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Best All Purpose Labels 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated December 1, 2018
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Billy JacobsHi there, I’m Billy Jacobs. After more than 27 hours of research and testing, which included using 19 different all purpose labels in five cities and interviewing product teams at five major companies, I made a list of the best all purpose labels of 2018

The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing. We take a close look at some of the best all purpose labels to help you get ripped.

Best All-Purpose Labels of 2018

Following is the list of top three all-purpose labels of 2018. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs. I am going to specify each good-to-buy feature as much as possible for your references.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Ease of use
5 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
Awards 1
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№1 – Maco


Self Sticking Adhesive
3/4″ x 1″
For such a price and the level of quality it can’t even have any cons, only pick holes.

Why did this all-purpose labels win the first place?

I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.


Ease of use










№2 – Wholesale CASE of 25 – Avery White All-purpose Removable Labels-Removable Multipurpose Labels

Wholesale CASE of 25 - Avery White All-purpose Removable Labels-Removable Multipurpose Labels

Avery White All-purpose Removable Labels
A bit expensive for functionality.
Bad customer service for warranty.

Why did this all-purpose labels come in second place?

I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.


Ease of use










№3 – Avery All-Purpose Labels

Avery All-Purpose Labels

Permanent adhesive keeps the label securely in place
White label offers easy customization
Suitable for a variety of purposes and can be used on documents, for mailings, tracking items and more
The price is slightly higher than other competitors.
The clamp could be of better quality.

Why did this all-purpose labels take third place?

I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.


Ease of use










All-Purpose Labels Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy all-purpose labels, right? No!

Know Your Printing Needs

There are printers for every need under the sun but rare is the printer that can fulfill many needs well. The challenge consumers face when shopping for a home printer is finding a printer that meets most of their needs and does so economically.

The first step in printer-shopping nirvana is to start your search with a very clear picture of what your printing needs are. Think back over what you’ve printed lately and what you plan to print in the future. Do you print mostly black and white text copies? Color photos? Color proposal drafts for your home business? What kind of printing you do is the biggest factor in what kind of printer you should shop for. The key is to buy a printer for the work you’re doing, not the work you think you might be doing in the future (in other words: buy the printer for the business reports you print now, not the colorful scrap book pages you wish you had time to work on).

How direct thermal printing works

A direct thermal printer contains a thermal printhead with hundreds of heating elements. Each element is electronically controlled to emit the right amount of heat (thermal energy) in a specific location during the printing process. The more saturated the image, the longer the image will last under various conditions.

The problem is that you can’t easily see the difference between a fully saturated direct thermal printout and a less saturated one. The saturation depends on a combination of the particular direct thermal label and the print setting you choose. Setting “Default” on your printer isn’t necessarily the solution. And adjusting the printer’s heat energy settings without knowing the correct one can damage the print head.

Remember that the temperature in the area where you are printing your direct thermal labels is not necessarily equal to where those labels might end up. If you’ve ever left a receipt produced by a direct thermal printer in a hot car, you know that some thermal papers are highly sensitive to heat and light because that piece of paper turned black. The paper reacts to the heat in your vehicle in the same way it responds to the heat from the print head; it activates a chemical reaction. In this case, the entire paper turned black.

Product Details

XTL All-Purpose Vinyl Labels, 1/2″ x 24.ft., White/Black Print

Durable and made for a variety of surfaces. Whether you are labeling to OSHA, ISO and ANSI color standards or labeling in harsh conditions, DYMO® XTL™ labels have you covered. Jobsite-tested and UL-recognized, these labels won’t smear or fade. Compatible with DYMO® XTL™ label makers. Ideal for flat surface labeling like barcodes, faceplates, shelves, bins, beams and more.

Why you should trust me

But it’s not just my own expertise you should trust. In addition to talking to several at-home labelers, I also interviewed Elizabeth Halen, owner of Flying Monkey Bakery in Philadelphia to get an idea of what small businesses could need from a labeler; as well as Amanda Sims, home editor of Food52; and Certified Professional Organizers Amy Trager, Ellen Delap, and Helene Segura.

Pull Quote

Brother laminate labels were far superior to the Epson labels, which resisted removal and reapplication and failed the dishwasher test miserably.

The coated Brother labels performed well in our handling and durability tests. It was easy enough to lift up a corner and remove the label, and labels were still sticky enough to reattach. They suffered a bit during their time in the dishwasher, but if allowed to be left in place, they re-adhered as they dried. In this regard, Brother laminate labels were far superior to the Epson labels, which resisted removal and reapplication and failed the dishwasher test miserably: The Epson labels slipped off during the dishwasher test and one became stuck to the bottom of a plate. It took a razor blade to remove all remnants of the label.

The Brother PT-D2is easy to maintain. To access the tape and battery compartment, you push a clearly marked button on the top edge of the unit to release the latch. The back panel swings open, allowing easy access, while also remaining attached to the unit along the bottom edge. Once you’ve inserted the tape or batteries, it closes smoothly and with a satisfyingly sturdy click. The Gadgeteer review of the PT-D2has a good photographic rundown of how to do this if the manual isn’t enough.

An unanticipated, but welcome, side effect of having the tape on the back is the fact that the PT-D2doesn’t produce any noticeable fumes while printing. The same couldn’t be said of the Brother PT-D400 and D600 label makers, which have a separate tape compartment on the front of the machine. As a result of the tape compartment’s more prominent location, you get a faint odor of permanent marker when using it. This can be a huge turn off for those with sensitive noses.

