How To Clean A Cricut Mat: tips and tricks to extend your mat life by cleaning with baby wipes, and dish soap cleaning.
Sometimes, after many uses in your Cricut machine, Cricut cutting mats lose their stickiness, but before you throw your’s out and buy a new mat, there are some ways to clean your Cricut mat and make it sticky again! And most of the cleaning methods are really quite easy and simple to do, with no need for special products. Cleaning your Cricut mat whenever it needs it is a really good idea , and can really extend the life of your mat.
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How Often and When To Clean A Cricut Cutting Mat
On average a Cricut cutting mat will last for 40-50 cuts. They do not last forever, but you can certainly extend the lifetime of your mat by cleaning it every once in awhile. If your mat isn’t holding items very well anymore, than it’s time to clean it. Or if you’ve just cut something that’s left alot of debris behind, like glitter cardstock, then it might be time to clean it.
All these methods will help extend the life of the mat, but they will eventually wear out and need to be replaced with a new Cricut mat.
Tips For Keeping Your Mats Clean
It’s inevitable that a mat will eventually get dirty, and ultimately need to be replaced, but we want to get as much use out of mats as we can. Remember these tips to keep your mats from need a big clean too often:
- Always store the mats with their plastic covers.
- Occasionally or after cutting something messy like glitter vinyl, run a lint roller over your mat to remove debris.
- Use the right mat for the right job. Choose a lower tack mat or higher tack mat depending on the needs of the material you’re cutting.
- Rotate your mat from time to time. The upper left corner tends to see the most use. Remember you can move object on your mat in the print preview screen, or load the mat upside down to spread out the use a little more.
Use Baby Wipes to Clean Cricut Mats
Our number one favorite way to clean a Cricut cutting mat is to try using alcohol-free baby wipes. This method is quick and easy way and really does a great job to get your mat sticky again. Just remember it must be an alcohol-free baby wipe, otherwise you may act as an adhesive remover and remove the adhesive, not just the dirt. Wet wipes seem to be a brand that works well. To clean your Cricut mat with a baby wipe, simple use the wipe and rub the mat in circular motion, to remove any dust, dirt, or debris. Slowly work your way around the entire mat, and be sure to also get to the edges of your mat. Some people also like to use a plastic scraper to remove larger pieces. No plastic scraper? Try using the edge of an old credit card, or a plastic gift card.
Pay particular attention to the top of your mat, since area tends to receive the most wear and tear by being the most frequently used spot.
Once you’ve finished wiping the entire mat, let it dry fully before using it. This usually takes around 10 min. Afterward, your mat should once again have a sticky surface and be ready to use again. Remember to store your clean mats with the plastic cover on them. Always putting the plastic cover on your sticky mats for protection.
- Alcohol Free Baby Wipes
- Make sure your baby wipes are alcohol free, otherwise they might damage the mats adhesive. To clean the dirty cutting mat, use a baby wipe, and wipe the mat in a circular motion, until the entire surface is clean. Let the mat dry, and then be sure to add the protective cover to keep it clean.
Use Dish Soap To Clean Your Cricut Mat
Another great way to clean your mats is to use a mild dish detergent. It works really well, but is a bit more involved and tends to take a little longer for them to dry complete.
To wash your mats with dish soap, place your dirty mats in a sink full of warm to lukewarm water, you don’t use hot water or cold water. Add in some mild dish detergent, a lot of people like to use Dawn dish soap. Use a wet paper towel and clean the entire surface of the mat slowly rubbing it in a circular motion to remove all the debris right to the edges of the mat. You can also use a soft brush to scrub your mats. Just be careful that you’re not accidently removing all the adhesive by scrubbing too vigorously.
Once the mat is clean, for best results you must leave it to air dry. Try resting it on a flat surface or on your drying rack to dry. Once it’s dry, you should have a sticky mat again.
- mild dish soap like Dawn
- cleaning cloth
- scrub brush
- Wet your dirty mat in the sink, and add some mild soap like Dawn, to the surface. Scrub gently in a circular motion with a cleaning cloth or scrub brush, taking care not to scrub too hard and remove the adhesive.
- Let the mat dry on a flat surface. Once dry, be sure to add the protective layer to keep it clean.
Using Other Cleaning Products And Methods To Clean Your Cricut Mat
Many people like to use L.A. Awesome cleaning product from the Dollar Tree in the US, or look for it online, to clean their mats. Definitely try the milder cleaning methods of baby wipes and dish detergent first, but if that isn’t enough and your mat still isn’t clean and sticky you have nothing to lose by trying a more aggressive cleaning method.
To clean a Cricut mat with L.A. Awesome cleaner, first remove any debris you can, then spray the mat and let it sit for 5-15 minutes. Use similar cleaning methods to above with something like the Cricut scraper tool to remove dirt and residue. Do not clean the mat too aggressively or this cleaning process may remove all the adhesive from your mat, and rather than be a sticky cutting mat again after washing it maybe ruined.
I don’t recommend using something like a Magic Eraser or an all purpose cleaner , because they’re just too strong of cleaners and may remove all the adhesive.
Can I Add Adhesive To An Old Mat?
Some people recommend adding new adhesive to old mats. Keep in mind that DIY’s like this can lead to voiding your Cricut warranty so if you choose this method, proceed with caution. If you add too much adhesive you risk getting the adhesive inside of the cutting machine and damaging it.
The basic method of adding new adhesive to your cutting mat is to use painter’s tape or masking tape around the border of the mat, where the guide wheels are, to keep it free from adhesive. You can then apply a spray adhesive. If you are applying a repositionable adhesive spray be sure to do it in a ventilated area, and protect the surface underneath from over spray. Let the adhesive set 10-15 minutes or according to the package instructions.
What About The Pink Fabric Mat?
The pink fabric mat is special. It’s not as sticky as the other mats and requires a little bit of special care. Do use tweezer to remove large debris and if necessary try the baby wipes or dish detergent method taking care to be gentle and not accidentally scratch the more delicate adhesive off.
Cleaning Up After Cutting Felt
Felt is the worse offender when it comes to messy materials in your craft room to cut with your Cricut. Because it’s so fuzzy it always leave behind residue on a cutting mat. We have a few suggestions to help tackle felt.
- Use a dedicated mat just for felt so that it doesn’t ruin multiple mats.
- Try lining your mat with a piece of transfer tape, sticky side up and applying the felt to it. When you’re finished, or when the transfer tape is no longer sticky, you can peel it off and have a clean mat underneath. Transfer tape is less expensive than new mats, so you might find this method worthwhile. Some people use it for for more than just felt as well.
Even with these tips your cutting mats will not last forever, but these ideas can help extend their life.
With clean cutting mats that are ready to use with your Cricut, life really is a party!
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