If you are reading this, then either you already know about Mylar bags or you have interest in it. When it comes to storing dry food such as rice, beans, and flour for a long period of time, the effectiveness of Mylar bags are unparalleled. There are some suggestions that when stored appropriately food remains fresh and healthy for up to 25 years.
Processed food that you have bought from a superstore and are lying at your shelf mostly packed with Mylar bags and are duly printed. Thinking of printing Mylar bags and pouches at home when you are looking at them is pretty normal. However, often people kill their interest out of fear that printing Mylar would be difficult. Besides, the dilemma of which printing method to choose also plays a role in making them backtrack.
If you are among those people, whose plan of printing Mylar comes to a standstill, we are here to assist. Read ahead to know how to print on Mylar bags, its advantages and other relevant information in details that could be proved handy in printing on Mylar bags.
What Is Mylar?
Before we move forward, a deep understanding of what Mylar is, will definitely make things easy. Basically, Mylar is a versatile material used extensively in various purposes. Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate is the trade name by which Mylar is scientifically known. First made the breakthrough into prominence back in 1950 and continues to garner praises for its utility in a variety of grounds.
The word Mylar is widely used to refer to polyester film or plastic sheet. In reality, it is the brand name for a specific type of stretched polyester film. Two other well-known trade names for this plastic are Melinex and Hostaphan, howbeit, biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate is the best known. Mylar has an unprecedented level of application in the food packaging industry, since polyester film is less permeable to gasses than other plastics.
Mylar, in reality, is a registered trademark of Dupont Teijin Films. It belongs to a particular plastic sheet products family and is made from the resin Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is also known as PET. However, polyester film, polyester sheets or plastic sheets are the true generic terms for this material.
The Mylar that we find in the store isn’t pure. Since, if produced without any additives, the surface of the films will be incredibly smooth. Thus, when folded layers would adhere strongly to one another. This led to the insertion of microscopic inert inorganic particles such as silicon dioxide into it so that the surface became rough.
How To Print On Mylar Bags : Easy Methods
Mylar is a popular choice for a wide range of purposes. From birthday balloons to food storage bags in the kitchen, it is everywhere. Now, imagine the scenario that you have a lavish party at home, hundreds of balloons are dangling all over, but they are lifeless. It’s unimaginable, isn’t it? Besides, when used in the kitchen if they are levelled duly, working in the kitchen will be fun.
Now the question is how to print on Mylar? Most of the people wish to have a printed bag, but don’t know how to do that and can’t always afford to go to the store. Moreover, showing up at the store each time you need a printed Mylar bag is no less than costly. In addition to that, if you happen to run a business, the best option to make the business profitable is printing Mylar on your own.
For a large scale production you need a proper industrial set up, which we will discuss at some point in the future. However, for personal use or to print for a small business all you need is:
- Mylar bag
- Printing software with Mylar printing option
- Bag printing frame (not mandatory)
- An inkjet printer
First make your mind regarding what exactly you want to be printed on the bags. It could be a digital photo or a sign or a custom design. Whatever you choose to print, it needs to be in the computer.
Before you proceed, recheck whether the printing software has an option for printing on Mylar or not. If not, install an updated version that allows Mylar printing. Since, color ratios and the amount of ink required aren’t the same as what is needed for regular paper printing.
Now it’s time to run the bag into the printer. Use a printing frame for added safety. It will prevent issues like incorrect printing and jam. Generally, Mylar doesn’t jam in the printer. Place the Mylar on the feeder of the printer and press print on your computer. When printed, let the ink settle for a while. If you are in a rush, use the hair dryer to dry it faster for you.
Note: In general, Mylar bags that we use at home are small in size and easily fit in a standard inkjet printer. Nevertheless, if yours doesn’t fit, don’t force it into the printer. Rather, use a professional printer that is usually used for large scale projects.
If you are comfortable in handling ink and brush you can apply screen printing in your Mylar bags. It’s an easy and inexpensive method for personalizing your Mylar bags, however will eat up a considerable amount of time.
Items you need for screen printing are:
- Mylar bag (wrinkle free)
- A completed easy screen stencil
- Ink of your desired color
- A thin cardboard
- A plastic knife
- A small squeegee
Put the cardboard into the Mylar bag so that the upper surface remains wrinkle free. Now place it on a hard and even surface. Then place the stencil on top of the Mylar bag. If you don’t know how to make a stencil or you just don’t have enough time, you can easily buy one from the store or order online.
Position the stencil exactly where you want the design to be printed. Start off by loading the ink onto the squeegee and start screen printing. Don’t forget to hold the stencil down firmly, otherwise chances are high that you will mess up with the design. Make sure that you have inked the whole design. Try to get as much excess ink off the stencil before you lift it off in order to prevent unnecessary ink wastage.
