Although we’ve become less and less reliant on the mail system with advances in technology, there are still numerous occasions when it make sense to send something through snail mail.
Whether you’re paying your bills, sending out wedding invitations, or mailing thank you letters, the mailing system still makes sense for plenty of us in the right situations.
If you’ve ever mailed out even 10 items at once, you know that licking your envelopes to seal them is less than ideal. There has to be a better way, right?
While you might have to still rely on the mailing system from time to time, you don’t have to seal your envelopes the traditional way anymore. With that being said, let’s take a look at the various ways you can seal your envelopes without licking them shut.
How to Seal Envelopes Without Licking Them
Let’s face it. No one enjoys licking envelopes. If someone tells you that they do, they’re probably pulling one over on you.
Thankfully, there are many ways to seal envelopes these days, without requiring your saliva. Let’s take a look at some of these methods below.
1 – Use Your Finger
By far the cheapest method for sealing an envelope without licking it is to simply use your finger. All you need is a finger (you hopefully have one of these) and a small bowl of warm water.
Warm water seems to work better than cold water, so make sure your water is at least room temperature. Simply dab your finger in the water and run it along the adhesive on your envelopes. Try not to use too much, so the envelope doesn’t wrinkle.
2 – Use an Envelope Moistener
Another simple and commonly used method is to use an envelope moistener. Envelope moisteners are basically a small bottle of water with a sponge attached to the opening of the bottle.
To use this, simply flip the bottle upside down (sponge side facing down), squeeze lightly, and run it along the adhesive on your envelopes. Try not to squeeze too much, as you don’t want too much water getting on the envelope.
These can be found at a fairly low cost online or at a local craft store.
3 – Use Your Child’s Water Pen
This option is basically the same as the one above, but you might already have one sitting somewhere in your child’s toy box. A water pen is essentially a tiny bottle that you fill with water that has a small brush on the end.
This water and brush combination works just like the method above (squeeze lightly, then run the brush over the adhesive). Why buy something when you already have something that will work at home?
4 – Use a Moistening Wheel
A moistening wheel is a small ceramic wheel housed in a square container. The container is filled with water, then as the ceramic wheel is rotated, it wets the surface of anything running along it, including the adhesive portion of envelopes.
Moistening wheels have been around for a very long time. To find one, you’ll probably have to check a local vintage shop or look for something used online. This is a unique item, so while there are better ways to get the job done, it would still be an interesting item to own and use.
5 – Use a Glue Stick
For a simple method that probably doesn’t require a trip to the store, you can seal your envelopes with a glue stick. Simply run the glue stick along the sealing portion of the envelope, then press firmly to seal. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
6 – Use Tape
Another method that likely won’t result in spending any of your hard earned money is to use tape. When using tape, you have a couple of options. One is to close the envelope, then tape the flap to the body of the envelope by putting a piece of tape across both.
The other option is to use double-sided tape to place the tape under the flap. By using double-sided tape, the tape won’t be visible, so you’ll get a more professional look.
7 – Use a Sealing Sticker
One of the easiest methods for sealing envelopes is to use a sealing sticker. A sealing sticker is a small sticker that’s placed at the bottom of a triangle-shaped flap on an envelope to keep the envelope closed.
Sealing stickers seem to be gaining in popularity. One reason is that they are customizable. You can either purchase blank sealing stickers online and customize them yourself, or you can purchase ones that have already been customized prior to shipping.
One drawback of using a sticker is that it won’t seal the entire edge of the envelope. Stickers are typically used for invitations (with a message printed on the sticker).
Since invitations take up the entire space inside an envelope, you don’t need the entire edge sealed to keep them from falling out.
8 – Use an Embossed Foil Seal
Similar to the sealing stickers mentioned above, you can also use an embossed foil seal. These are typically peal and stick as well.
Because these foil seals can be embossed, they have a more professional appearance. They might make more sense than the other options in certain situations, such as with traditional wedding invitations.
9 – Use a Humidifier
If you really want to think outside of the box, you can use the moisture generated by a humidifier to seal your envelopes. Simply run the edge of your envelope over the mist coming out of your humidifier, then close and press to seal.
10 – Seal with Wax
One of the more traditional ways to seal envelopes is to use wax. Wax has been used for this purpose for hundreds of years and can provide a very formal look to your envelopes.
To use wax, melt some sealing wax, part of a candle, or part of a crayon, then place it where you would place a sticker, as mentioned above. As the wax begins to harden, you can press a symbol or letter into the wax for a personal touch.
11 – Use Clear Nail Polish
Another unique way to seal your envelopes is to use nail polish. People seem to find new uses for nail polish all the time, and this is one of them that makes a lot of sense.
Simple run your nail polish along the adhesive edge, then close and press to seal. You might want to use a clear polish to prevent any color from being visible through the paper on the envelope.
12 – Use an Envelope Sealing Machine
If you have a lot of envelopes to seal, your best option might be to get a commercial sealing machine. Sealing machines are regularly used by businesses that regularly send out a lot of mail.
These machines come in two varieties: manual and automatic. The manual version requires each envelope to be fed one by one, while the automatic version can handle a stack of envelopes.
Both versions work similarly in that they moisten the adhesive portion of the envelope, then close and press the envelopes to seal them.
13 – Buy Press and Seal Envelopes
One of the easiest methods to seal envelopes without licking is to simply buy and use press and seal envelopes. Press and seal envelopes have adhesives on both the flap and body of each envelope. When pressed together, they bond, forming a seal.
You’ll pay a little more for press and seal envelopes over traditional envelopes, but for most, the benefit more than makes up for the additional cost.
14 – Buy Peel and Seal Envelopes
A popular variation of the envelopes mentioned above are peel and seal envelopes. With peel and seal envelopes, the adhesive is only along the flap of the envelope, but it is covered with a piece of material that needs to be removed to activate the adhesive.
After removing the material covering the adhesive, simple close the flap and press it down to create the seal.
15 – Try a DIY Method
The last method I’ll mention is one that you should be able to pull off with items already at your disposal. All you need is an applicator and a small bowl of water.
For the applicator, use something that can hold a bit of water, such as a cotton swab, small sponge, or small sponge brush. Simply dip your applicator into your bowl of water, then run it along the adhesive on your envelopes.
Once wet, close the flap, then press to create the bond.
While we still have to use the traditional mailing system in certain situations, we no longer need to use the outdated method of licking the envelopes shut.
When you can go digital, I recommend doing so. But when that isn’t an option, or it simply doesn’t make sense in today’s world (such as with event invitations and thank you cards), at least you have better options than licking to seal your envelopes.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.