If an inserted pouch does not come out the other side of your pouch laminator, it may have jammed your machine. A quick resolution is to run the machine in reverse and hopefully roll the pouch back out of the front of the machine.

Why is my pouch laminator jammed?

A few common ways an operator can jam a laminating machine include:

  • Running a laminating pouch at too high of a temperature, causing it to melt and wrap around the machine roller(s)
  • Inserting a laminating pouch with the end opposite the sealed edge first

If the pouch will not come out either end of the machine and you start to smell a burning plastic odor or see smoke, immediately turn off and unplug the machine. Wait for the machine to cool down completely before attempting to remove the jammed pouch or clean the machine interior.

How do I remove a jammed pouch that won’t come out when I press the reverse button?

Pouch jams are not often covered by machine manufacturer warranties. In the event a pouch is certainly jammed in the machine, you may be able to remove it yourself and clean the adhesive off the rollers.

Most models of office grade or professional pouch laminators have a removable hood, allowing you to access the rollers. If you cannot remove the jammed pouch from this angle, you may need to disassemble the machine to access the culprit under the bottom set of machine rollers.

How do I clean my laminator’s machine rollers?

Once the blockage is cleared, there will likely be an adhesive mess on the rollers. The adhesive can be cleaned by gently rubbing the rollers with a soft cotton cloth (like an old t-shirt scrap) dampened with odorless mineral spirits. Be careful: silicone rollers can tear easily.

Once you’ve cleaned and reassembled the machine, you may smell the remainder of the adhesive melting off the rollers for a while.

If your machine rollers have melted and the machine cannot be repaired, you may need to purchase a whole new machine.

How do I prevent pouch laminator jams?

Here are some helpful tips to lengthen the life of your pouch laminator:

  1. Referring to your machine’s operating manual, match the correct temperature to your pouch thickness.
  2. Use a pouch carrier to evenly distribute heat across the pouch and provide structure to thinner pouches (like 3 Mil & 5 Mil). Note: In some cases, you may need to increase the temperature by about 10 deg F.
  3. Always insert a laminating pouch into the pouch laminator with the sealed edge first! This way, the air is properly pushed out of the pouch as it goes through the machine, making sure the pouch doesn’t buckle during the process.

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