Bar coded labels are more vulnerable to the environment and what we do to them than most labels used around the office. This means they need extra attention and care. You need to store barcodes correctly to maximize their life and protect your data. The labels are strong, but not indestructible. Following these precautions will assure your barcode labels will be in good condition at the scanning time.

Never bend or fold bar code labels. If label is bent or crinkled, it may cause severe damage to the printed bar code areas as well as make the bar code data irretrievable.

Whenever labels are not being used, they should be stored in a protective envelope or case.

Temperature and humidity are also important. Never leave labels in direct sunlight or in areas where humidity is extremely high or low.

Do not expose to dust and dirt.

Do not spill liquids or allow moisture to condense on the label sheets.

Do not apply solvents.

Avoid handling printed surfaces.

The force of a pen can damage the label surface. Use only soft-felt-tipped, permanent ink pens and write only on the designated areas i.e. filer code box on PAPS labels. Water-soluble pens work best—their ink dries quickly and minimizes smearing. Ballpoint pens or other hard-point writing utensils may damage the label. PARS labels do not require any writing or marking.

Be sure to apply the label properly, avoiding scratches and bending. Separate it carefully. A label will adhere best to a surface (invoice) when it's properly separated from its liner. To avoid weakening the adhesive, peel the liner from the label by grabbing the label's top or bottom, keeping the label as flat as possible. Labels will stick best to a surface that is dry and free of oil, dust, or any other foreign substances.
If you try to reposition the label after it is partially stuck on the manifest, you run the risk of damaging the bar code and the manifest as you remove the partially stuck label.

Research has shown that some sunscreens can smear the print. Also storing the labels in plastic folders can severely damage the printed bar code area. If such folders must be used, be sure to place sheets of acid-free (laser safe) plain paper between printed side of labels and plastic surfaces.