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Ribbons & Supplies

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ID Ribbons & Supplies

Printer ID supplies play a critical role in any ID card program. Not to be overlooked, these important system components range from printer ribbons, overlaminates, and cleaning kits to replacement print heads, blank cards, and more.


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Supply Finder

With the help of our tool you will easily be able to find compatible ribbons, cleaning kits and other supplies for your ID card printer.



ID card supplies are necessary for printing cards and maintaining your printer. Need help finding the right supplies for your ID card printer? Try our easy Supply Finder!

Can You Tell These Printer Ribbons Apart?

ID card printers use specialized color ribbons instead of ink like your normal inkjet printer. There are many types of ribbons, each designed to print a specific style of card.


Single-sided full color cards


Dual-sided, black on back


Full color, only prints on half the card


A single color, black or otherwise


Single-sided full color with no black


Single-sided full color with black


Dual-sided, black on the back


Full color with inhibitor panel

Get all the information you need about different types of ribbons and their uses.

See the types of ribbons

Primer on Printer Supplies

You'll need a variety of supplies to print your ID cards, including ribbons and cleaning kits. This quick overview will help you understand some of the basic ID card printer supplies.

Printer Ribbons

Printer ribbons come in a variety of types, designed to print every type of ID card. For full color cards you will need an YMCK (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, BlacK) ribbon – using just those colors you can create every color. To print, the printhead in your printer heats up the ribbon and applies the colors to the card to create your design.

Reverse Transfer Films

Reverse transfer printers use a unique printing process to produce durable, high-quality cards. The card design is first printed, using a ribbon, onto a reverse transfer film. Then that film is applied to the surface of the card. To print with a reverse transfer printer, you will need both a ribbon and a film.

Lamination Films

If you want your cards to withstand daily wear and tear better than a standard card, upgrade to a lamination printer. These printers apply a durable lamination film over your card once the design is printed. Most films are clear, although you can also find lamination films with holographic images in them for added visual security.

Cleaning Kits

Regularly cleaning your ID card printer is essential to making it last for year – dust and debris can damage the printhead and other internal parts, resulting in everything from bad print quality to a completely broken printer. Cleaning kits are designed for each printer model and contain all the materials you need to clean your printer.

Visitor Management Supplies

Visitor management systems make it easy for you to issue temporary badges to all visitors so you know who is in your building at all times. Visitor system supplies include a variety of temporary and expiring badges, thermal printers for printing visitor badges, and signs so your visitor policy is clearly displayed.

Quickly and easily find all the supplies for your printer with our Supply Finder.

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Remember to Clean Your Printer!

To keep your printer running in top shape and your ID cards looking nice, it is essential to regularly clean your ID card printer. A buildup of dust and debris can damage the printhead, block sensors in the printer, and cause smudges on your cards.

How Often Should I Clean?

In general, you should clean your printer every time you put in a new ribbon. Some ribbons may include basic cleaning rollers, but you will still need to do an additional deep clean to prevent dirt buildup.

You may also need to clean the printer as a support step to solver several problems including breaking ribbons, card jams, and sensors not recognizing the cards.

How Do I Clean a Printer?

Each printer has a cleaning kit designed by the manufacturer, so you get all the supplies you need to clean your printer. These supplies can include cleaning rolls, pens, wipes, and large alcohol-soaked cards.

You can find videos showing how to clean your printer online in our Technical Support section. Support is broken down by manufacturer and printer model; on each printer model page you’ll find support videos, guides, and detailed support pages.

Find technical support videos, printer maintenance tips, and more in our Printer Support section.

See Printer Support

Get Help from an ID Expert

How many ID cards do you want to print per year?

or call (800) 717-8080

Get Help from an ID Expert

How many ID cards do you want to print per year?

or call (800) 717-8080