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If your school or business card
) has a roll laminator, chances are it's used quite a bit and could use some routine maintenance. Caring for your laminator is pretty simple, but it's important to do it regularly and correctly. Here are some maintenance tips to help you care for your roll laminator. First, you need to clean the machine's rollers. Every time you laminate, a little bit of adhesive seeps out and coats the rollers. As time goes by, the adhesive builds up, which can cause jams and possibly damage your machine. It's not hard to clean the rollers, but you need to be careful when you do it. For on thing, you should never use anything sharp and pointed to clean your machine. If the rollers get nicked by the sharp object, they'll get damaged and they're pretty expensive to replace. You should clean the rollers on a regular basis, not only to prolong the life of your machine, but because it's a lot easier to remove newer deposits than hardened, older ones.
To clean your laminator, remove the film from the machine, and then preheat the laminator to get it warmed up. Then use a 3M Scotch-Brite scrubbing pad and scrub off the hardened adhesive with the rollers rotating on the lowest speed. Be very careful when doing this - the rollers will be very hot and it's really easy to burn yourself. The actual cleaning part isn't that hard, but it will take a little bit of patience and work to get rid of all traces of the adhesive. When you're done, re-load the film (or insert a fresh roll) and you'll be ready to start laminating again.
As for how often you should clean your roll laminator, every three to six months is a good rule of thumb. Of course, if you're using your laminator a lot and the glue is really starting to build up, you should clean it more often. And if you improperly load your laminating film or you accidentally wrap film around the machine's rollers, you'll have to clean your machine before you can use it for anything else.
Other things that will keep your laminator in good working order include always following the manufacturer's instructions and not using the laminator to laminate things other than paper and photographs
. For example, you should never laminate three-dimensional objects such as wood, plastic, and the like. Also, don't ever laminate items that have glitter on them. Glitter can be very bad for your laminator as it can get imbedded in the rollers and then they'll be useless because they won't be able to transfer heat anymore. Then you need to either repair or replace you machine, which could be costly.
Roll laminator maintenance is pretty easy and just about anyone can do it. All you really need to do is scrape the old adhesive off the rollers and you'll be ready to start laminating again. If it's been a while since you took care of your machine, do it today and enjoy having a long working relationship with your roll laminator.