Sand the Floor: How to Clean Your Cricut Mat

Crafting isn’t always the cleanest job. Even if you aren’t dealing with paints and oils, you have a lot of runoff when making your projects. This won’t surprise anyone who owns a Cricut device, as the mat requires regular cleaning.

This is a lot easier than you might think, but it depends on what you’re making with a Cricut machine. If you’re using it with food, the cleanup might be a little more involved than cleaning pieces of fabric.

How to Clean a Cricut Mat without Screaming

Cleaning your Cricut mat shouldn’t be an exercise in frustration. You won’t be using the mats for more than 40 times before you end up replacing and restocking them, but cleaning can ensure that you get the most out of your purchase. 

You don’t have to go crazy with the cleaning methods if you just perform regular light maintenance on your mats. Too much cleaning can also take the sticky factor out of your mats, but fortunately, you can also take steps to reapply this texture.

Cleaning a Normal Cricut Mat

If you’re just using the Cricut mats for fabrics and materials for clothing, you can clean your mat to save some of the stickiness. You can start by taking a lint roller and gliding it across the surface of the mat. This will absorb any tiny pieces of fabric that may have gotten lost along the way. You can also use a plastic scraper like what you would use to remove ice from a windshield.

Once you’ve wiped the surface, try a baby wipe to remove any lingering dust or debris. You can now apply a layer of soap and water to the mat. This works great if you find that you’re losing more stickiness than usual.

A tiny amount of dish soap and warm water over the surface of the mat will do the trick. Once you finish scrubbing you can run the same temperature of water over the surface to give it a rinse. If you prefer to use a sponge, you can use a Magic Eraser. It’s a tougher sponge that is gentle but picks up many types of residue that don’t normally come off with a regular dish sponge.

Now, you can spray a degreaser on the mat. If there’s extra dirt and you still don’t have any stickiness on it, you might need to look into a more powerful cleaner. Degreasers are great for getting through whatever residue is left on the mat.

The only issue with degreasers is that they can also remove some of the stickiness. If you use these to clean, you’ll have to apply something to regain the sticky surface after you are finished. You can let the mat air dry once you’re done with the cleaning. Don’t use a towel, since this will cover it with fibers all over again.

Cleaning a Cricut Cake Mat

Cricut Expression Machine Standard Grip Cutting Mat, 6" x 12", Green,...
  • For use with Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore cutting machine
  • Includes two 6" x 12" Standard Grip adhesive cutting mats
  • Recommended materials: Cardstock, Pattern Paper, Embossed Cardstock, Iron-on and Vinyl

Those of you who need to know how to clean a Cricut mat littered with food need to take extra steps for cleaning. First, you’ll need to ensure that all gum paste and frosting has been taken off the pad. When you remove the decorative pieces, get your fingers dirty by clearing off any remaining material. You might be able to save some of this but set it aside so you can properly clean the mat.

Use a plastic scraper to get rid of the shortening that is left behind on the mat. Any of the food sheets you cut with a Cricut machine use shortening to hold the mats in place. When you have completed cutting a sheet, you’ll need to scrape off as much as you can.

Cricut sells their own scrapers that can be used on mats, but anything you already have around the house will work fine. There’s no reason to blow any extra money on something you don’t need.

Warm water with dish soap is what you’ll use to clean this mat as well. You can use a sponge to continue to scrub off the shortening that is left behind from your food projects. Make sure that you use non-toxic cleaners and soaps, as this will come in contact with other kitchen equipment.

You can now let the air mat dry just like any other Cricut mat you’ll need to clean. Again, stay away from dish towels so that you don’t contaminate your projects that you’ll be making on this mat.

Reapplying Sticky Material to the Mat

Cricut Light Grip Mat, 12"x12", 1 Mat
  • Works with the Cricut Explore machine, Cricut Expression machine, and Cricut Expression 2 machine
  • Includes one 12" x 12" Light Grip adhesive cutting mat. The cutting area is what is 12x12, meaning...
  • To ensure best performance, use the recommended material types on the mats: Printer Paper, Thin...