Who else likes our pick

There aren’t a ton of editorial reviews of label makers in this day and age, but Dennis Moore recently reviewed the PT2at Gadgeteer and liked it a lot. He writes: “most people don’t scream woo-hoo at the thought of using a label maker to get organized. However, with the various frames, templates, and symbols at your disposal, the Brother PT-D2can make organizing a bit more fun.”

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Our biggest complaint about the PT2is that it prints more margin on each label than is necessary. This means you burn through tape a bit faster than you should. It is possible to set the margins to narrow, but that only shortens the right side of the label. Because of the way the interior was engineered, the machine can’t reduce the amount of label on the left side. Instead, it prints a cutting guide on the left side, so that you snip off a bit to make the label even on both sides. It’s a nice touch, but nicer still would have been a way to waste less label tape.

Another frustration is that the LCD screen doesn’t offer any kind of illumination; there were times I found myself wishing that it were backlit. I might not have even registered the issue, though, if I hadn’t been testing against other, higher-priced models.

Being limited to tapes no wider than a half-inch shouldn’t be a problem for most at-home labeling needs, but if you anticipate needing more space for whatever reason, you should read about our upgrade pick for business use.

Long-term test notes

The Brother PT-D2remains our top pick. The battery life is excellent, the finished tapes are durable, and we continue to appreciate how intuitive the device is to use, even after a prolonged labeling hiatus. Sourcing replacement tape is easy, and a set of third-party rechargeable batteries has solved the power issue for us.

If you’re planning on giving your label maker heavy use, or want one for a busy office environment, consider upgrading to the Brother PT-D400AD instead. It does everything the PT-D2does and has the same easy-to-use keyboard layout, but it adds the ability to print barcodes. It also accepts tape up to ¾ of an inch and can print up to seven lines of text per label instead of the PT-D210’s two lines. It also comes with an AC adapter, which helps offset its higher sticker price.

The PT-D400 (right) is significantly larger than the PT-D2(left). It’s more at home on a desk than in your hands. But the two have similarly intuitive keyboard layouts.

The PT-D400 is bigger and heavier than the PT-D210—like a fat iPad Mini—and designed for desktop as opposed to handheld use, which isn’t ideal for home users. But it would feel right at home in a mailroom or at an admin desk. It also comes with a quick startup guide that could be laminated and posted next to the unit, allowing it to become a labeling station that would be easy for the whole office to use.

For the labeling power user, a PT-D600 might be the right fit. It does all that the PT-D400AD can do, but adds the ability to connect to a PC for label layout and design. It can also accept tapes up to one inch wide and has an even easier to read, backlit color display. It’s a mighty machine (with a bit steeper learning curve) than the average home user needs but would be right at home in a professional setting.

While the Brother PT-D2remains our preferred label maker, I do want to give a shout-out to the Epson LW-400 for crafters and sewists. The Epson interface isn’t as intuitive as Brother’s, but Epson makes an array of labels made from ribbon and fabric, which allow you to print iron-on name tape for your kids’ clothes and make customized ribbons for scrapbooks and gift wrap. (Brother also makes an iron-on tape for labeling clothes, but it has more user reviews complaining that the labels fall off after just a few washes.) The LW-400’s slimmer form factor gave it superior ergonomics for handheld use when compared to the squatter shapes of the older Epson LW-300 and our Brother picks. Like the Brother PT-D210, it uses half-inch tape, but unlike the PT-D210, it can do barcodes—a feature only available on the higher-end Brother label makers.

The LW-400 (left) is more comfortable to hold than the LW-300 (right).

However, learning and navigating the Epson interface was a real slog. During testing, I could not change the font size without direct consultation with the manual, and it is frustratingly easy to accidentally wipe out the all the label formatting you’ve scrolled through menu after menu to construct.

Also worth noting, Epson tapes tend to sell for about 47¢ per foot compared to the roughly 37¢ per foot the other brands’ tape sells for. The Brother may be more limited in its abilities, but it is better at the things most people would use most of the time.


Wristbands are a very specialized option for barcoding but also the best fit for the application of tracking people. You could always use a label on someone’s clothing but this will not be a reliable option since it’ll most likely fall off. A wristband is a reliable and easy to use means to get a barcode on a person that will not fall off and handle the rigors or everyday life.


Most labels use an acrylic permanent adhesive that is great for smooth, clean surfaces. Once this adhesive fully bonds to the surface it will be difficult to remove and in the process you will either destroy the label itself or leave a fair amount of residue at the very least. Permanent adhesive works well on paper, wood, glass, plastic, and some metals.


Removable adhesives do not have the same strength or stickiness as permanent adhesives, which make it easy to remove a label without damaging it or the item. Most often, a removable adhesive is used when a label is being used on paperwork during a process and then a product box when completed. Some specialty retails will also want to use this type of adhesive so that they can easily remove a pricing label without any residue on the item.

High Tack

High tack adhesive is a type of permanent adhesive that has extra initial stickiness. This type of adhesive is typically used for situations where you don’t have a clean, smooth surface at room temperature to apply the label. If you are using labels on site in a dirty environment like a building work site, a high tack adhesive would ensure the label bonds to the surface more quickly.

