How do I care for my school laminator?

posted this on Jul 7, 2015

Schools really only have one main responsibility when it comes to taking care of their laminating machines. Since even the most careful attention will result in some adhesive deposits on the rollers where the edge of the film is usually positioned, the heat rollers must be cleaned from time to time. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to clean the adhesive deposits off the rollers.

First of all, never use blades, knives, or other sharp objects to clean the rollers. They are expensive and easily compromised if they are damaged by a blade. Because the hardened adhesive can be so difficult to remove, it can be helpful to rotate the rollers very slowly. You will also see much better results cleaning if you do it regularly. Older, harder adhesive is harder to remove.

Follow these steps to remove adhesive buildup from your laminating machine:

1.Ensure there is no film in the laminator. Because you have to clean the machine when there is no film in it, you may want to make a habit of cleaning the machine each time the film is changed.

2.Preheat the laminator until the light is on indicating the machine is hot. Be careful not to burn your hands while cleaning the machine.

3.Use a 3M Scotch Brite green scrubbing pad and other cleaning supplies to clean the rollers. Do not use metal pads or Brillo pads, as these will damage the rollers. Scrub the rollers while they move at a very slow speed. Continue scrubbing until all of the hardened adhesive is gone. You may need to clean one area at a time if you can’t move the rollers because the heat shield is not engaged. It may take a while to finish cleaning your machine, but your patience will pay off in scrubbing away the adhesive residue.

4.When you are finished cleaning, install new laminating rolls and be sure to check to see that the feed table is fully engaged.

A good rule of thumb for laminators is to clean them at least two to four times annually, based on usage. If film is wrapped around the rollers or inserted backwards, you will have to clean the machine (following the same procedure) before attempting to laminate anything else.

You can prevent some laminator problems by being careful about how you use your machine. You should not laminate metallic or glittered items as the glitter gets stuck in the rollers and may make the machine inoperable. Additionally, you shouldn’t laminate heavily textured items such as coins, wooden objects, and the like. Doing so is very likely to break the laminator.

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