Home » Are Vinyl Stickers Waterproof? (3 Types)

Are Vinyl Stickers Waterproof? (3 Types)

The list of places where you can put decorative vinyl stickers is virtually endless, but many users hesitate when it comes to the question are vinyl stickers waterproof. It is a crucial feature, particularly when applying stickers on pieces you regularly wash in the dishwasher.

Most vinyl stickers are not waterproof, but manufacturers achieve this feature by printing them with non-soluble inks or using specific coating types. Therefore, you should learn to recognize standard vinyl stickers and check their features before purchasing. Let’s take a look.

Water-resistant vs. Waterproof

Water-resistant vs. Waterproof

Once you want to buy vinyl stickers, you can find two different types available, water-resistant labels and waterproof stickers. Even though most customers believe that these features are the same, you can recognize apparent differences between waterproofing and water resistance.

Water-resistant labels

Most custom labels printed on a polypropylene material are water-resistant. The finished layer of water-resistant laminate and oil additionally improves this characteristic. Even some paper and cardstock stickers can be resistant to water to a certain level when their surface is adequately coated.

Be prepared that water-resistant labels can withstand moisture for a while, but not forever. Therefore, they are an inappropriate option for applications extendedly exposed to water.

There is one more issue. Even though water-resistant labels tolerate some moisture, their look and adhesive are never totally insensitive to water damage. In other words, you can expect moisture to compromise their design and glue after prolonged exposure.

Waterproof stickers

Once applied on a dry solid surface, this sticker type will stay intact and its design undamaged despite the negative moisture impact. High-quality products will be functional for years, although you expose them to water regularly.

However, even the best and most durable waterproof sticker has its lifespan and will degrade and disintegrate after a few years. That period will depend on the material type and quality.


Are Vinyl Stickers Waterproof?

Are Vinyl Stickers Waterproof

As I have already mentioned, stickers can be water-resistant or waterproof, and you can recognize different levels of their quality. Some manufacturers design their products to last for years, while others offer lower quality labels that can resist water for a limited period.

Keep in mind that all vinyl sticker styles, transparent, matte, and glossy, come with the same water resistance level. The primary difference between these products is in the superficial layer appearance.

The best possible waterproof coating for vinyl stickers you can find on the current market is laminating. It can increase their lifespan by 3 to 7 years by protecting them from water, sunlight, and oil.

Manufacturers use waterproof adhesive when making these stickers, while professional printers use the corresponding waterproof inks. Only that way can they improve the required feature.

Unfortunately, you can’t be sure whether a particular sticker is waterproof despite the description. Therefore, you should take advantage of the possibility of getting a sticker sample and testing it for waterproofing before ordering the whole desired amount.


Is Vinyl Sticker Dishwasher Safe?

Is Vinyl Sticker Dishwasher Safe

Many vinyl stickers manufacturers claim their products are dishwasher safe, but it is often questionable. Some reputable manufacturers, like Big Moods, produce vinyl stickers that can withstand washing in a standard dishwasher, but it is not always valid for others.

The best option is to clean the surface with stickers by hand or check whether they are dishwasher safe by sacrificing one. For instance, Hydro Flasks produce waterproof stickers, but they can’t survive aggressive dishwashers.

Since many variables affect the vinyl sticker resistance to washing in dishwashers, be aware of a few facts:

Dishwasher-safe vinyl stickers – It is impossible to find vinyl stickers that are officially dishwasher safe. Some are dishwasher friendly, and you can wash them this way for a while, but not for too long.

Dishwasher-safe adhesives – The glue used for vinyl stickers is waterproof, but it doesn’t mean it can withstand high temperatures and water pressures in a dishwasher.

Pressure – You should press the vinyl sticker firmly when applying it to activate the glue adequately. Unlike a cricut tool that is practically unsuitable for this task, you will get the best result by pressing the label with a plastic squeegee.

Surface texture and size – Vinyl stickers will peel more or less, depending on the application surface.

The rule of thumb is that the sticker is more durable when applied on a smooth glass surface than over a textured coated cup. Additionally, applying a sticker on a more sizable surface area reduces the possibility of quick peeling.