Additional Media Features

Although we have covered all the basic features you will need to determine to find the right media for most applications, there are a couple more options that are not as common but need to be addressed. These options may put your media choice into the realm of custom made vs. stock, off-the-shelf option. Custom media may require extra lead times and can easily increase your overall cost of the solution.

The vast majority of media is going to be blank white but a variety of colors are available. When a label or tag is colored it is referred to as “flood coated”. This just means that the entire surface is colored without any edge or border. There are often a few sizes of colored labels available off-the-shelf but if your required size is not available it will have to be custom made.

Special Shapes

Every stock label, tag, and wristband is going to be a rectangle or square. This is not to say that other shapes are not possible though. Some applications may want a circular label for easier identification or to fit on a bottle. There are some stock butterfly shaped labels for jewelry labeling but anything else beyond rectangular will always have to be custom made.

Finding the Right Barcode Labels and Ribbon

Choosing the Right RFID Technology

RFID has been a big buzz word lately for anyone who is interested in any type of item identification. Up until now, the trusty barcode has been the identification tactic of choice, and has served many businesses for decades. However, RFID continues to grow as a possible alternative. While RFID may not be a suitable replacement for barcodes in all situations, it does offer some advantages that you may want to take advantage of for your business. Implementing RFID in your business is more complex than using simple barcoding, but we’ll help you learn what you need to know to get started.

Since RFID is quite different from barcoding, it can be a challenge to know if it will be a good fit for your business. The first step deciding to use RFID is to identify your specific need(s):   • Do you need non-line-of-site reading?   • What are the required read ranges?   • Will you need to just read and process RFID tags or create them as well?   • Do you need serialization for each item?   • Will the item be traveling or fixed when read? How fast will it be moving?   • Does the item contain metal in its construction, outer surface, or packaging?   • What environmental factors will the RFID tag encounter? Water/rain/snow/fog?   • Will your application use fixed or mobile readers?

In the following we’ll review the basics of RFID and all the components that make up an RFID system. Going through these points and the questions above will help you determine if RFID is a suitable and feasible solution for your Auto-ID tracking needs.

How RFID Works

With a passive UHF system you have main components: the tag, antenna, reader, and host PC. The reader is scanning each antenna attached to it so that once a tag enters the field of one of the antenna it is first powered up. Once fully powered, the tag “backscatters” its information which the antenna can then pick up. This is the most delicate part of any system since this is where interference comes into play. Liquids absorb the projected signal while metals will reflect it. Depending on what you are labeling, where the tag is placed, and how many items you are trying to read at once, the performance of any system will greatly vary.

In the cases where the tag is powered and read properly, the data on the tag is processed by the reader and sent onto your host PC. On your host you would be running some type of software to then put the read tag information to use. This could be an asset tracking software, an inventory management system, or even an event tracking application. Like barcodes, RFID tags are a simple identifier but the tags can be read faster and automatically without line-of-site or orientation concerns. Since each tag will have a unique number on it, the ways you track items will only be limited by your needs and software capabilities.


While it may seem like the perfect technology at first, RFID does have its limitations. We’ve already covered several of its issues with interference, especially when dealing with liquids and metals. The truth is though that almost any type of material could limit the accuracy and range of an RFID system. A palate full of non-metal/liquid products could still have issues since with a dense collection of items, those in the middle of the palate may never receive enough antenna signal to ever power up.

While it would be great to just push a button and read every RFID tag in your building, the technology is still not quite there yet. Reading individual or smaller collections of tags is your best bet to ensure 100% read accuracy. Many distribution facilities that use RFID will first just read a signal tag for the entire palate when it arrives and the break out the palate to capture the individual items.

The main point to take from this is that RFID technology is much more susceptible to the environment it is being used in than a barcode system. A proper site survey and extensive testing are always a must when implementing any RFID solution. Knowing where to place tags, how they will be scanned, and what the products are will all have to be taken into account when designing any system. Getting many of the advantages of an RFID system will depend on organizing your system in the right way.

RFID Printer

Once you’ve found a suitable tag to use in your application you’ll want to get a printer to encode them. A dedicated RFID printer makes encoding tags easy and allows you to also print barcodes on the label as well. You may ask why you would want to use barcodes along with RFID. The printed information can be additional information not available in the RFID part of the tag but also provide a redundant failsafe in case the tag gets damaged. Using barcodes and RFID together ensure that no matter where the tag is being used, the data is always accessible.

Choosing a specific printer will ultimately come down to the volume of tags you will be making. There are small volume printers like the Intermec PC43t to rugged, high speed models like the Zebra R110XiThe added benefit to a dedicated RFID printer is that it is also a general label printer as well. You are really getting devices in one.


RFID readers are available in different styles depending on how you will be collecting data.

Mobile RFID readers are the same as a standard mobile computer but with the addition of an RFID antenna and reader. These types of readers are made for manually reading tags on the move and will also have barcode scanning capabilities. Being a mobile computer, models like the Motorola MC3190-Z are the perfect tool to conduct RFID based asset tracking or inventory counts. All of the scanned RFID data can be used in software running locally on the device or sent on to a larger system through a wireless network. Many RFID installations will use both fixed and mobile readers.


Fixed and Mobile readers have a language that they use called Low Level Reader Protocol (LLRP). LLRP is a standardized protocol that any application can use to support RFID readers. In the case of some mobile readers, the manufacturer may have a built-in conversion application that uses LLRP to then output keyboard text like scanner. This is not often the case so you should always ensure that your middleware application will support LLRP and RFID readers.

