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Importance of Maintaining Faded Receipts – Points To Consider

Thermal paper receipts usually become faded over a long period due to various reasons like heat, moisture, temperature variations, and much more. As a consumer, it might not seem too much of a hassle. However, it is a little different from a business owner’s viewpoint.

Due to a faded receipt, the business owner might face difficulties when storing receipts for further use. With this blog post, you will know the best ways to handle a faded receipt and learn how the methods by which the printed image or text on them can be restored when needed.

Read a faded thermal paper receipt

Currently, receipts are printed on thermal paper that produces an image or text due to the heat placed on them. This type of paper is at risk of damage due to UV exposure or light, and it will eventually cause consistent fading. Other than the heat and UV light causing the slow fade of image or text, oil and humid conditions can also cause fading in a thermal paper receipt. Here are a few ways that can help in faded receipt enhancement:

  • Scanning and digital restoration

If the thermal paper has not been damaged, the receipt can be scanned and uploaded in the same way as a photo. Following which you can open the image on an editing application like Photoshop or Corel draw. After adjusting specific settings provided in the software, the faded image can become clearer, and it becomes easier for you to understand the image or text entered.

  • Heat it and read it

For people who are not proficient with software applications like Photoshop or CorelDraw, the old-school method of applying heat can be helpful. Setting the hairdryer at a medium temperature, hold the receipt at arm’s length with hot air blowing towards it. Continue this method until the text or image becomes visible. Hold the thermal paper receipt up to a light source if you do not own a hairdryer.

Keeping the distance between the heat source and the thermal paper receipt is also important, especially when using a hairdryer.

  • Laminator run

Place the faded thermal receipt paper in a laminate pouch. Run the laminate pouch through the laminator. Due to the heat from the laminator, the text or image on the previously faded receipt will be visible. Additionally, as a precaution, cut a small section of the faded receipt to ensure that you get the desired results. Otherwise, a slightly burnt faded receipt is quite difficult to use.

Reasons for faded receipts

Thermal paper is made with base paper coated to ensure improved heat insulation, uniform results, smoothness, and proper hold of the thermal layer. Due to this thermal layer on the base paper, images or text produced. A few of the reasons that can be the reason for faded receipts are given below:

  1. Heated areas
  2. Exposure to UV light
  3. Exposure to oil or sticky substances like tape or hand sanitizers
  4. Unclean storage areas

High-quality thermal receipt paper needs to be stored in an area where there is minimal to zero exposure to the elements, and proper handling of thermal paper is done to reduce the chance of damage and loss. Also, adhesive tape should not be used with thermal paper receipts as it could melt the coating of the thermal paper receipt. Finally, when handling a thermal paper receipt, it is better to wear gloves so that the information provided on the receipt does not get damaged in the long run. Placing thermal paper receipts in sleeves made of any other material than plastic is better as plastic in high humidity can cause harm to the printed material on the receipt paper.

Prevent receipts from fading

The best way to keep receipts from fading has been mentioned here so that you can store thermal paper receipts for a longer time. With these helpful tips, it will be quite easy for you to reuse them when needed:

  1. Store receipts in sleeves that are made of materials other than plastic
  2. Place the receipts in an area with extremely low exposure to temperature changes, heat, or moisture.
  3. Clean and non-oily hands can also reduce the chances of fading from thermal paper receipts.

You can ensure that thermal paper receipts stay for a long time by purchasing the correct type of thermal paper printing machine and thermal paper that is a perfect match to the printing machine. Also, the best method of ensuring that thermal paper receipts can be stored for a long time is to create a copy of the receipt and file it separately.


Faded receipts can be recovered and maintained with the methods mentioned above. In addition, the thermal paper rolls created at Graphic Tickets & Systems are of high quality and long-lasting materials that ensure the thermal receipts do not fade that easily. They also provide adequate knowledge about the best ways to maintain thermal paper rolls and receipts for POS systems. Also, as a business owner, proper maintenance of receipts can be quite helpful for you in filing for tax returns and filing for claims.

Written By
Mindy Timm

Mindy Timm is the Sales Manager for Graphic Tickets & Systems, where she gives guidance and helps the customer with getting the product that will perform the best for their needs. Dedicated to the end-user, she is enthusiastic about talking to people all over the U.S. and taking care of their thermal paper needs as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can worry about the other projects on their desk. For more information about Mindy or thermal paper, please feel free to visit our website at

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I read a number on a faded receipt?

You can read numbers on a faded receipt by using a heat source like a hairdryer or light source on the necessary thermal paper receipt. Alternatively, using a scanner to upload the image and software like Photoshop or Corel Draw can help restore the faded receipt and aid you in reading the number.

What is the time needed for a receipt to fade?

The duration needed for a thermal paper receipt to fade can range from six months to ten years, depending on the conditions in which it has been stored. Additionally, thermal paper receipts should be stored below temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit so that the receipts can last at a minimum of three years.

How do you preserve thermal printed receipts?

The best way to preserve thermal paper receipts is to create a scanned copy of the receipt. Alternatively, you can click an image of the receipt and place it in a secure folder.

How to lighten read an old faded receipt?

To lighten and read an old faded receipt, you can use a hairdryer or a light source to heat the thermal paper receipt and help you see the text or image on the receipt.

How to scan a faded receipt?

The following steps are useful in scanning a faded receipt.
1)- Scan the faded receipt onto photo editing software.
2)- Create a negative image by adjusting the image settings
3)- Save multiple copies of the restored thermal paper receipt on your system.

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