They hold up in hot, freezing, and wet conditions alike.
You've got to love Post-it Notes. The super-convenient, re-stickable sheets of paper perfect for leaving quick notes, jotting down phone numbers, or annotating documents have become an office supply mainstay since their introduction over 40 years ago. 3M's innovative marvel sticks and removes cleanly and the bright colors—with the signature canary yellow being the most recognizable—have been used for everything from murals to practical jokes.
But until now, the standard Post-it Note was more-than-likely used in the kitchen as a bookmark for your favorite cookbook recipes or as an easy, pocket-sized shopping list. Writing "buy milk" on a Super Sticky variety might even survive the repeated gusts of the refrigerator door opening and closing until you hit the grocery store again. But in an effort to be even more practical and perfect, Post-it is launching a brand new line next month that could come in handy in home and commercial kitchens alike: Post-it Extreme Notes.
We asked 3M just what made these Post-it Notes so Extreme (sorry, Romy and Michele, it's not just extra epoxide or glucose derivatives). It turns out that they're made with something the company calls Dura-Hold paper and adhesive, which is an altogether new technology from the standard notes you probably have sitting on your desk. The notes are water resistant, able to stick in hot and cold environments (from 0 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit), and can stick (and peel off) cleanly on a variety of porous and non-porous surfaces from stainless steel to wood and brick. While it's easy to imagine all of these scenarios in a kitchen alone, Post-it is pitching Extreme notes as a tool for any outside-the-office workspace.
The Post-it Notes team tells us the idea for the hyper-practical product came from solving a much larger concept: communication. "According to research, 48 percent of the workforce outside of a traditional office setting experiences communication challenges in their areas of work. Communication is key to success in places such as kitchens, construction sites, home improvement projects, etc. so we developed Post-it Extreme Notes as the communication solution to effectively communicate important messages, reminders, recipes, etc.," representatives said via email interview.
To prove this point, 3M tested the product in Fairbanks, Alaska. "We gave members of the community, including restaurant owners, Post-it Extreme Notes to use for a month. They withstood extreme heat in the kitchen, extreme cold in freezers, stayed on deliveries left out in the snow and remained secure on shelves over stoves and boiling pots allowing the kitchen staff to effectively communicate," a representative for the brand explains. "The team also did a number of tests including weathering tests, as well as high heat and freezer-like settings."
We were supplied with some samples earlier this month and promptly sent them down to the test kitchen for, well, testing. The slightly waxy-feeling paper is a little tougher to rip and has a sheen and texture to it not unlike masking tape, while the adhesive definitely feels tackier to the touch. Test Kitchen Manager Kelsey Youngman says the notes worked surprisingly well over the course of a couple of days. "We adhered the Post-it to our commercial sanitizing dishwasher, near the steam vent. It remained stuck, though was damp. The Post-it retained its integrity and stick-ability after removal from the dishwasher." In that condition in particular, what you actually write on the note with comes into play. According to Youngman, Sharpie and ballpoint pen writing stayed put, while a gel pen ended up smearing and fading away. (The brand clarifies that pencil and permanent marker are ideal for wet conditions.) F&W contributor David McCann added—repurposing the famous Timex watch slogan—Post-it Extreme "takes a lickin' and keeps on stickin'!"
Whether noting preparation or expiration dates in the fridge and freezer, conveying cooking instructions, or simply indicating whether or not the dishes in the dishwasher are done, our tests seemed to prove that Post-it has indeed devised an "Extreme-ly" ideal sticky note for the kitchen and beyond.
Post-it Extreme Notes will be available in stores this March in three- and twelve-packs starting at $4.99 and featuring four different colors.