The Science

This is one thing I love about thread: the heavier the thread, the smaller the weight number. I wish my bathroom scale worked that way. If you want a fine thread for a fine fabric go for a 80 weight (abbreviated wt.). If you need a thick thread for a top-stitching accent, try a 1wt. or 1wt.

Dye lots and consistency

Thread is dyed in huge vats, but it’s still possible for there to be slight color variations from batch to batch. It’s best to buy all the thread you think you’ll need for a project at one time to insure a perfect color match from spool to spool. 

The Art

This is where the fun begins. Talk about a rainbow of choices! There are so many beautiful thread colors on the market today. It’s like that big box of 6crayons, but without the waxy smell or the cool built-in sharpener. Choose a color that matches the most dominant color in your fabric. If you can’t find a perfect match, go one or two shades darker. Light color stitching tends to stand out. Darker colors blend in.

Soft cotton, organic blends, glittery and shiny — beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t let anyone but your inner stylist tell you what is right or wrong. Go with the rules above for stretch and stability. Go with your heart for look and feel.


The thread most people are familiar with, and the type that dominates the selection in fabric stores, is polyester or “all purpose.” It’s appropriate for the majority of fabrics and can be used for both hand and machine sewing. All-purpose polyester thread is great for knit, stretch, and permanent-press fabrics because of its stretch and recovery as well as its resistance to shrinkage.

Coats’ all-purpose thread is their Dual Duty XP, a polyester wrapped core spun thread that can be used successfully on all wovens and knits. It comes off the spool and goes through your machine with consistent tension and a balanced twist, creating a smooth, even stitch. Each spool has a trap lock at the top and bottom to hold the thread tail; this is really handy for keeping your used spools tidy.

Dual Duty XP comes in three weights. The standard medium weight is a safe choice for most general sewing. This weight has the largest color range on the market with hundreds and hundreds of shades. There are also three specialty color groups: Fashion Brights – vibrant, almost neon tones; Color Tints – pale, pastel-like colors, great for baby items; and Multicolors – variegated spools that are fun for decorative topstitching.

There is also Dual Duty XP Fine, which you can select for pucker-free seams on lightweight fabrics. We used it for all our Silk Color Block Pillows. And, Dual Duty XP Heavy, which is good for thicker fabrics as well as bold topstitching, cording, and buttonholes. We’ve used it on several of our bag projects, such as our Trendy Drawcord Backpack.

If you need an even stronger thread in a heavier weight, look for Dual Duty XP Plus Jeans, which comes in that exact red-orange topstitching color that can be so hard to match. And since we’re sewing jeans in our head right now, you might also want to look for their Denim thread. It’s just an all-purpose weight for seaming and mending, but it comes in a perfect blended denim blue color.

100% cotton thread is best for light to medium-weight fabrics or delicately woven fabrics with little or no stretch. All-cotton thread has no ‘give,’ so the stitches may break if used on a stretchy fabric, like knit.

Coats cotton thread options use 100% Egyptian Extra Long Staple cotton for both all-purpose spools and machine quilting spools. The cotton is mercerized for strength and luster. It’s a popular choice for sewing or quilting on natural fibers.

Another option is Coats Cotton Covered thread, which has the luster of natural cotton and the strength of polyester.

And for traditional hand quilters, there is a cotton thread with a special “glace” finish that allows the thread to slide easily through multiple layers of fabric and batting.

Machine Embroidery

If your machine embroidery is going to be laundered often, try Coats & Clarks’ Trilobal polyester machine embroidery thread. It’s strong, durable, washable and colorfast. Choose from solids, multicolors and color twist. Their color twist is particularly interesting because you get a blended look rather than the color-blocked effect typical of variegated thread.


Usually reserved for top stitching or embellishment in home décor, this type of thread is made from metal strands twisted around a polyester core. There is a difference between hand sewing metallics and machine sewing metallics so check the spool before you buy.

You must have an “other” category! It’s where we’re putting wool, serger, nylon, monofilament, pre-wound bobbins, upholstery, beading, even glow-in-the-dark. These and others are the super-specialized heros of the thread world. You don’t need them for most day-to-day sewing, but they can come to your rescue in unique situations. It’s worth taking the extra time to make sure you have the right thread for the job. And as we always say: test before you sew for the very best results. 


Thermal printing is primarily used for barcode labels. There are two types of thermal print technology.

Direct thermal (DT) – Sensitive to light and heat, direct thermal labels are primarily used for items with a short life span.

Thermal transfer (TT) – Durable and chemical-resistant, thermal transfer barcode labels work well for items with a longer shelf life. Labels made out of synthetics are durable and long-lasting. They resist abrasion, moisture, and chemicals.


These material types—also known as facestocks— are mainly used to manufacture barcode labels.

Paper – Paper labels are primarily used for direct thermal printing. They work best for general-purpose applications, shipping labels, inventory labeling, and work-in-process (WIP).

Synthetic – Labels made out of synthetics are mostly used for thermal transfer printing. Durable and long-lasting, they resist abrasion, moisture, and chemicals. This makes them ideal for harsh industrial conditions and items used outdoors.


These materials are most commonly used for synthetic labels.

Polyolefin – This corona-treated material provides flexibility for labeling curved or rough surfaces.

Polypropylene – This high-quality material resists scratches, smears, and chemicals.  

Polyester – This material provides outstanding print quality and unparalleled smear, scratch, and chemical resistance.

