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The Journey

Using WayTags in the Washer, the Freezer, and Other Harsh Environments

October 05, 2018 | BY Jessica Hipp

Many people ask whether WayAround will withstand harsh environments, like going through the washer and dryer or being used in the freezer. Frozen food items and clothing can be notoriously challenging to find a braille or tactile label that works. The WayAround solution works even for these hard-to-label items.

WayAround offers two types of WayTags that work even when they are hot, cold, or wet. Both of the plastic WayTag buttons are waterproof and are designed to withstand going through the washer and dryer. They have the highest waterproof rating possible, so it is perfectly safe to use them in water. If you're someone who likes the technical info, WayTag buttons are rated to IP68. This means they can be fully submerged in water over 1 meter deep for more than 30 minutes without damage.

The WayTag buttons can tolerate temperatures between -40 degrees Fahrenheit and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. That means you can put them in the freezer or the dryer, without worrying about damage.

Using WayAround in the Washer or Dryer

Many types of braille or tactile labels must be removed during laundering, since they may be damaged. In some cases, these labels may damage the garment because of rust or sharp edges. With waterproof WayTags, you can be confident that it will all come out in the wash.

Several black buttons in a pileWhen you first use WayAround to label clothing or other items that will go through the washer, plan how you will attach the WayTags. You'll first need to choose which type of button you prefer: the two-hole button or oval hole button. Both work exactly the same. The difference is in how they can be attached.

The two-hole button is about the size of a nickel and has two button holes for it to be sewn onto an item. Check out our blind-friendly sewing kit, available in the laundry starter pack. It comes with a self-threading needle and invisible thread.

Black, shiny button with a kidney-bean shaped notch in the centerThe oval hole button has a notch cut in the center that feels like a smile. This button is a bit larger than the two-hole button, and can be attached via a safety pin. We recommend using stainless steel safety pins so they don't rust after multiple washes.

While we're on the subject of laundry, you can also tag garments that must be dry cleaned. In fact, WayAround is great for keeping track of your dry clean only items, and when they were last cleaned. 

The temperatures used in dry cleaning should not affect the WayTags. However some chemicals used in dry cleaning may degrade plastic, PVC, or polyurethane, so the WayTags may be affected. Your best bet is to check with your dry cleaner and let them know your clothes have plastic tags inside.

WayAround for the Freezer

WayAround is a great option for labeling frozen foods. Using the detail types in the app, you can include the item name, thawing and cooking instructions, and a use by date.

Freezer shelf with two frozen items that have a rubber band and oval hole WayTag.The best WayTag for the freezer is the oval hole button. Simply loop a rubber band or hair elastic through the oval hole, and then attach the band to a frozen food item. You may want to opt for an elastic or kitchen twine, as rubber sometimes snaps when frozen.

WayTags are a great way to label frozen food, since the tactile buttons are easy to locate. Rather than having to search a frosty package for a barcode and then focus a camera, WayTags are easy to find and quick to scan.

Other Hot, Cold, or Wet Environments

While the freezer and washing machine are the most common applications for WayAround, here are some other situations that you may consider using a waterproof WayTag.

  • The Dishwasher. Verify the temperature on your appliance, especially if you use heated drying. WayTags can withstand up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Outdoors. Tie oval hole buttons to plant markers or stakes to record information about growing, maintenance, and harvesting.
  • The Shower. If you have multiple bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or soaps, use the oval hole button WayTags to easily identify which is which.
  • The Fridge. Most WayTags will work in the refrigerator, since temperatures do not dip below freezing. If you keep your fridge on the cold side or have pockets where things tend to freeze, consider using a WayTag button that's more durable against extreme conditions. 

Other Types of WayTags in Extreme Conditions

Only the two types of WayTag buttons are waterproof and rated for extreme temperatures. The WayTag stickers, magnets, and clips are water resistant, meaning that if a bit of water gets on them you can wipe it off. Submerging any of these WayTags in water or letting moisture remain on them for a long time could impact the NFC technology.

For cold or hot situations, or for use with water, you can't go wrong with either of the WayTag buttons. These waterproof WayTags will provide ease and confidence in providing detailed information about hard-to-label items.

Jessica Hipp

About the Author

Jessica Hipp email:jessica.hipp@wayaround.com

Jessica Hipp is marketing director of WayAround, overseeing marketing, communications, and community and partner relations. She loves innovative technologies that make the world a better place, and she caught the WayAround vision early on. Jessica brings fifteen years of marketing and public relations experience that spans non-profit, public, and corporate sectors, including several Fortune 500 companies. She has worked both in-house and with agencies, and she specializes in the technology and education verticals. Jessica lives with her husband and son in southern New Hampshire.

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