Bubble wrap is arguably the most fun packing material. The hundreds of small, air-filled holes that line its surface are satisfying to pop, no matter how old you are. 

Using bubble wrap can make packing fun, too if it’s used properly. The protection it offers can put your mind at ease, no matter how fragile your items are. It’s also very lightweight, so it doesn’t raise shipping costs

It is important to use bubble wrap correctly to give your items the most protection possible. Understanding your item’s protection needs, the correct wrapping methods, and what additional materials you’ll need can help you get the most value and protection out of your material. 

Let BoxGenie guide you through how to use bubble wrap properly.  

When to Use Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap provides dependable protection for fragile items as they ship. Protecting your items gives you peace of mind and prevents the hassle of broken items. Dealing with returns and complaints takes time and money, so using protective packaging materials saves you in the long run. 

To decide if using bubble wrap is right for your items, consider the level of protection your items need and what packaging you are already using. For example, the bubble wrap is already built into the envelope if you’re shipping smaller items using a poly mailer. There is no need to include additional bubble wrap. 

If you are shipping anything that is breakable or just needs an extra layer of protection from scratches or bumps, bubble wrap is the choice for you. Anything heavy, valuable, or breakable can especially benefit from a layer but err on the side of caution. 

Picking the Right Kind of Bubble Wrap

Picking out the right kind of bubble wrap for your items can be overwhelming. You’ll find a wide selection, varying in size, color, and styles, such as bags, tubing, sheets, and specialty styles like corner protection for frames. To sort through the options and select the right kind of bubble wrap, evaluate what items you’ll be shipping, what size they are, and how much protection they need. 

Bubble wrap comes in many different sheet widths, lengths, and bubble sizes. Smaller bubbles provide less protection but fit well in smaller boxes. The larger bubbles provide the most protection. Many suppliers also allow you to customize the size of your bubble wrap if the standard sizes don’t meet your needs. 

Bubble wrap tubing provides great protection for long or unusually shaped items. Corner guards provide a great solution to shipping frames, mirrors, or anything else with a corner that could dent during transit. 

If you are shipping electronics of any kind, be sure to use anti-static bubble wrap. Static electricity from bubble wrap can damage electronic chips. Opt for anti-static bubble wrap, which dissipates electric charges using anti-static plastic. 

Wrapping Your Items

Once you have gathered the proper bubble wrap for your items, it is time to wrap them. How you wrap your items is a very important part of the process. Having the correct materials alone does not ensure maximum protection.

There are different wrapping methods, but the same general principles apply. Make sure to use all the necessary materials, cover all surfaces, and secure well. 

Here are some pointers for how to use bubble wrap to wrap your items properly: 

  • Wrap on a flat surface. To get started, make sure you have a flat, dry, uncluttered surface to work on. Make ample space to lay out the sheets of bubble wrap. 
  • Lay the wrap bubble side up. One of the most important things to remember when wrapping your items is that the bubbles should face the items. Bubble wrap has two sides – one that is flat and one with bubbles.
    The textured surface of the bubbles grips the items better than the flat side. This keeps your items from shifting around during transit. If wrapped correctly, the flat side will be on the outside and will protect the bubbles from being popped by the box. 
  • Choose a wrapping method. Two methods can be used to wrap your items. First is the “burrito” method. Place the item in one corner or side of the bubble wrap sheet. Then, roll up the item in the bubble wrap, forming a cylindrical or “burrito” shape.
    The second method involves folding rather than rolling. Place the item in the center of the sheet of bubble wrap. Then, fold the bubble wrap from both sides to cover the item. 
  • Use enough bubble wrap. More is better than less when it comes to protection. Make sure your items are completely covered and consider adding another layer or two of wrap around them. A single layer protects the surface of your item from scratches, but multiple layers offer protection against bumps and drops. 
  • Use tape. If needed, use tape to hold the bubble wrap in place around your item. This avoids the wrap slipping off or unrolling during transit.
  • Use with other materials. Bubble wrap alone is not enough to protect your item. It is still important to use a sturdy, correctly-sized box for shipping. If there are any empty spaces in your items, like in a glass, fill them with paper. Protect items with foam, if needed, and fill empty spaces in the box with packing peanuts.
  • Use scissors to remove bubble wrap. If you need to remove bubble wrap from an item for any reason, don’t try to tear it off with your hands. Doing so can damage the item or cause you to drop it. Instead, use scissors to cut and remove the wrap carefully. 

Wrapping Irregularly-Shaped Items

Shipping irregularly sized items is a hassle. If the items you’re shipping are irregularly sized, simply rolling them up in a single layer of bubble wrap might not work. Instead, use separate layers of wrap targeting the potentially vulnerable areas of the item.

First, pad the weakest part of the item. Depending on your item, this might be the stem of a glass, the neck of an instrument, or a section of glass. Whatever part it is, make sure that it receives an extra layer of protection. Then, wrap the whole item in bubble wrap.

Wrapping in sections like this prevents damage to weaker portions of your irregularly shaped item.

Wrap With Confidence 

Bubble wrap is a great packaging tool, especially when it is used properly. Whether you are shipping fragile, heavy, or valuable items or just want a little bit of extra protection, using bubble wrap gives you the peace of mind that your items are safe and secure.

Consider your item’s size, protection needs, and special circumstances before selecting your bubble wrap. Use sufficient layers, make sure the bubbles face the items, and tape it well. Be mindful of irregularly sized items and how you remove bubble wrap as well. Taking all of these factors into consideration pays off in the long run.  

You can’t control the conditions your package encounters while in transport, but you can control how you pack your items. Using the correct type of wrap for your items, layering the wrap, and incorporating other packing materials can provide your items the protection they need to arrive at your customer safely. 

Visit Box Genie for all of your shipping needs or for more advice to ensure your package arrives safely.

 

Sources:

  1. Is Bubble Wrap Antistatic? | Newswire 
  2. How to Use Bubble Wrap | Bubble Wrap Manufacturers 
  3. Best Bubble Wrap for Shipping | Small Biz Trends 

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