Using Inkjet Labels on DVDs?

What are folks experiences using CD labels on DVDs?

I sometimes give DVDs of home movies to grandparents and it seems so, well, tacky, to give them DVDs labeled in a sharpy. I would like to label them neatly and I do not have a printer that prints directly to DVDs.

I have read that the high speed of DVDs make the use of DVD/CD labels risky due to balance/jiggle problems.

Has anyone seen these or other problems?



I have seen a paper label start to lose small pieces (it looked like the glue had dried out). I can only assume that little pieces had started spinning off in the drive.

Using stick-on labels on DVDs is not recommended. You are correct that they cause balance and jitter problems. Also there are often issues with heat buildup during playback causing the glue to break down or other bad effects.

Getting discs that have inkjet printable tops is a much better option. I am making my own home movie collection right now and printing to the tops of printable DVDs and CDs with the Epson Stylus Photo R200 printer. The results are quite good! Shown here is a very simple label that I designed. Since then I have done some very nice full colour ones.

IMO there are 2 things to watch out for with inkjet printing:

  1. Generally the inks are water soluble. If you spill water on the disc then the ink will smudge. You can get fixative sprays that ‘seal’ the ink but the safety of these sprays with respect to chemical interactions with the disc is unknown. (Common ingredients in fixative sprays are acetone and xylene. Does anyone know if these are safe for CDs and DVDs?)

  2. Different brands of printable discs will have different inner measurements on the inner hub, so you have to be very careful to measure the disc with a ruler and set up the software correctly, otherwise your printer will try to print on the hub, resulting in strange printing defects.

This is SORT of on topic. I have often wondered about using Sharpie type permenant markers on laquered disks, adn if there’s a problem with getting too clise to the hub out outter edge of the disk while writing.

Also, I’ve often wondered what chemical is used as a vehicle. I wonder if it’s the same as the fixative sprays Jucius Maximus had mentioned? I’ve used sharpie markers on quite a few cd’s, and have never noticed them failing more than those I had labled, so I assume that it’s entirely safe and does not harm the matereal at all.


Btw whats the better way to write on printable cds? with cd pen it seems to dry the pen and it stop writing for some time +_+

@Joe_Dirt ~ There should be no problem writing too close to the middle or the edge if the disc is properly manufactured. As to the chemicals in fixative sprays, I don’t know if they are similar to the chemicals that in markers that are safe to use on CDs.

@Tiao_Macaleh ~ Your inkjet printer of course! Those CDs are not designed for Sharpies as they absorb the ink away from the pen tip.

do yourself a big favor and get he epson printer 200 or 300 that prints on printable dvds, i have the 300 and it is awsome. prices have dropped on the two printers, check them out. you will love them.

well - there is no problem with whatever you write on printable DVD’s with because the data layer is sealed below the dummy acetate - therefore fixative agents cannot POSSIBLY have an affect on data integrity. I have tried inkjet labels without problems - but i don’t recommend them as they are poor construction - go with the printables and a printer

I have the R200 (which is the same as the R300 minus a few features) and I must agree that this is a highly recommended option for printing on CDs and DVDs.

Thank you very much for this information. :bow:

btw - i also mark on my printables (DVD) wid a pen (lightly) and as long as it is one of those rollerball’s they are OK. For CD - especially those with no printing on the top - i can confirm that writing with permanent marker WILL cause the LACQUER to be REMOVED or DISPERSED - the reflective layer will “rust” or “rot” and your discs will be dead … i lost many to that.