the label stock, please contact tech support for other options or to determine if the stock may be defective.  To determine if the stock is defective tech support will require scans/pictures of printed label stock, your original artwork for testing, and a description of how the label is being used.

Article ID: 66432