How To Unjam A Laminator With No Reverse Button?

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By Alex McIl – Updated 16th June 2022

Laminators are a must-have office equipment today. Besides, many households have a laminator on their craft table.

An increasing number of people are enjoying laminating. This is entirely understandable considering the advantages of this process. Using this machine, you can protect your important documents. And preserve them for a long time with a sheet of protective plastic. 

Thus, it’s frustrating when laminating pouch gets jammed in the machine. You often need to wait a long time for repair specialists to repair devices, which can be expensive.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to unjam a laminator at home. But you have to react quickly while the rollers are still warm.

Attempt to free a jammed laminator machine that has no reverse button

Reasons Why Your Laminator Jams

There are several reasons why laminator jams occur. To fix the machine, first, find out what caused the problem. Then you’ll be able to unjam it more effortlessly and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Jam can happen if the sheet of paper isn’t of the appropriate thickness.

Read the instructions in the user guide before you start to laminate. Because it specifies the minimum thickness and maximum thickness of documents that your device can laminate. Note that the overall thickness of the paper and the laminating pouch should be within specifications. If you want to avoid jams in the future, laminate only documents of the recommended thickness.

Also, a jam can occur if the pouch laminator adhesive spills on the device’s rollers. The spilled glue must be cleaned soon off the rollers.

The adhesive residues on the rollers can cause problems. The solution is to always use a quality pouch during the laminating process.

Prevention Is Always A Better Option

Carefully install the laminating pouch before starting the process. Ensure that the pouch is in the middle and straight so it doesn’t wrap around the roller to get it suitably laminated.

Laminator jams can also occur if the laminated document has wrinkles or air bubbles. Pay attention to the details and ensure that the paper is flat and free of air bubbles before you insert it into the machine.

It’s crucial to laminate the paper of the correct size and thickness. Thicker paper can get stuck between the rollers during the process and lead to a jam. Also, those laminating pouches with wrinkled edges can cause a problem.

To avoid jamming this machine, make sure that you use quality pouches. Those of lower quality can cause adhesive leaks during the lamination process. By doing this, you avoid creasing the finished product or jam in your laminator.

Before you laminate any document, set the temperature and speed correctly. A jam may occur if the pouch moves too slowly at high temperatures. So follow the user guide and adjust the heat according to your needs.

Depending on the machine, these sizes may vary. But we recommend a temperature of 130 degrees and a medium speed for 80-micron pouches.

If your laminator allows, use a pouch carrier. This will help you distribute heat across the pouch and structure thinner laminating pouches.

But if the pouches still get stuck in the machine, you’ll need to remove all the obstacles manually.

This article recommends a few ways to remove the pouch that blocks the rollers and prevents them from turning freely.

Unjam A Jammed Laminator With A Release Button 

Many of the laminators on the market today have a reverse button. The document that passes through the pressure of heated rollers can get stuck. So, when you press this button, the stuck paper returns, making unjamming easier. These are the most popular laminators that are usually bought as office equipment. 

Newer laminator models have a release lever, although they do not have a reverse button. So if your machine doesn’t have a reverse mode, try to find the release button on the main menu.

On some machines, a release lever is mainly located near the power button. In this case, you can quickly unjam your machine without disassembling it. 

  1. First, while your laminator is still on, press a release button. The release lever allows the rollers to detach and release the stuck document.
  2. By activating this button, you will separate the sides of your laminator. 
  3. Then you can pull out the stuck paper that led to the problem. 
  4. Press the release button to reconnect the rollers after removing the pouch. Or pull a switch to the other side of your pouch jam lever. 

Unjam A Jammed Laminator Without Release And Reverse Button 

Unjamming a machine can be a little more complicated if your laminator has neither a release nor a reverse button.

Before disassembling the laminator, try to simply pull out the jammed document. Pull the jammed paper firmly towards you by the part which isn’t inside the laminator.

But, if the entire pouch is inside the machine, you’ll need to open the top of the machine. Or, depending on the model, you’ll need to disassemble the whole machine.

The cover can easily be detached from some laminators, fax machines, and printers. In this case, unscrew only the machine’s upper part to easily reach the rollers.

  1. Turn off your machine first, and then unplug it.
  2. Carefully unscrew all screws on the left side and on the right side of the cover of your machine.
  3. Then remove the top and put it away.
  4. Firmly pull the jammed document towards you.
  5. When you pull out the pouch, put the top back in the place. Screw all the screws and turn on your laminator.

But on some older models, removing only the upper part is impossible. These laminators are screwed on all sides, and you have to disassemble the whole device. This process is different for all laminators.

You can try this method only if you know how to use the tools. If you are unsure about this, ask someone more experienced to help you. Anyhow, follow a few steps:

  1. Turn off the laminator, and then unplug it.
  2. Unscrew all screws on every side of your device
  3. Remove part by part of the laminator until you access the rollers.
  4. Leave all the laminator elements you removed in one place.
  5. Then pull the document out and reassemble the laminator.

