Your Guide to Properly Cleaning Your Cricut Mat—Plus, How to Make It Adhesive Again
When it comes to crafting, your Cricut is like a best friend. It's always there for you—no matter what you're working on. It can help you through just about any project you set your mind to, from trendy shoes to a paper bouquet that will never wilt. And that's why it should come as no surprise that your cutting mat will eventually start to wear and, inevitably, begin to lose its stickiness.
Still, there's a bit of good news: Like maintaining any machine, all it needs is a little cleaning. "The life of your mats will vary based on materials cut and how often mats are cleaned," says Lauren Duletzke, senior manager or public relations and corporate communications for Cricut. But with some regular attention, you can keep your mat in tip-top shape for a very long time; ultimately, saving you both time and money by eliminating another trip to the store. Here's how.
Replace the cover after every use.
"It's a good rule to always replace the mat cover as soon as you are done using it," says Duletzke. This prevents environmental items, like dust and dog hair, from inadvertently sticking to your mat.
Clean your mat often.
"We recommend cleaning your mat after every two to four cuts," says Duletzke. This is especially true if you're cutting materials that leave high amounts of debris, such as like denim or glitter vinyl. If you're cutting standard items—things like vinyl and paper—you don't have to clean your mats quite that often. Use your best judgement, and when in doubt, give it a clean using the following directions.
Remove large debris with tweezers. Avoid scraping the mat, as this will push material and debris deeper into the adhesive. For Cricut Fabric Grip Mats ($20, michaels.com), you can try using a lint roller. Place the mat in the sink. Run lukewarm water over the mat, then use a plastic, hard-bristled brush to gently scrub in a circular motion until the entire surface of the mat is clean. Pat the mat dry with a paper towel, then let it air dry completely to ensure stickiness returns. Replace the cover.
Replace the mat if it begins to lose its stickiness.
There's anecdotal advice abound on the internet about using adhesive spray to revive a dull, non-sticky cutting mat. Bloggers say all you need to do is tape around the edges of your mat to prevent overspray from sticking to areas it shouldn't be, then spray a light coating of an adhesive like Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Spray ($15, walmart.com) and let dry. While it may work for some, this trick isn't sanctioned by Cricut. "When you feel that your mat is starting to lose its stickiness, it's time to get a new mat," says Duletzke. "While we've heard of the hacks, we don't recommend them, as you run the risk of jamming up your machine with glue," she explains. "And the cost of purchasing a new machine is a whole lot more than buying clean mats."