After so many cleaning sessions, you’re bound to find that you can’t get the same stickiness out of the Cricut mats. This isn’t anything to worry about, as you can take steps to ensure that your mats retain their same stickiness as when you first got them.

First, you can use rubbing alcohol to get rid of the original layer completely. Even if there’s still a little bit of a sticky section left, you want to remove this so that your reapplication is even and consistent across the mat. Saturating the mat in rubbing alcohol or an acceptable substance like Goo Gone. The scraper included inside a Cricut tools pack might also help you to remove the layer.

Next, you should tape off the edges of the mat. They have to be completely free of any stickiness and using either painter’s or masking tape should do the trick. You’ll notice a color difference to tell you where you need to apply the tape, located on all four corners of your Cricut mats.

After you have the four corners taped, it’s time to reapply the adhesive. You can find several different options to make your Cricut mats sticky again, whether you purchase them in a physical store or buy them online. You might need a painter’s brush to apply this, while other options come in a spray bottle.

Use 2 or 3 coats of the adhesive to be sure that you completely cover the surface. You can choose from quilt basting spray, glue sticks, scrapbooking glue, or even tacky glue if you thin it with some water.

When you’ve applied your adhesive, let it dry for a while. Don’t use a hair dryer or anything excessive, but make sure it air dries for long enough. When the mat has completely dried, you can take off the tape and begin to use it again.

Other Options for How to Clean Cricut Mats

If you decide to go another route, you can use some of these tips to keep your Cricut mats healthy and sticky.

Choose Different Mats

You’ll find many different varieties of Cricut mats available for purchase as you shop around. Depending on the brand, you might find that some last longer and you don’t need to clean them as much. This can not only make a difference in your money spent, but the amount of time you devote to crafting.

Once you find a brand that works, you can stick to this one in the future. Measure out how long the stickiness lasts, and you can predict when you’ll need to purchase more mats. This way, you can schedule cleanings and figure out when you need to restock on cleaner and additional products.

Cut Your Mats in Half

If you want to be extra resourceful, you can purchase longer Cricut mats and slice them in half. This way, you can specialize in smaller projects and keep your materials lasting longer. Once you go through one half of a Cricut mat, you’ll get twice as much out of your investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean your Cricut mat?

In general terms, it's best to clean it after every two or four cuts. This guideline is particularly critical if you're working with materials that leave lots of debris and scraps behind, like denim and glitter vinyl. Paper or standard vinyl won't dirty your mats quite as fast, but it's still a good idea to keep your equipment as clean as possible.

Does Cricut need to be oiled?

Some grease is necessary for smooth operation of the machine, but if you see grease buildup on the carriage shaft, use a cotton swab, tissue, or a soft cloth to gently remove it.

Why is my Cricut making a grinding noise?

As stated on the official Cricut website: Physical machine damage such as a broken or loose belt, or obvious issues with carriage alignment. If you observe any physical machine damage, contact Member Care for assistance.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Cricut Mat

Although they aren’t overly expensive, learning how to clean your Cricut mats can be the difference between several hundred dollars over the lifespan of your Cricut machine. Sure, they’re easily replaceable, and you won’t need to go very far to restock, but why pay what you don’t have to?

Cleaning your Cricut mats on a regular basis can make the difference if you are someone who relies on your mats for business. If you get a short-notice order that requires more units than you’re used to, you might be able to clean your mats during a break. This way, you know how to reapply stickiness and can get your orders out quicker than any potential competition.

Along with keeping your mats clean, regular maintenance will get you into the habit of cleaning other things. Knowing that it’s time for routine refreshing or your Cricut mats can also remind you that you need to check on the actual Cricut machine. The blades on the cutter need to be oiled and cleaned, and you can inspect the pressing area for any clogs or blockages.

No matter how often you choose how to clean your Cricut mat, you can be sure that it will help you keep them around longer than others. You can take the money you save on extra mats and put it back into more fun materials to use for your projects in the future.

Last update on 2023-09-17 at 21:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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