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Why Use Tissue Paper for Packing?

If you've ever gone online to order packing boxes and supplies, you may have wondered why the company carries tissue paper. What's the reason for using it? Will newspaper work just as well? What if I don't use any type of paper at all? These are just a few of the questions people ask about tissue paper and moving.

Tissue paper and its heavier cousin, packing paper, are generally used to wrap dishes, glasses, and other fragile items. The reason behind it is to cushion the item while also absorbing some of the vibrations inherent in moving. Using china plates as an example, if they are simply stacked one on top of the other in a cardboard box, any vibration or shock wave will travel up the entire stack, causing damage to some of the plates.

We use tissue paper and proper packing to keep these plates safe. Wrapping in tissue paper creates a soft barrier between plates, so that any vibration is dispersed across the paper. Where there is no direct contact between the surfaces of the plates, it becomes harder to transfer the energy. We then put the plates in the box on edge, rather than stacked, eliminating much of the energy transfer from vibrations. China packed in this manner is much more likely to arrive undamaged.

Dining glasses are wrapped in tissue paper with the same goal. Many people use old newspaper instead, and while that's minimally suitable, newspaper is not as effective because it's not as soft. As an added inconvenience, ink rubs off on the glass which requires all the pieces be washed after unpacking. Glasses should be wrapped in two layers of tissue paper and placed in the cardboard box, with care taken that they don't touch each other.

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