The ubiquity of the Post-it Note is real, its dominance so complete it belongs to the ranks of Kleenex, Band-Aid and dumpster in earning the most contradictory of rewards: the generic trademark — culturally, at least, if not legally.
This month, Post-it’s parent company, 3M, released the first variation on the classic Post-it Note since 2003, when a “Super Sticky” version was brought into the fold. The Post-it Extreme Note is, allegedly, the answer to notes coming undone at the sight of a drop of water, a gust of the A/C or hot, stickiness-melting conditions. The Post-it Extreme — henceforth known as “the Extreme” — features a proprietary paper and adhesive material called Dura-Hold, which Post-it Brand says gives the note the means to survive the elements. But just how extreme is the Extreme? I decided to put the name to the test.
The good: I dribbled some tap water on a note stuck to our office beer fridge and the note showed no signs of faltering. It still clung to the stainless steel fridge without issue. Then, upping the ante more times than is fair, perhaps, I dunked a note stuck to a ceramic coffee mug in a water-filled sink and held it submerged for an arbitrary 60 seconds. The note didn’t budge, and the writing could be read clear as day (it began to peel around 5 minutes).
3M claims that the Extreme is weather resistant. If you paid any attention to the weather last week, you’ll know the Northeast received quite a bit of snow — the perfect scenario to test the notes. I stuck ten notes on the exterior of my brick-laid apartment complex during the storm and, miraculously, six of the ten stayed in place from early afternoon until late evening.
As for heat, the adhesive of Post-it Notes is known to deteriorate and eventually fail in high heat spaces. I attached an Extreme to a coffee mug and proceeded to microwave the note for different intervals: 30 seconds, a minute, two minutes, then five minutes. The note remained decidedly stuck to its surface. Similarly, the note stuck on a mug placed in front of a space heater for more time than I was willing to pay for a space heater to run in my apartment — roughly two hours.
But what about heat and moisture? I poured a half-pot of my favorite hot, water-based, delicious, prone-to-spills beverage on a note stuck to a daily planner and and its grip remained unfazed. Touché, Post-it.
Watch out for: There are two caveats to its water-resistance: One, it will be less likely to effectively stick to an already wet surface, but a simple wipe from your shirt sleeve should suffice. Two, you can’t use a gel ink pen; the ink doesn’t set in the paper, causing a sad, smudgy mess.
Who they are for: The company markets the Extreme Notes to construction workers and DIYers, but everyone with things to remind themselves of should find plenty of use for tougher stationary.