Polyimide – This material withstands high temperatures up to 500°.

Long-life acrylic – This material is best for long-term outdoor use.

There are several types of labels to meet a wide variety of needs.

Stock – Stock labels are commonly used for a vast majority of applications.

Specialty – Specialty labels are a type of stock label designed for less-common applications.

Custom –

Custom labels are specially ordered to fit specific printing needs.

Preprinted – Preprinted labels are a type of custom label to which you can add colors, logos, text, and graphics. You can purchase labels that are fully printed or partially printed to add variable information in-house.


Inventory control, label design, and asset tracking systems use barcode labels to optimize manufacturing operations.

Barcode label – This software enables you to design, create, and print labels that comply with industry, federal, and international regulations.

Inventory management – This software automates the data collection process by identifying and tracking inventory such as raw materials and parts used by manufacturers to assemble products.

Asset tracking – This software automates the tracking of depreciable assets such as computers, office furniture, vehicles, and equipment.

System ID

Nicole Holcomb literally grew up around labels and printing. Putting that lifetime of knowledge to good use, Nicole helps customers solve the labeling needs of virtually any application in her role as Product Manager for Labels & Supplies at System ID. This creative problem solver unleashes her artistic side by creating customized clipboards and frames for her small craft business (while also daydreaming about being British, an obsession she’s had since her youth!).

Best Barcode Labels for Manufacturing – October 29, 2014

GHS, HCS Standards Changing Chemical Drum Labels – October 23, 201asset tags asset tracking labels barcode labels direct thermal inventory labels inventory management long-life acrylic paper labels permanent adhesive polyester labels polypropylene labels poyimide labels removable adhesive synthetic labels thermal transfer

The issues

Cleaning products are among the most significant sources of exposure to toxic chemicals in the home. The most important issues associated with household cleaners include:

Ingredient disclosure — In the past year, growing consumer concern about toxic cleaning products has lead most major U.S. manufacturers to publicly disclose the ingredients in their products. However, key gaps continue to limit our ability to assess product safety. Ingredient lists rarely contain information about the percent composition of different ingredients. In addition, some disclosed ingredients are generic. For example, many companies only indicate that a product contains fragrance — making it impossible to assess the safety of specific fragrance components, some of which are linked to allergies or other adverse health effects.

Environmental concerns — Cleaning products are typically washed down the drain to be processed by sewage treatment systems and then discharged into surface waters. Some widely used cleaning agents (like alkylphenol ethoxylate surfactants) bio-degrade into persistent compounds that may pose ecological risks. Over two-thirds of the streams sampled by the US Geological Survey have detectable concentrations of persistent detergent metabolites (as well as disinfectants) that originated in cleaning products.

What to look for

Non-toxic products that contain no ingredients of health concern, or only ingredients of low health concern. Note that you may want to avoid even low concern ingredients if you are concerned about avoiding exposures (to ingredients like monoethanolamine) that could cause asthma.

Controversial Ingredients

GoodGuide separates ingredients into two categories — “ingredients of health concern” and “controversial ingredients.” Only the former contribute to a product’s rating.

A chemical must be identified as a potential health hazard by a GoodGuide-approved authoritative source (e.g., a regulatory agency like EPA or a scientific group like the National Toxicology Program) in order to be labeled an ingredient of concern.. This system ensures that our ratings are based on the best available scientific evidence. Goodguide labels chemicals as “controversial” ingredients if they have not been identified as hazardous by authoritative sources, but are the subject of current debate regarding potential adverse effects. “Controversial” chemical designations do not contribute to the product rating because the evidence of hazard is inconclusive, however they are flagged in the event a consumer wants to avoid such chemicals.

Adjustment for products that lack full ingredient data

Some ingredient information available, but list includes generic categories potentially containing high or medium health concern ingredients

List includes generic fragrance, without further information

Some ingredient information available, but list includes generic categories potentially containing low health concern ingredients

All ingredients disclosed, including the constituents of generics like fragrance; or all ingredients reviewed and approved as part of a third-party certification

Adjustment for products that lack percent composition data

Adjusting Ratings if Ingredients are Granted a “Safe Use Exception”

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

These Regulations seek to ensure that where risks cannot be adequately controlled by other means, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is correctly selected and used. properly assessed before use to make sure it is fit for purpose maintained and stored properly provided with instructions on how to use it safely used correctly by employees.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 199The Management Regulations require employers to identify and assess risks to health and safety in order to determine appropriate means of reducing those risks to an acceptable level. A risk assessment can establish the need for safety footwear, and what the requirements are for the workplace you are buying for. This will give you a clear understanding of the hazards you wish to protect against and allow you to select the most appropriate PPE for your working environment.Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197(HSWA)

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable, which means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the risk in terms of money, time or trouble. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks.

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 199(Regulation 12)

This Regulation requires that floors be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions. People should be able to move around safely.

The EN Standards

The quickest way to make sure any piece of footwear satisfies the “essential requirements” to protect workers as set out in the PPE Regulations is to be sure it is certified to the relevant EN standards.

The safety features of footwear are tested according to a set of European test standards written into EN ISO 20344:200(revised by ISO 20344:2011). The performance specifications are given in an associated set of standards, namely:

EN ISO 20345:200(replaced by 20345:201– see below) for safety footwear: specifies a standard of 200 joules impact resistance (equivalent to a 20kg weight dropped 1020mm onto the toes), and a 15KN compression test (equivalent to 1.tonnes resting on the toe area).