TIP: Remember where you dismantle which part from the laminator. Later you will need to return them correctly when you finish the unjamming process.

We suggest that you record the disassembling process. By doing this, you will know later which part goes where.

Remove the laminating pouches while the machine is still warm. Warm rollers melt the adhesive from the pouch and allow you to easily extract the jammed pouch.

But be careful not to burn yourself. Try wearing gloves. It may be necessary to use a little force when extracting the project.

Unjamming A Laminator With Thick Paper Or Cardboard

One way to remove a jammed document is to simply push it out. Of course, you won’t always be able to solve a problem like this, but it’s worth trying.

It may happen that the jammed paper is not very crammed between the rollers. In this case, the easiest way to unjam a laminator is to push it a little bit with another sheet of thick paper.

Put thicker paper or cardboard through the feed slot and try to knock out the jammed paper.

But, if your project remains stuck, there is a good chance that you will have to use one of the mechanical ways to unjam your laminator.

Unjamming A Laminator With Tweezers

There is also a way to remove the jammed paper with tweezers.

  1. Put one part of the tweezers inside the machine into the feed slot and try to reach the stuck project.
  2. Then pull towards yourself and see if it comes out even a little bit.
  3. If so, put away your tweezers and try to remove that part of the project with your hands. It may be necessary to use some force.

Be careful not to damage the plastic parts of the machine with tweezers.

TIPS:

Read the warranty before applying any of the mentioned methods. Check in the information if disassembling the machine violates any warranty rules.

Never use blades such as knives or other sharp objects when disassembling laminators. If you use blades, you can cut the rollers, damaging your machine.

Use the appropriate tools. When you see which screws you need to remove, use a specific screwer to avoid damaging parts of the device.

How To Clean A Laminator After Disassembling It

Ensure that the machine is unplugged and the rollers are cold before cleaning.

Over time, deposits can form on the rollers inside the laminator. These adhesive deposits and other debris often cause document jams inside the laminator. To avoid document jamming, manually remove sticky residues after disassembling your laminator.

For this, you can use Xyron Adhesive Eraser square. Just follow these few steps:

  1. Open the upper part of the laminator or disassemble it completely to reach the roller.
  2. Wait for the rollers to cool down so you don’t burn yourself.
  3. Then run over the rollers with the eraser until you remove the adhesive in that part of the roller.
  4. Roll on a little to remove debris on the other side of the roller.
  5. Repeat the process until you have removed all the adhesive.
  6. Remove the crumbs from the eraser and reassemble the laminator.

Another tool you can use for cleaning the laminator rollers is a Scotch Brite pad. The cleaning process is the same. Just be careful not to scratch the rollers too hard with this product.

If you do not have these products, use a toothbrush and a mild cleanser. Dip the toothbrush in a gentle cleanser and shake off excess liquid. Cross over the layers of adhesive on the rollers until you remove them. When you finish cleaning, wipe the rollers with a dry cloth.

After cleaning, reassemble the laminator.

Have a test run with an unimportant sheet of paper and a laminate pouch. If the test goes fine, you can get back to laminating. But If you still have a problem, send your laminator to a repair specialist.

FAQ

How can I remove the jammed project if I have an old laminator without a release lever?

You should try removing the pouch by pulling it towards you. For this, a pair of tweezers can be helpful. Or, try to push it with thick paper or cardboard.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to disassemble your laminator. Use a screwer and remove parts of your laminator to access the rollers. Ensure that your laminator is turned off and unplugged before doing this.

Why does my laminator jam frequently?

Laminators often get jammed because of the adhesive residue. Remove the debris with an adhesive eraser or a scotch Brite pad. But if you don’t have these products, try to clean the rollers with a clean toothbrush and a mild cleanser. Do not rub the rollers hard. You don’t want to damage them.

How to disassemble the laminator?

For this process, you’ll need to use proper tools. You can remove only the machine’s upper part on the newer models. But, if you have an older model, you’ll have to disassemble the whole laminator.

If you don’t know how to unscrew the screws on your laminator, ask someone older to help you.

Ensure that you don’t lose any of the elements.

Always first check your guarantee. Most of the warranties note that if you disassemble the laminator, it is no longer under contract.

Conclusion 

Laminating process allows you to preserve relevant documents with a protective plastic sheet. But when your document passes through the pressure of heated rollers, adhesive can spill on them.  

Due to adhesive deposits, the rollers are most often blocked, and your documents remain stuck inside the laminator. When it comes to a jam in the laminator returning the machine to the box is not an option. You can ask professional services for help. Or you can save money and try to solve the problem by using some of the mentioned methods.  

If you can’t find the reverse button or a release lever, you’ll have to extract the jammed paper manually. But don’t worry, the solution to your problem is simple. Pull out the jammed paper in one of the described ways. Clean the rollers and continue to laminate freely.