New Monochrome Laser printer - Toner Rubbing off shipping labels easily


Anyone have this problem? I switched media to “Labels” and it seems to help a little but does anyone have a trick to prevent this from happening? I don’t particularly like thermal label printers and it won’t work for the thousands of labels I print for one of my items each week.


Toner printers are the most likely to rub off. This is because the toner sits on top of the paper and is not absorbed in any way so it scratches off with a lot less effort.
The different settings like label, plain paper, are just more heat to adhere the toner.You want the highest heat setting. You can also try different brand labels. Unfortunately they will all rub off over time.
Thermal labels are much better and have no issue doing large quantity’s they are pretty much the industry standard in high volume shipping.


When we ship, we purchase Avery shipping labels. They come 2 to a page.

I use an inkjet printer and never have any issues.


It also helps if your labels are meant for laser printers. Assume they have more pores to help hold the toner.

If you do much shipping at all, grab a used Zebra 450. Thermal printing rocks!


Thermal labels are prone to fading and discoloration in time, and heaven help you if a helpful postal employee tapes over your labels. Under normal circumstances they are just fine for shipping.


Agreed but we only need them (as shipping labels) to last 5-10 days.


Regular laser printers aren’t designed to continually provide high density printing like barcodes, and will be very sensitive to paper stocks and environmental issues. Don’t store your labels where they can pick up dust or humidity. Try setting your laser quality up higher, it will use more toner but some models will also go hotter/slower.

Page alignment is also critical if you are using smaller labels, (like FBA) and most cheap lasers don’t have a very straight feed path which can be a problem with labels and stickers. These issues will get worse over time, and it only takes one label flipped over at the wrong moment to make a serious jam/residue. Laser consumables (toner/drum) can be expensive considering how much more toner (I have heard up to 6 times as much) is used on a full barcode sheet than a normal printed page.

Thermal transfer printers such as the desktop Zebra GX430t are very similar to thermal printers, but don’t have many of the same issues because they don’t need the chemical dusted/surfaced papers. (they use an inexpensive ribbon) They are simpler, more reliable, less expensive to run than laser, and produce a better looking, longer lasting barcode label than laser or direct thermal coatings.

Thermal transfer printed labels can be taped over, lightly scuffed, are relatively insensitive to heat/cold, and can be exposed to direct sunlight without fading or blackening. Normal paper and ribbon will produce a label that will last in a warehouse environment for years, and still look great. They are also cheap enough to use for temporary shipping labels.


We find the quality of the toner makes a huge difference.

When I buy OEM toners they still like glue. But if a buy a remanufactured toners for half the price they rub off.


Thermal printers have always had that problem. We quit using the them 20 years ago. You probably got a good deal on a new one because the technology’s old. :train2:


Not sure who this is directed at, but more likely they got a great deal because they are very simple in design. The useable lifetime of good thermal/thermal transfer printers is also much longer than a laser printer, so buying one used makes sense too. They are also smaller, lighter, and much tougher which makes shipping them more practical.


Thermal Printers are very economical which is why they are used for so many labels (UPS Worldship for example) and retail POS receipt printers. Thermal paper does not tolerate heat well, and may fade over time. You should reconsider your position on Thermal printers.

However, directly to you issue. What paper are you using? I have found that inexpensive stock and most glossy papers can cause the issues you are experiencing. Consider buying a more expensive heavier weight paper with a more fibrous surface texture for the toner to attach to.