EN ISO 20346:200for protective footwear: specifies a lesser standard of 100 joules impact resistance, and a 10KN compression test.

EN ISO 20347:200for occupational footwear: can have many of the features of safety and/or protective footwear but without the safety toecap.

Once tested and certified, footwear products are stamped with the CE mark. Note: the manufacturer must also provide user information indicating the applications for which the footwear is, or is not, suitable.The standards explainedThe latest standard for safety footwear most commonly used is:

This replaces the older EN 20345:200and EN 34standard on all new products. The earlier standards will still be seen on older stock but all new stock coming onto the market after June 201has to comply with EN 20345:201The relevant standard to which the footwear conforms will be identified on the footwear together with the level of protection provided. Footwear compliant with EN ISO 20345:201offers the greatest protection.

Special risks are covered by complementary job-related standards, for example footwear for firefighters, electrical insulating footwear, footwear protecting against chain saw injuries, chemicals, molten metal splash, and protection for motor cycle riders.

Some key points

All footwear designed before 200and still manufactured up to today carry EN ISO 20345:2004.

EN ISO 20345:200is the standard for footwear designed or retested after 200It sets out the minimum requirements that safety footwear must be successfully tested against.

EN ISO 20345:201applies to all footwear manufactured after 3July 2013; these products must meet that standard. EN ISO 20345:201sets out tougher minimum requirements that safety footwear must be successfully tested against. The standard specifies that all safety footwear must have toe protection.


To make selection easier, safety boots and footwear normally carries a simple two or three letter code which defines the basic safety standards for that particular product.  Typically this begins with an S for 200 Joule toe caps and less commonly P for 100 Joule toe caps; additional properties may be indicated by the use of further codes or pictograms.

As a basic requirement safety footwear must have a 200 joule toe cap. Other properties that may be included are: penetration resistance (midsole protection), conductive, anti-static, insulated against heat or cold, energy absorbing, outsole resistant to hot contact, water resistant.

As Splus resistance to Water Penetration and absorption.

As Splus Mid-Sole for penetration resistance and cleated outsole

Non-metallic footwear

Safety footwear containing no metal parts is ideal for workplaces with metal detectors like airports, eliminating the hassle of removing them.

All safety footwear can have more features than are listed above but these are the minimum requirements to meet each of the safety ratings and the most common.

Options for specific protection are categorised as

It is advisable to check labels on footwear to ensure the correct code for use is applicable; refer to user information leaflets for more detailed information on safety from individual brands.Slip ResistanceHowever, as indicated in the PPE Directive, slip resistance is considered a ‘basic requirement’ of all PPE footwear. As such, slip resistance performance should be tested using European standard BS EN ISO 13287:201Personal protective equipment. Footwear. Test method for slip resistance. EN ISO 1328gives a good indication of how well a sole is likely to grip.

The HSE advise that you check with your supplier whether the footwear you are interested in has actually been tested for slip resistance – older models might not have been. Where footwear has been tested, coefficient of friction (CoF) test values must be available. CoF data can be requested from the supplier and must be included in the user instructions.. Some suppliers now publish it in their catalogues. The higher the CoF, the better the slip resistance. Look for CoF results higher than the minimum requirements set out in annex A of EN ISO 20345/6/7: 200(A1:2007).

The safety features of footwear, including slip resistance, are also tested according to a set of European test standards written into EN ISO 20344:201Personal protective equipment. Test methods for footwear.

Depending on the test conditions chosen, footwear tested according to the EN standards is now marked with one of the following codes: SRA, SRB, SRC.

The codes indicate that the footwear has met the specified requirements when tested as follows:

SRA – tested on ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution

Employee consultation

As noted above, consultation with those wearing the PPE is crucial to make sure the correct PPE is chosen and that it is used and maintained properly.

Involving the end-users with regard to fit, comfort and wearability is likely to lead to better levels of user acceptance and therefore better protection.

Spotting counterfeit or illegal products

It is a basic health and safety requirement that all PPE be supplied with instructions for use, and must carry the CE mark. The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has put together a checklist that can help procurers of PPE spot potentially non-compliant products. The checklist asks:

Meeting the needs of your workforce

As we know, one of the key points in safety boot procurement is considering the user. We’ve looked at comfort and convenience, and achieving the best fit. Another important consideration is whether or not the user has a condition that could influence your choice of footwear. Some to consider are:


Diabetic work shoes aim to provide protection against diabetic foot injury. They can be made from breathable leather or suede materials and are designed to cushion while providing ankle, arch, and heel support, and evenly distributing body weight across the foot to avoid painful pressure points. Diabetic work shoes can also provide the extra depth necessary to accommodate custom-orthotics which can prevent foot pain and provide comfort.

Ensure a correct fit for people who suffer with diabetes because poor fitting shoes, whether too loose or too tight, can cause rubbing leading to ulcers and further complications if not treated.

Many people with diabetes experience numbness and loss of sensation in their feet, thus it becomes even more critical that they wear correct fitting shoes to ensure that ulcers do not develop.


Comfort is key. Feet may change shape as people get older, and this is especially the case if they have arthritis – size and width fitting will be a consideration here.

Leather uppers are usually the most comfortable for people with foot problems; a flexible sole can also be better unless a doctor or podiatrist has advised that rigid soles are better for a particular foot problem.