Be sure to check each of the four corners to ensure that the ink has gone all the way through. If any void is noticed go over it again with your ink. When you are certain that the ink has gone all the way through, lift the stencil off completely. Rinse the stencil with water so that it can be used in future. Let the ink air dry for at least an hour or use a blow dryer to speed the drying process up. The best thing is, you can also color the design with any color of your choice.
Note: Screen printing on Mylar bag is convenient for those who print occasionally. However, for large scale production using this method wouldn’t be a realistic choice.
Can Laser Printers Be Used To Print On Mylar Bag?
Each and every electronic device comes with its own abilities and limitations. Printers aren’t any exception. Thousands of printers with hundreds of features are available in the market, where laser printers have a strong market hold in the paper printing industry. Putting any paper based materials in a laser printer will not create any trouble. However, when it comes to printing Mylar, the answer is simply “NO”.
Mylar is a special type of plastic material that has a widespread use across industries. On the other hand, plastic based material for example Mylar or other types of transparencies should never be used in a laser printer. Laser printers will melt that material down unless they are manufactured particularly for that specific model. Apart from that, Mylar usually is a thin plastic, which is likely to jam in the printer and can be hard to remove.
Printers, in general, come with a user guideline on which manufacturers usually specify what can be used on it. In most of the cases, nearly all the laser printers will be able to handle some thicker paper stocks. Coated materials such as inkjet paper, glossy paper, and vellum seem to have issues with laser printers. The toner only sticks to the coating instead of the paper, thus will rub off easily or simply leave toner in the printer, which will result in a defective and inaccurate print.
Inkjet printers, on the other hand, can be a great alternative to print Mylar, since it has more flexibility. Any fiber based materials including Mylar is safe to be used in an inkjet printer. Nevertheless, non-porous materials that are uncoated, namely plastic or Mylar, sometimes encounter difficulties while printing in an inkjet printer. The ink faces hardship to bond with the material and runs together. Howbeit, if coated to work with inkjet printers specifically, the result would be different.
Best Printer for Mylar Bags
Popular Choice: Canon PIXMA TR4520 Wireless All in One Photo Printer
The Canon Pixma TR4520 Wireless Printer is intended for light-duty home and home-office use. It’s somewhat slow and expensive to use, as would be expected for an all-in-one at this price, but it has a robust feature set and prints exceptionally well, particularly photos.
It also supports Amazon’s Alexa, as have a few other printers we’ve seen recently, allowing for hands-free printing. It’s an excellent choice for home office users looking for a low-cost AIO for light-duty printing, copying, and scanning.
Budget Pick: HP ENVY Photo 7858 All-in-One Inkjet Photo Printer
The Photo 7855 All-in-One Printer, a step forward for HP’s Envy printer line, has a wide range of connectivity features for a photo-centric all-in-one printer. It outperforms the HP Envy 7640 e-All-in-One Printer in terms of speed and photo quality. The HP Envy 7855 is an excellent choice for home users who want to save money on photo printing and are willing to sign up for HP’s subscription-based Instant Ink program.
The Envy 7855 is a stylish printer that is matte black with glossy black highlights. With the trays extended, it measures 7.6 by 17.9 by 19.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 17 pounds. The tilt-up front panel houses a 3.5-inch color touch screen.
There is a 125-sheet paper capacity as well as a 15-sheet photo tray. It has an auto-duplexer for printing on both sides. You can scan, copy, or fax multipage documents up to legal size using the 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF).
Trending Now: Canon PIXMA MG Series All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer
There is no wireless printer. Printing, scanning, and copying are all areas of expertise. Not an Auto-Duplex printer. Meet the PIXMA MG Series, a straightforward printer for your home printing requirements.
Resolution of Print (Up to) Color printing at up to 4800 x 600 dpi3 and black printing at up to 600 x 600 dpi will provide you with exclusive print.
The PIXMA MG Series makes printing documents simple, and it even supports optional XL ink cartridges, allowing you to replace them less frequently.
How To Use Mylar Bag To Store Food
Mylar bags are exceptionally effective in storing various things including dry food and others. But, improper use of these bags won’t yield the outcome anticipated. It is well known that goods remain intact in a Mylar bag, which encourages people to try these bags. However, lack of knowledge on how to use Mylar bags properly often hurt the user.
Most of the users don’t really know that when dry foods are being stored for a long period of time they need to put in an oxygen absorber in it. Reports suggest that inclusion of oxygen absorber, in some cases, increases the shelf life by up to 20 years. Sealing is another issue that demands strong attention. After doing everything right if you seal it incorrectly, whatever you put in the bag it’s going to rot sooner than expected.
Well, using Mylar bags basically are super easy. Just take the bag and dump the food directly into the bag. When filling, make sure that you don’t overfill it. To have a proper sealing you have to close the bag across the top. When you are done with filling, open the oxygen absorbers.
