How to Troubleshoot GBC Laminators

By Ross Glyn

Updated September 26, 2017

GBC laminators are manufactured by the General Binding Corp. These laminators are renowned for their quality and clarity, but as with most machines with multiple moving parts, glitches can occur. Whether the problems are document quality or dirty rollers, they are fairly simple to troubleshoot. Before calling in a repair person, you can try a few troubleshooting steps on your own.

Ensure that the unit's temperature setting corresponds to the thickness of the laminating pouch you are using, if the lamination job comes out of the machine with a wavy appearance. If your machine has a temperature control, turn the heat down until the indicator light comes on. If there is no temperature control, turn the lamination machine off. Try laminating again once it has cooled.

Remove the laminated document from the machine immediately as it emerges from the slot, if the ends tend to curl up. Place the document on a flat surface to cool down.

Allow enough time for the machine to warm up, if the laminated document emerges with bubbles in the plastic, or if it looks cloudy. The indicator light should come on when the correct temperature is reached. Try increasing the temperature, and run the laminating pouch and document through the machine again.

Wipe the rollers with a lint-free cloth if lines appear on the surface of the lamination. Run a cardboard carrier through the machine four or five times to clean out any debris that might have accumulated inside the machine.

Turn off the machine and push down on the release lever at the back of the machine if a jam occurs. This will disconnect the rollers from the motor and allow you to pull out the lamination pouch. Do not force the pouch out. Have a qualified service technician investigate further if you are unable to get the pouch to slide free.

Ensure that the item you are about to laminate is pushed right up against the edge of the sealed pouch. Leave at least 2 mm around the rest of the document to avoid jamming.


Use a carrier card when laminating several documents, such as ID cards. This will help guide the items through the machine without a jam.

Do not make your own carrier sheet. Use the one provided with your machine.

Do not to cut the seal when trimming around a laminated document.


Do not laminate irreplaceable items, as there is always a chance they would be damaged.