We Tried Out The New Post-it Extreme Notes So You Don’t Have To

published Jun 1, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Regular Post-it Notes have so many uses—letting your teen daughter know you’re at Luke’s, creating a path to avoid setting off the security alarm installed by the town goofball, claiming items you want after your wealthy parents pass away, and probably some non-Gilmore Girls related applications as well — but now there are Post-it Extreme Notes. We recently tested them out, so you don’t have to wonder.

What Makes Them Extreme?

Just in case everything you know about Post-it notes comes from Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, know first that Michelle’s legendary speech is hot nonsense. Post-it notes really use a “microsphere adhesive” which allow them to adhere to surfaces, remove easily, and re-stick. The new Extreme versions use a similar technology, but, according to 3M, “these notes will hold up in hot, cold and wet conditions. They stick to tough and textured surfaces like concrete, raw and painted wood, and tile.” The product development process involved testing the notes at a variety of businesses—a microbrewery, horse farm, and construction sites—and making adjustments.

Our Testers

We decided to see how well the Extreme Notes performed in a somewhat rugged environment—Kitchn‘s studio and test kitchen—where a team of testers put them through the wringer:

Anita Chomenko: Production Assistant, Kitchn
Hillary Halter: Photo Editor, Kitchn
Margaret Lee: Art Director, Apartment Therapy

Look & Feel

Extreme Post-its look a lot like regular Post-its, but feel different. If you have both types on hand, it won’t be hard to tell the difference between the two kinds, or get them mixed up.

Hillary: They’re kind of weird. I guess they sort of just feel like plastic-y paper.
Margaret: They are the same thickness of a normal Post-it, but they feel like they are made from tape material. They are not fully opaque; if you hold one up to the light, you can semi-see through it. The sticky adhesive also feels stickier than a normal Post-it.

Writing Test

There’s no point in a Post-it Note that adheres in any condition if you can’t read what it says. According to our team, you should choose your writing utensil wisely:

Anita: The Post-it Note with gel pen writing did run when wet.
Hillary: I only used Sharpies to write on the Post-it Notes. I don’t think ink pens or pencils would work very well because of the Post-it Notes’ texture/material, which is kind of weird.
Margaret: Sharpie marker holds up well, but ballpoint pen seems to bleed a little.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Deep Freeze

3M tested its Extreme Notes in basically arctic conditions, but they didn’t perform perfectly in Kitchn’s freezers:

Anita: When frozen, I agree they did do well but they didn’t stick to all packages and I could definitely see how moving packages around or reorganizing your freezer could actually result in some mixed up food labels. I particularly am not familiar with meats or chilis, which we used a lot of in the shoot, so if the titles got mixed up I’m not sure that I would realize I was picking up the wrong item.
Hillary: The Post-it Notes fared okay in the freezer. They didn’t seem to want to stick to some materials, which I think had to do with the slickness of the materials. For example, they stuck better to a Ziploc bag than to a bag of frozen store-bought peas. Would probably also work better for Tupperware and other flatter surfaces. I also stuck one on a bag, put some water on the bag and Post-it Note, then put it in the freezer. The Post-it note froze a little bit and kind of stuck better in this instance.
Margaret: They seem to perform the least best when in the freezer. They aren’t as sticky, occasionally falling off the packaging.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Wet & Wild

The notion of paper that’s unfazed by getting wet is pretty magical—and an adhesive that hangs on when drenched even more so. (Now you can leave those love notes for each other in the shower.) There is one bit of small print to consider, however. According to the 3M website, they are “Not recommended for use on paper. Apply to dry surface, then can get wet.” So you can’t stick them to already-wet items, but the adhesive will remain sticky when it gets wet. Here are the tester’s thoughts:

Anita: The Post-it Note with gel pen writing did run when wet. We pinned it to the front of a planter and then spritzed or watered the plant and the text ran. We had better long-lasting results with the Sharpie.
Hillary: SUPER water-resistant. I placed one on the side our office sink on Thursday. The note was still stuck even after being splashed for 2 days and sitting in the sink all weekend. The texture/feel does change a bit after being soaked in water (almost like they get thinner, more transparent) but remain sticky. Water seems to be the biggest advantage.
Margaret: Tested by sticking in sink and leaving there for a day. Was wet but then still held up nicely, no bleeding of text and still very adhesive.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Hot Time

Labels often don’t stick—or stick too well—to containers full of hot foods. We haven’t come up with a ton of everyday reasons we’d need heat-resistant sticky notes. Labeling just-out-of-the-oven cake pans? Labeling a coffee pot decaf vs. regular? Putting a note on the pot of soup you just made for your family before you had to run out?—but it’s good to know that hot situations are an option. The team tried a variety of situations, even one where they stuck a Post-it Note in the oven (maybe don’t try that one at home, thought). Here’s what the they had to say:

Hillary: Mixed results with heat. I got a little carried away with testing heat—I can’t see a situation where you’d want to place a Post-it Note on something extremely hot. When I stuck it to a pan that had been heating up on the stove, it did start to smolder a little bit (no flames, but it got kind of black and I’m sure the fumes aren’t great). I did heat up a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F and with that amount of surface area/heat, the Post-it Note stuck and didn’t smolder. I also stuck one to our glass coffee pot . . . and the Post-it Note was totally fine.
Margaret: Okay, so I left the Post-it Note in the oven at 350°F for a while, it held up nicely! I used a Sharpie, no bleeding on the text. When I removed the Post-it Note from the baking sheet, it did leave residue though, but was still able to stick on other things.


On Amazon, regular Post-it Notes are $9.99 for 12 packs of 100 notes, while the Extreme Notes are $14.99 for 12 packs of 45 notes, making the Extreme version about 3.5 times more expensive than the regular. However, since the Extreme notes have much more specific uses, it’s not like most people will go through quite as many of them. A $5 set of 135 Extreme notes is probably plenty to last you for a while, and when the situation is right, you’ll be jazzed to have them on-hand. If you ever need to leave notes on anything that might involve water, heat, condensation, or humidity, or if you just need some general super-stickiness, you might want to take your Post-it Note experience to the EXTREME.

Want more opinions? Check out the Amazon reviews.