How To Clean A Cricut Mat: Taking Care Of Your Cutting Machine
Have you ever hesitated to use your Cricut mat because you were worried about how it would hold up? You can wash them with ease. This article will provide how-to's on properly cleaning, storing, and maintaining your mat to last for a long time without any problems.
Tips to Keep Your Cricut Mat Last Longer
Make use of the Cricut clear cover
Your new Cricut mat comes with a transparent cover. Don't throw it out and use it to cover your cutting mat when not in use.
Remove the leftover materials immediately
One way to keep your Cricut mat in good condition is to remove the leftover paper or glitters after each use. The Cricut scraper is an excellent tool to remove the excess paper and larger leftovers. For lint and glitters, a lint remover or brayer is a good choice.
Use the right mat type
The mats are there for a reason, so use the right mat for your projects. The sticky surface makes sure that your materials stick well on the mat's surface to not fall off during the cutting process.
- StrongGrip (purple mat) is best for heavyweight materials such as chipboard, specialty cardstock, fabric with stiffener, glitter cardstock, and other materials that need a stronghold.
- StandardGrip (green mat) is best for medium-weight materials such as patterned paper, iron-on, cardstock, and vinyl.
- LightGrip (blue mat) is best for light cardstock, construction paper, printer paper, and other lightweight materials.
- FabricGrip (pink mat) is best for fabric cutting.
DIY Cleaning Hacks for Your Cricut Mats
Try these crafter-tested cleaning methods for your Cricut cutting mats and get a new one without spending much.
Alcohol-free baby wipes
Not all baby wipes work for cleaning your cutting mats. Alcohol-free baby wipes work great for cleaning your Cricut mat. Aside from being readily available at home, cleaning your mat with baby wipes won't need washing. Just wipe the moisture down with paper towels, then let the mat sit for 5-10 minutes to restore its stickiness.
Dishwashing liquid like Dawn dish soap is another alternative to try for cleaning your Cricut mats. You can squirt it directly on a dishwashing sponge before you gently scrub the sponge in a circular motion.
Another trick is to apply the dishwashing liquid directly on the mat and leave it for a minute. Soaking the mat in soapy water also does the trick of loosening the gunk. Rinse the mat under warm water, then dry it with a paper towel. After 10-15 minutes, the stickiness should be good.
All-purpose cleaner or degreaser
An all-purpose cleaner or degreaser also works well for cleaning your Cricut mats. However, scrub the surface gently since some crafters encountered discoloration issues around the non-adhesive side of the mat.
Discoloration doesn't affect the mat's function, though, so you don't have to worry about it. You may also use an adhesive remover like Goo Gone Adhesive Remover to clean your cutting mats thoroughly.
Cleaning the pink Cricut mat
The pink Cricut fabric mat is more sensitive than the other mats, so it is best to keep out dirt as much as possible. Keep your fingers off the pink mat as much as possible. The oil on your fingertips is likely to remove the adhesive. Remove the fabric using a pair of craft tweezers or weeders and remove the lint and fabric residue with a brayer or lint roller.
Some crafters recommend using a clear transfer tape over the FabricGrip Cricut mat, sticky side up, then roll your brayer over it to let it stick. The fabric lint remains on the transfer tape but keeps your pink mat clean. Other crafters swear by the LA's Totally Awesome All-Purpose Cleaner.
Apply an even layer of the cleaner on the pink mat, then let it sit for a minute. Use an even, light pressure when scraping the fabric lint with a Cricut scraper. Rinse the mat under lukewarm water, wipe it with a paper towel, then let it sit again for 15 minutes to allow the mat to air dry completely. The stickiness should be back after it dries.
Cleaning a Cricut Mat FAQ
When to clean my Cricut mat?
When your Cricut does not feel sticky anymore, it's time to clean it. It is essential to clean the gunk off your sticky cutting mats as it can damage your Cricut machine.
How long does a Cricut mat last?
The Cricut mat is a sticky, durable material that you can use for up to 40 uses. However, regularly cleaning them may increase the lifespan of your mat.
How do you refresh a Cricut mat?
Here are some repositionable adhesive products for resticking cutting mats. Unlike regular glue, they don't get thoroughly dry so that you can remove and restick your paper or vinyl on the mat. Let the glue dry and protect it with a clear plastic cover. You should reapply the adhesive after 4 uses.
Refreshing a Cricut mat means cleaning it and making it sticky again. After cleaning your mat using the hacks above, apply it with Zig 2-way glue or Krylon Easy-Tack adhesive spray.
Other crafters mix Tack-It with water (3 parts glue and 1 part water) and apply over the mat. Another repositionable alternative is the Stencil Ease Adhesive Spray. Remember to add masking tape or painter's tape around the corners of your clean Cricut cutting mat to prevent the adhesive spray from covering the whole mat.
We hope that this article has proven to be helpful. You need to take care of your crafting tools to get the best result from your projects. Cricut cutting mats are expensive and while Cricut recommends that you change your mat when it loses its adhesiveness, why throw it out when you can still use it?