Laminating an important document, a favorite poster or a student reference paper is an excellent way to preserve it for years to come. Whether you should laminate something two times varies among different situations.

Certificate of achievement
credit: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
You can laminate an important paper to help preserve it.

Laminator

A laminator is a machine that adheres a plastic film on both sides of a flat object, usually a picture, paper or poster. Most machines use heat to laminate the object, but some cold laminators are available. Laminators seal the edges so they do not peel, though they can be picked at so that peeling occurs.

Common Lamination Mistakes

Laminators that use heat must heat up completely before putting the paper through. There is usually a light that indicates the machine is ready. If it's not, the film will not adhere completely to the paper and air bubbles will appear between the film and paper. In addition, care must be taken to send paper through straight, especially if you are sending two or three at a time to utilize the width of the machine.

Laminating Two Times

If you sent your paper through when the laminator wasn't hot enough, you can try to send it through a second time when it is completely hot. This method can sometimes heat the bottom layer also so it adheres to the paper, getting rid of the air bubbles in the process. If you want to laminate an object because you want it extra thick, you can do this also, but it's better to use thicker laminating paper instead. If an older object was laminated and is now peeling, you can send it though the laminator again. First though, cut the edges of the old plastic film as close the paper as you can and be sure the object is clean and dry. According to Office Zone, if you sent your paper through when the machine was too hot, sending it through the machine a second time will not fix the waviness and dimples on the surface that the excess heat caused.

Other Tips

The tension on the laminator should be tight, but not overtightened. Read the user's manual to learn what the tension should be set at for the type of film you are using. Run some practice papers through the machine so you get the hang of laminating. You'll learn the speed that is a comfortable fit for you and can see firsthand what double laminating looks and feels like before you do it to an important object.