For those with hammer toes or prominent joints, smooth lining without seams would be better. Consider that special insoles or orthoses may be needed; where used it must be ensured that there’s enough room to fit them in the safety shoes, especially around the toes.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is injury to the tissue (fascia) that surrounds muscle and nerves on the bottom of the foot (plantar).

Excess weight that puts extra strain on the bottom of the foot, or standing for long periods of time, especially without good cushioning in the shoes, can also cause damage. Heel spurs are often seen with plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are deposits of calcium on the underside of the heel that may or may not cause pain; the calcium is deposited after stress or injury. Heel spur and plantar fasciitis are sometimes linked together under the term Heel Spur Syndrome.

Things to check when buying a work boot is the amount of supportive cushioning, the ability of the boot to take extra cushioning in the form of inserts or custom-made orthotics and how well the boot fits the needs of the job.


While the selection of safety boots and footwear appropriate to the wearer, environment and demands of the job is essential to ensuring that it provides the proper protection, inspecting the footwear for signs that it may need to be replaced is also crucial.

When inspecting safety footwear to see if it needs to be replaced, shoes with steel toecaps may show more obvious signs of damage or wear than shoes with composite material toecaps. For example, if a heavy object falls on a steel toe shoe, the steel cap will be dented and will not ‘spring back’, suggesting that the shoe must be replaced. Conversely, composite material shoes could still be damaged in the same incident but maintain their form.

Consider the tread on a slip-resistant safety shoe – once the tread or outsole show signs of wear or damage, the shoe is likely to need replacing.


The HSE advise that PPE must be properly looked after and stored when not in use, e.g. in a dry, clean cupboard. If it is reusable it must be cleaned and kept in good condition.

An effective maintenance system includes the following:

In general, PPE should be examined to ensure it is in good working order before being issued to the user. Such examinations should be carried out by appropriately trained staff. It should not be issued if found to be defective.

Manufacturers’ maintenance schedules and instructions should also be followed.

Employers can ask employees to clean their own PPE, but it is advised that this be stipulated in the person’s contract of employment. The employer would need to ensure proper cleaning instructions are provided so there is no damage and the employer should arrange for spot checks to ensure PPE is suitable.

FROM Agape Babies

WHAT A versatile cleaning spray that is good for use on a wide array of surfaces ― from glass to granite, laminate to stainless steel, and even hard-wood surfaces! It is also a non-toxic cleaning solution labelled as ammonia-, bleach-, phosphate-, phthalate- and sulphate-free. The plant-based cleaner claims to have been tested by paediatricians and dermatologists and is hypoallergenic, making for an easy (and painless) switch from your current wash liquids.

PARENTS SAY The spray makes it easy to use especially for stubborn stains at hard-to-reach areas. Plus, several mentioned that it is compatible with a wide variety of surfaces.

FROM Mothercare

WHAT If you have furkids at home, you’ll be happy to learn that Attitude’s all-purpose cleaner is recognised by the Beauty Without Bunnies initiative of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). The cleaning liquid is certified free from animal testing, and also free from cancer-causing carcinogens (yikes) like 1, 4-Dioxane and ethylene oxide. This spray is also ECOLogo certified.

PARENTS SAY Most parents didn’t know that carcinogenic materials lurk in some types of cleaning solution. One tester felt the spray function may make it a less economical choice especially when cleaning a large area.

5) Seventh Generation Free & Clear All-purpose Cleaner

FROM Pupsik Studio

WHAT A heavy-duty cleaning spray that is non-toxic and does not release harsh fumes (bad for the environment and baby’s developing lungs!). It is certified by the USDA — United States Department of Agriculture — Biobased label, verified by independent laboratories. The label assures you that the product contains a certain amount of biological ingredients, which are biodegradable (this product claims a 9per cent biological rating).

PARENTS SAY It a convenient alternative plus it is tailored to be suitable for sensitive skin, which should be gentler on baby’s soft skin.

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If you have done any research on how batteries work or what you should look for when selecting a battery, you’re probably buried in information, some of which is conflicting. At BatteryStuff, we aim to clear that up a bit. You’ve most likely heard the term KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). I’m going to attempt to explain how lead acid batteries work and what they need, without burying you with a bunch of needless technical data. I have found that battery data will vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, so I will do my best to boil that data down. This means I may generalize a bit, while staying true to purpose.

The lead acid battery has been used commercially for over 100 years. The same chemical principle that’s being used to store energy is basically the same as our great grandparents used.

A battery is like a piggy bank. If you keep taking out and putting nothing back, you’ll have nothing left. Present day chassis battery power requirements are huge. Consider today’s vehicle and all the electrical devices that must be supplied with power. All these electronics require a reliable source power, and poor battery condition can cause expensive electronic component failure. Did you know that the average auto has 1pounds of wire in the electrical system? Look at RVs and boats with all the electrical gadgets that require power. It wasn’t long ago when trailers or motor homes had only a single 12-volt house battery. Today it’s standard to recreational vehicle batteries powering inverters up to 4000 watts. Average battery life has become shorter as energy requirements have increased. Life span depends on usage—usually to 4months—yet only 30% of all batteries actually reach the 48-month mark. You can extend your battery life by hooking it up to a solar charger during the off months.

If you can grasp the basics, you’ll have fewer battery problems and will gain greater battery performance, reliability and longevity. I suggest you read the entire tutorial; however, I ‘ve indexed all the information for easy reference.

