When choosing a marking pen over laser engraved tags, there are several factors to consider:
- Ink degrades in UV light.
- Spraying or misting marked tags with fly spray will remove ink and decreases the life of the mark.
- A Sharpie ink pen will last about 3 to 4 months.
- Allflex pens have xylene in the ink which carries the ink into the plastic.
- Applying ink with an Allflex tag marking pen only once without cleaning the tag will last about 6 months to a year or so.
- Black is best. White ink does not soak in as well.
There are steps to follow to get the most out of an Allflex tag ink pen.
1. The key is to get the oil film off the tag surface. The oil acts as a barrier preventing the ink from soaking in. Plastic is made from oil, thus oil removal needs to be done not long before marking the tag because if you let the package of tags sit for days, oil resurfaces.
- Wipe the blank tag with alcohol to remove the oil film off the tag.
- Or some people place the tags in a dishwasher with hot water but DO NOT use the dry/heat cycle!
- NOTE: If you are going to mark on a tag that already has print on it, please make sure not to wipe down the pre-printed part of the tag. Only wipe down the portion of the tag you are going to be writing on.
2. On the dry tag, mark the number at least 3 times and let dry a few seconds between each mark in order to put a higher volume of ink on the tag. Sometimes, the ink will go completely through the other side of the tag using this method. Typically, it will last up to 4 years depending on the environment. The sun will still continue to fade the ink.
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