Labeling FAQ

I've read that you shouldn't use permanent markers to label CDs or DVDs. Is that true?

You shouldn't use a permanent marker to label CD's or DVD's if data is important and/or needs to be maintained for a long period of time. There is growing concern that the ink, over time, can actually damage your data. To be 100% safe, it is best to use a disc writer pen, one that is created specifically to label CD's or DVD's or write on a non-data area of the disc.

For more information check out Using Permanent Ink Markers on CDs & DVDs

What about writing on CDs and DVDs that are already prepared for printing such as those coated for thermal and inkjet printing?

Yes, you can write on the inkjet printable CDs and DVDs without having to worry whether or not the ink will seep in and ruin the disc. The inkjet printable discs are made with an Ink Absorption Layer (IAL) which receives the ink from the printer (or marker) and absorbs it, thus preventing seepage into the data layer of the disc. That IAL protects the data stored on the disc from any ink that may be applied through the printing process or handwritten labeling with a Sharpie marker.

There is a special coating on thermal printable discs but it's not exactly the same as the IAL. The special coating on thermal printable discs are more for enhancing the final result. However, it is one more layer to separate the data layer from whatever pen you decide to label with.

I'm searching for an inexpensive way to safely label some DVD discs that I will be selling to the public.

I would definitely consider using a printed label from an inkjet printer. Printed labels will give your discs a professional look at a consumer budget. Along with selling these kinds of labels, also provides the templates absolutely free. These templates can be used in Microsoft Word 97, or later, to design your disc label.

Here's a link to the Disc Labels and Inserts that we sell.

If you do not have access to an inkjet printer, an alternative would be to use a Disc Writer Pen. These pens are specially formulated and will not damage your discs.

We also have an article that describes the risks of using markers on CD/DVD's

Please advise if using printed labels will harm the DVDs.

The short answer is yes, many people have experienced adhesive problems with paper labels.

Unfortunately, there are many problems associated with paper labels on CDs and DVDs.

POSITIONING: if a paper label is not properly placed on the disc, it can become unbalanced. This can cause the disc to wobble while being read. Resulting in excessive drive noise, vibration, and data retrieval problems. In some cases the disc is rendered useless.

ADHESIVE: Some adhesives cause bubbles under labels or oozing, which can damage the player/recorder. Apparently, the oozing adhesive has caused such a problem that some sellers advertise non-oozing adhesives. The oozing adhesive can be detrimental to the disc as well as the equipment.

HEAT and the ELEMENTS: In addition, to heat reacting negatively with the adhesive, the added weight of the paper label can overheat the mechanisms in the player/ recorder. In many cases the disc will freeze or stop playing. Paper labels are susceptible to heat, humidity, sunlight, handling, and the passage of time. Any of these environmental situations can cause the adhesive to fail and the paper label will begin to peel or come off.

Many manufacturers discourage the use of paper labels and using them will void many warranties.

Even though that may seem daunting, there are some people whom have used paper labels for years and have had no problems. There are so many variables, that you never know.

Can I use an inkjet printer to print on the 61430-C CD/DVD Full-Face glossy labels?

These labels are for laser printers only. With the glossy surface the inkjet printer ink would not be able to set in to the paper and your print would smear.

We do have the 60360B labels which are glossy and inkjet compatible, however, they do not cover the hub like the 61430 labels.