A Few Basics

The lead acid battery is made up of plates, lead, and lead oxide (various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.), with a 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution. This solution is called electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction that produces electrons. When you test a battery with a hydrometer, you are measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. If your reading is low, that means the chemistry that makes electrons is lacking. So where did the sulfur go? It’s resting on the battery plates so that when you recharge the battery, the sulfur returns to the electrolyte.

Battery Don’ts

You must think safety when you’re working around, and with, batteries. Remove all jewelry. (After all, you wouldn’t want to melt your watchband while you’re wearing it!) The hydrogen gas that batteries make when charging is very explosive. We have seen several instances of batteries blowing up and drenching everything in sulfuric acid. That was no fun, and would have been a good time to use those safety goggles hanging on the wall. Heck, you could even break out your disco outfit. Polyester isn’t affected by sulfuric acid, but anything with cotton will be eaten up. If you don’t feel the need to make a fashion statement, just wear junk clothes—after all, polyester is still out of style.

When doing electrical work on vehicles, it’s best to disconnect the ground cable. Just remember that you’re messing with corrosive acid, explosive gases and hundreds of amps of electrical current.

Basically, there are two types of lead acid batteries (along with three sub categories). The two main types are starting (cranking), and deep cycle (marine/golf cart). The starting battery (SLI starting lights ignition) is designed to deliver quick bursts of energy (such as starting engines) and therefore has a greater plate count. The plates are thinner and have somewhat different material composition.

The deep cycle battery has less instant energy, but greater long-term energy delivery. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and can survive a number of discharge cycles. Starting batteries should not be used for deep cycle applications because the thinner plates are more prone to warping and pitting when discharged. The so-called Dual Purpose Battery is a compromise between the two types of batteries, though it is better to be more specific if possible.


Load testing is yet another way of testing a battery. Load test removes amps from a battery much like starting an engine would. A load tester can be purchased at most auto parts stores. Some battery companies label their battery with the amp load for testing. This number is usually half of the CCA rating. For instance, a 500 CCA battery would load test at 250 amps for 1seconds. A load test can only be performed if the battery is near or at full charge.

Riding Hat Dos and Dont’s

Do replace your riding hat immediately if it suffers an extreme impact.

Do buy the best riding hat you can afford and never compromise safety.

Do throw away a hat that has sustained a significant level of impact is thrown away even if the damage isn’t visible.

Do report any accidents you and your hat are involved in to the British Horse Society as they maintain records of how hats perform.

Do replace your riding hat every years – because the padding compresses with wear and factors such as sunlight can break down its construction.

Materials of horse riding hats

Once upon a time horse riding hats were only made of velvet but nowadays different materials are widely available. Velvet, vinyl, leather-look, suede-look and plastic are all options as long as they include the correct safety rating. For competitions, check the requirements beforehand to ensure your hat meets the required criteria as you may be eliminated.

Choosing your riding hat

There are two genres of riding hats: single size and adjustable. Choosing between them depends on your discipline and riding ability.

These type of riding hats are most commonly used. The benefits of this type of hat are:

Features of a riding hat

The features that you require of your riding hat depend on what sort of riding you plan to use it for. This decision will be difficult your hat will be dual or even multi-purpose. So you may need to draw up a list of your requirements using a MoSCoW or priority rating system:

The Retention Harness

The chin strap is often overlooked despite being a key part of the hat. It needs to be easily adjustable so that it feels comfortable. The purpose of the chin strap is to ensure that the hat does not move and that it stays in the correct position on your head whilst you’re riding.  It should always be securely fastened under the chin and you should only be able to get one finger under it when it’s on. If you can get two fingers, side by side under the strap, the strap is not tight enough.  Adjust the chin strap before you adjust any of the other straps or dials if the hat has one.

The straps at the back and side of the hat come if several different designs but all serve the same purpose: to stop the hat from tipping forwards.  Fasten them equally.

Hats either have a 3- or a 4- point harness. The ‘3’ and the ‘4’ simply relate to the number of places it can be adjusted. Obviously a 4-point harness is more desirable as it means that you’ll be able to adjust fit in the maximum number of places for the best fit without compromising on safety.

Low Profile

There’s much talk of hats being ‘low profile’ but what does this actually mean? Low profile hats tend to be sleeker and less bulky than other hats but are still designed to provide the same level of protection. This means that when you’re riding in it, you so you won’t feel like you are riding around with a giant football helmet.  

A Removable Liner

Who’d have thought – a removable lining for a riding hat? Whoever invented it deserves a gold medal! There are a number of benefits to riding hats with this feature. The liner:

Some of these liners are attached via Velcro while others are attached via tiny poppers.


Consider buying a ventilated hat if you have a ‘hot head’! From the safety angle, if you’re concerned about whether a vented hat will provide the same level of protection as a non-vented one…be assured that it will. Vented riding hats go through the same rigorous testing process and having vents does not reduce the level of protection. A good example is the Gatehouse RXCSkull Cap. It’s the most protective riding hat we sell. It has vents and yet still has the greatest level of safety certification, i.e. Snell E200and PAS: 015.

From the aesthetic angle, if you’re concerned about how the hat will look when you’ve got it on, the vents are incorporated in to the overall design of the hat giving a modern look which is incredibly popular.

Designed to be at the back of the hat, an Adjustable Size Dial has a few benefits worth mentioning. It means that:





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your All Purpose Labels wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of All-Purpose Labels



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