Waterproof Stickers Types

Waterproof Stickers Types

Waterproof vinyl stickers are always designed of high-quality material available in three primary types:

  • White waterproof vinyl
  • Matte waterproof vinyl
  • Clear waterproof vinyl

They are practically the same in design and shape besides a visible frame on a white background when you use white vinyl. The well-manufactured products are durable and long-lasting, and you can stick them wherever you want.

Custom vinyl stickers

As in most cases, you can order waterproof custom stickers attachable to any surface, including:

  • Helmets
  • Construction labels for materials, equipment, and tools
  • Beer bottles and cans
  • Honey and jam jars
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Windows
  • Marine equipment
  • Sports equipment like snowboards and skis
  • Custom water bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Packaging
  • Vehicles
  • Rocket ships

Believe it or not, quality stickers hold up in almost all water conditions, but you shouldn’t use them submerged in water, so they are inappropriate:

  • As a patch for a leaky bucket
  • Inside of an aquarium
  • On the pool, boat, and submarine’s bottom

Also, never add these stickers on a dirty surface. If you want them to adhere appropriately, it is necessary to thoroughly clean and dry the place before application.


Waterproof Sticker Options

Waterproof Sticker Options

Nowadays, you can find waterproof vinyl stickers of any color, shape, and size you want and need. Besides standard designs, ordering customized products that fit any customers’ needs is possible.


Typically, you have two options when it comes to vinyl stickers’ color:

  • All black type is excellent for functional and transactional purposes
  • Stickers in full color are designed for any possible requirement, and the only condition is to use high-quality ink


In most cases, manufacturers produce vinyl stickers in standard forms, including:

  • Circles
  • Ovals
  • Rounded corners
  • Squares
  • Rectangles

However, you can also ask for a custom shape according to your logo, for instance.


In general, there is no size limitation for vinyl stickers. The only thing to do is to measure the surfaces where you plan to glue them, and manufacturers will customize the size you look for.


Ways to Make Vinyl Stickers Waterproof

Ways to Make Vinyl Stickers Waterproof

It is natural to wish for a vinyl sticker to stay applied and undamaged for years after applying to the desired surface. Most products on the market are water-resistant, but only a few are entirely waterproof. This feature depends on numerous factors, including:

  • Material type
  • Adhesion quality
  • Lamination protection
  • Way of printing
  • Production process

Nowadays, you can find several tricks to make your vinyl stickers waterproof by choosing the best possible ingredients.

High-quality vinyl

The best option for waterproofing stickers is to pick out a suitable material. Since you can find a wide range of printing, it is better to avoid cheap vinyl since only a quality product can provide an excellent foundation.

It is recommended to apply durable, at least 0.12 inches (3 mm) thick vinyl to interior and exterior surfaces, like:

  • Windows
  • Glass items
  • Vehicles
  • Buildings
  • Walls

High-quality adhesive

Only vinyl stickers applied with waterproof glue can withstand water and harsh weather for a long. You can expect stickers to last about five years when using such a product.

On the other hand, poor-quality glue will cause quick sticker peeling off the surface. In an extreme situation, you may face an unusable sticker even before contact with water.

High-quality ink

The ink you use to print words, logos, art, or graphics needs to be waterproof. Otherwise, you will get a sticker base that withstands water but without legible text after a while. The best option is to purchase ink that provides:

  • High image quality
  • Pigment density
  • Wide color range
  • Gloss level when desired
  • Short drying period

Laminate overlay

Lamination is an excellent way to make your vinyl sticker waterproof and scratches-resistant, whether it is matte or gloss. Best of all is that this layer won’t affect the sticker printing quality and its legibility.


Vinyl Stickers Benefits

Durable and tear-resistant vinyl stickers are perfect for numerous purposes. Besides being waterproof, they have several other features, making them an excellent product.

Ideal for any use – You can apply vinyl stickers to most surfaces, including outdoor surfaces exposed to rain and bad weather conditions.

Fade-resistant – High-quality vinyl stickers won’t fade quickly, so their design can last for years with recognizable letters and applications.

Low maintenance – There is no need to clean vinyl stickers. However, you should dry them with a clean cloth when spilling some oil or water over their surface to prolong their lifespan.



Vinyl stickers can be waterproof or only water-resistant. If you need waterproof models, be aware that only a perfect combination of stocks, inks, and adhesives can make them so. Plus, you should learn where it is possible to use waterproof stickers to prevent unwanted surprises.

Leave a Comment