Remember, open oxygen absorber only when your filling and other related works are completed. Because, oxygen absorbers start working immediately once they are open. Besides, you don’t necessarily need to suck the air out while using an oxygen absorber. It’s going to do it for you. Now, put one inside the bag and press it into a bit deep. Hold the bag tight and seal it.
As sealing is extremely important, try to have a sealing machine to seal these bags. If not available an iron or hair straightener can get the job done. Close the bag across the top and put it against the edge of a box or something. Now run the iron machine over it. Make sure that the iron is on a lower setting. Run it a few times and check whether the pack is sealed properly or not.
In terms of hair straightener, preheat it prior to use. Crimp it and hold it for about three to four seconds. Go right across the top of the bag and do the same. Continue until you are satisfied with the sealing. Once you are done with the sealing level the Mylar bag properly so that you find it easily when needed. You can also write down the date. It will come handy if you store similar products at different times.
Purposes Mylar Used for
Application of Mylar is extensive and it is the most suitable alternative for a wide range of utilities. Actually it’s a type of stretched polyester film that, apart from equipment level, is used extensively as space blanket material, emergency blanket material and foil balloons. It’s a statement in favor of its sturdiness, versatility, and multi-functionality. These remarkable properties turned it into a hot commodity for various commercial uses.
Naturally transparent, Mylar has insulation properties, too with high tensile strength. Both of these properties are highly sought after for industrial uses, especially where the environment is a bit unfavorable. Aside from that, it has extensive use in providing containment and protection from gas and odors.
Being chemically stable makes Mylar reliable, durable, and safe which results in increasing demand. Even though it’s a shiny, foil-esque material its solidity in adverse conditions is highly appreciated. For example, Mylar tags – a popular commercial application that is known for their resilience in tough conditions.
Advantages For Which Mylar Bags Are So Popular
After all these discussions you already have an idea of how beneficial Mylar could be. From the food packaging industry to heavy industries where conditions don’t always remain in favor, Mylar fits in perfectly. For long term food storage these bags are comparable to none. It forms a shield of three protective layers from moisture, light, and odor.
Besides, it’s a rare combination of extremely flexible and thin plastic, which is very strong and durable. Also termed as puncture-resistant, Mylar is easy to use and preserves the nutrients of your food for a long period of time. Polyester films being less permeable to gasses than other plastics is another notable reason for Mylar being favored in the food packaging industry.
When used as a laminate such as aluminum foil, polyester or LLDPE, besides providing extended shelf life and freshness for food, it acts as an excellent barrier against moisture and gas as well, most notably oxygen.
Let’s have a quick look at other advantages Mylar offers:
- Long term food storage that can be handy during emergencies.
- Suitable to carry along, when you are on vacation.
- An effective protection for photos, magazines and books.
- Valuable paperwork’s such as house deeds, legal papers or even cash can be stored safely in it.
- Keeps herbs and spices intact for a considerable length of time.
- An easy to get and inexpensive packaging materials for various superstore items.
- Has application in medical and pharmaceutical industries as well.
Safety In Handling and Use Of Mylar
Mylar is a strong and tough plastic film made from polyethylene terephthalate, thus has health risks in handling. Therefore, it is necessary to know the risks it poses and how to address them.
- During normal processing, storage, and use, Mylar is safe and doesn’t seem to have any significant flammability hazard. However, if the surface temperature reaches 300°C it will start to burn and will produce smoke that is harmful for human health.
- Mylar is indigestible in the soil. Even if buried in bacteria-infested soil its condition remains unchanged even after 36 months, which is a serious threat for soil fertility. Make sure that you follow the proper instructions when dispose it.
- Adequate ventilation required where bulk quantities are stored. In addition to that, bulk quantities should be stored away from flammable materials. Make chemical extinguishers available in the storage facility. In the event of fire, avoid desperate moves and let the professionals handle the situation.
- Even though Mylar is thought to be safe it shouldn’t be implanted within the human body or kept in contact with the skin for long periods of time. While the effects of long-term exposures to this type of materials are still unknown and subject to extended studies, experts suggest avoiding long close contact if it’s not necessary.
- A thin plastic film of Mylar can potentially pick up a strong charge of static electricity when run at a high speed. If this charge isn’t dissipated as it forms, there is a strong likelihood that it turns into thousands of volts and discharge to people or metal equipment in a harmful manner.
- In commercial packaging units, to seal the package high temperature heat sealing bars are commonly used. That could lead to a gradual buildup of copolymer coating on the sealing bars. If you continue to use that bar to seal packages, that buildup’s exposure to heat may result in the release of hazardous fumes. In order to evade this situation, clean the bar periodically. Besides, ensure proper ventilation to the packaging facility and keep the sealing temperature in check.