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Thermal Printer Paper vs. Regular for Keeping Records

Thermal printers are the real deal, especially when paired with top-notch thermal printer paper. The duo easily simplifies record-taking while also tackling many errors if work were done manually. Though there are varieties of thermal printers available, many are used to record measurement logs, inventory track keeping, or balance and scale.

What is a thermal printer?

Currently, in the market, there are many printers available, each using dedicated printing materials—some bank on chemical reactions that occur on the surface of printing paper.  The majority of color printers rely on a process similar to wax melting on paper. On the other hand, 'thermal' implies that a printer uses heat, meaning that no ink is required to leave an imprint on thermal paper. Most printers found in retail stores are thermal printers.

Read below for detailed information on the pros and cons of thermal paper.


Advantages of thermal printing

Thermal printing uses heat and does away with the whole ink printing ensemble (cartridge, ribbons, etc.). The only requirement for you to have sharp and error-devoid results is via thermal printing. Therefore, why is thermal printing becoming so popular?



Thermal printing is dependably fast and has top-shelf output. As expected, this invention is being used in various industries where speed and accuracy are key. Healthcare, businesses, and other ventures with POS applications – including grocery stores, ATMs, and gas stations – use thermal printers to handle high volume data. Where an eye for detail is required, thermal printing promises the best results.  

Allows for Faster Printing

The thermal reaction created by the printhead embosses letters and images in mere milliseconds. This blistering printing speed is important as it allows for a snappy package, label, and receipt printing.


Reduced Expenditure

A thermal printer requires just the thermal printer paper. There are no additional costs incurred normally seen when using normal printers, which oblige the purchase of cartridges and ribbons.


Less Breakdown

Fewer moving parts means fewer parts to repair and, therefore, a considerably reduced maintenance cost. Fewer components are bound to be damaged, saving cash that would have otherwise been spent on repairs.

Thermal printing has been the helm of the printing world, epitomized by thermal printer paper. It is a dependable solution for businesses worldwide that are looking to hamper their customer service. Right off the bat, thermal printing is faster and cheaper to maintain than conventional printing, and you save more in the long run. 

Epson TM-T88V, Thermal Receipt Printer - Energy Star Rated, Epson Dark Gray, USB & Serial Interfaces, PS-180 Power Supply, Requires A Cable


Disadvantages of a Thermal Printer

For everything, there are two sides of a coin, and thermal printers, even though having compelling advantages, do come with some limitations. Here are some of them:

Cost: Thermal printers are a worth-it investment. Pound for pound, however, most of its parts – including the printer itself – are a bit expensive when stacked against ink printers, which sell for less.

Color printing: Thermal printers come with all sorts of bells and whistles except one; it's limited in color printing. This is partly due to heat since the thermal head is compatible with a narrow choice of wax and resin.

How to prevent thermal paper from fading

On the receiver end, it does not make sense to keep receipts for small purchases. However, for retail stores and many industries, keeping sales receipts is time and cost-saving.

There are many reasons to hold onto sales receipts: protection against unauthorized charges, claim rebates, item returns, or extended warranty. The reasons cut across whether you are a consumer or entrepreneur. Even though you may know how to prevent the thermal paper from fading, some conditions will accelerate its degradation.


Why does thermal paper fade?

Thermal printer paper is fabricated with a characteristic chemical coating that reacts with heat to imprint images and text. While heat is used in printing, it can also be detrimental. If the thermal paper is left exposed, it can react with UV or environmental heat, causing written text to fade. This is similar to what happens if you place thermally printed receipts under a hot iron plate; after about 10 seconds, heat from the iron turns the paper black.

Other damaging agents include humidity and oil.

But don't fret. Much of this can be reversed.


How to Restore Faded Receipts?

There are three simple ways of restoring faded receipts. Here's how.


Scan and digitally restore it

If the paper is still white and not tainted yellow, black, or brown, you can scan it just like you would a colored photo. Using a pro editing app like Adobe Photoshop, create a negative of the image by configuring some image settings. This option can be found in the tools section of the preferred software.


Apply heat to it

If you can't find your way around photoshop, you should try out the tried and tested method: applying gentle heat on the receipt.

Some are DIY home tricks. For instance, use a light bulb to heat the receipt, or set your hair dryer to medium heat and direct hot air towards the receipt until the text becomes legible.

Though you can use a wide variety of heat sources, NEVER apply direct heat to the receipt's FRONT. Ideally, place your heat source a few inches from the back of the thermal printer paper and just above the faded parts.

Remember to play safe, so wash your hands and don some protective gloves. Moreover, keep in mind that your hands can contain oil (natural oil or sweat), which leads to fading. Ensure that your hands are free of water and oil, or else you will inadvertently worsen the situation.


Try using document scanning apps to recover lost text

There are many popular document scanning apps you should try out. Use either the 'Readable' or 'Monochrome' filter to configure color and exposure to make text readable. Most apps capture the original photo, so you can try out more filters without altering its quality. Some of the apps are free for iPhone and Android.

Conversely, take a photograph or scanned image of the receipt and configure exposure, contrast, and other settings using an app like Adobe Photoshop. 

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