Why is My Laminator Smoking?

Laminating your documents or pictures is one good way for you to preserve them and ensure they last much longer. This is usually done with a device called a laminator. However, a laminator, just like a device or machine, can occasionally develop a fault while it’s being in use.

A major sign that shows your laminator is faulty is when it begins to smoke excessively. If this happens, there’s a pretty big chance there’s something wrong with your laminator. 

” Why does my laminator smell like it’s burning? Can my laminator cause a fire? Are laminator fumes toxic? Why is my laminator smoking? You might have all of these questions and more. Below are possible reasons why your laminator is smoking and quick fixes on how you can solve them. 

Reasons your laminator is smoking

Machine being jammed: 

If your laminator is smoking, there is a high probability that this is due to the machine being jammed. One way of knowing your laminator is jammed is if it is smoking or if the inserted pouch does not come out the other side of your pouch laminator. Running a laminating pouch at a temperature that is too high sometimes causes it to melt and wrap around the machine rollers.

Also, inserting a laminating pouch with the end opposite the sealed edge could also cause your laminator to be smoking.


If the pouch doesn’t come at any of the ends of the machine and you start to smell a burning odour or smoke, immediately switch off the machine and unplug it to prevent any risk of an electrical fire.  You can then wait for the machine to cool down completely before attempting to remove the jammed pouch and clean the interior

It is important to point out that you do not leave your laminator turned on and unattended as the heat generated from this machine can cause a fire or an accident. 

Power voltage: 

When the power voltage is too high, it causes electrical devices to burn which results in your laminator smoking. This is usually the most common factor for most electrical devices or machine components overheating or burning. 

 This could happen occasionally to your laminator and cause it to smoke. If the power voltage is too high, it could burn one or more of the internal components of your machine and in turn, result in smoke emanating from your mature. 


If you notice that the voltage is too high for your laminator or see smoke from your laminator, it’s best you turn off the laminator immediately and wait for the voltage to settle. Also, make sure you check the various parts of the machine to ensure there aren’t any burns in the components from the high voltage.  This is the quickest way to prevent any risk to yourself and your machine while ensuring your machine is still in optimal condition.

It is also important to point out that it is advisable to completely avoid turning on your machine if you notice the power voltage or power supply is too high. This will help prevent any possible harm to your Device.

Bad wiring or setup: 

This can also be another reason why your laminator could be smoking excessively. If your machine is not properly set up while it is being used, it will most likely result in an internal fault which could make your Device smoke. Bad Wiring is also a very important factor when it comes to laminators. the better the wires are fixed or connected, the lesser the chances of it developing a fault and smoking excessively. Wiring and proper set-up could be one of the reasons why your laminator smokes excessively.


If your laminator is smoking excessively due to bad wiring or set-up, you should firstly turn off the device and wait for it to cool down as you cannot check the problem while the device is still hot.  When it cools down, if you’re pretty good at setting up the internal components of your laminator, you can then open it up to confirm if everything is well connected. However, if you do not know your way around setting up the components or wiring of a laminator, it is best you call an expert to help you confirm what is wrong in the setup and fix it immediately for you before any further usage.

It is also important to point out that if you do not know how to open the component of a laminator that smokes excessively, it is advisable you switch it off and await an expert. Most people with little knowledge of how the components work usually try to open their laminators up to fix it them and end up doing more hand than good to the laminator. 

Some people tend to ask me ” why does my laminator smell like it’s burning”?

This is a very normal thing when you’re laminating a picture or documents. The smell is usually caused by the heat generated by the laminating components and it’s nothing to worry about most of the time.

You might also want to ask; are laminator fumes toxic? 

The answer is No. Most laminators come in two types which are the 3mil and 2 mil laminators. While the 3mil are used to laminate much bigger objects than the 2 mil, they both generate fumes and have a burning smell. The smells are absolutely normal and are not toxic to you as it doesn’t contain any substance capable of harming or mutating the human body.

Can your laminator cause a fire?

Just like any other electrical alliance, machine or device, a laminator can also cause a fire if it isn’t handled properly.  If your machine is in a good working condition, the chances of it causing a fire is quite low. However, if it isn’t in a good condition or if it is turned on and neglected, the chances of it causing a fire due to neglect is high. Laminators can cause fire accidents if they are not operated with care.

Can you clean your laminator?

This is also a common question you might have. It is possible for you to clean your laminator anytime you want it.  To clean your laminator, you first have to remove the film for your machine. Once this is done, you can then preheat your laminator a little to get it warmed up. You can then use a 3D scrubbing pad to scrub off the hardened adhesive while the rollers are rotating at the lowest possible level. Once you’re through, your laminator is clean enough to be used.

While some people say that laminator smoke is normal when laminating, some other people believe it isn’t. There are two different types of laminators and the amount of smoke or fume that comes from it largely depends on the type being used and the amount of time your machine is being run. However, one thing we all agree on is the fact that laminators shouldn’t be smoking excessively. If this happens, one of the factors listed above would solve the problem and your laminator would be back to working as good as new.

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