When it comes to being creative, you want to make sure that you have the right materials. Technology has advanced to make doing projects easier and more exciting, and Cricut mats can help with that endeavor. However, over time, they may become worn out, and you may find yourself wondering how to make a Cricut mat sticky again.
What Is a Cricut?
Before understanding what a Cricut mat is, you have to know what a Cricut machine is, as these two items go together. In essence, a Cricut machine is a die-cutting machine. In a way, it's like a printer. You can create a design or image on your computer and then send it to the machine. However, the image or design won't be printed out on paper; it will be cut out of material.
This machine can be used for a variety of different craft projects. The material you choose can vary from paper, craft foam, faux leather, vinyl, cotton, and more. Even though it doesn't work like a tradition printer, it does have the ability to make prints. You can add a marker to the accessory slot and the Cricut will draw whatever design you send to it.
History of the Cricut
When this machine first came out, it used cartridges to create the shapes and designs that you sent to it. As it advanced, it no longer used cartridges. Instead, everything is done digitally, and it works over Wifi or through Bluetooth.
The machine comes with access to a library of different designs that you can choose from to create your project. You also have the option of uploading your own. Depending on the type of machine you have, it has the capability to cut materials up to 12 inches wide. There is a small cutting blade located on the inside of the machine.
To cut something out, you place the material onto a sticky mat and place that into the machine. The mat holds the material in place when the blade passes over the top and cuts out the patterns. When the machine is done cutting, you take the mat out of the machine and pull the items off the sticky surface. The issue is that after a while the mat loses its stickiness. Then you need to know how to make a Cricut mat sticky again.
What Can the Cricut Be Used for?
The things you can do with a Cricut machine are really only limited by your imagination. However, below is a list of some of the ways in which this machine can be used.
The Cricut Mat
The Cricut mat is an integral part of being able to use these machines. Without them, it would be incredibly challenging to cut out any of the shapes or designs that you create. There are different mats for the different projects you can create and each has a different level of sticky. Below are the mats that go with the Cricut machine and what they are used for:
Blue LightGrip Mat
This is probably the most common type of mat there is, and it's the one people use for light materials, including vinyl, copy paper, thin cardstock, construction paper, and vellum.
Green StandardGrip Mat
This mat can be used to cut medium-weight materials such as washi paper, pattern paper, cardstock, and vinyl. Some people even use bonded fabric with it. For some, this is their go-to mat when it comes to cutting different items because it has more stick than the blue mat but not so much that it's hard to get materials off of. For some, it also seems to last longer than the other mats.
Purple StrongGrip Mat
This mat is best used for items such as thick cardstock, magnet sheets, chipboard, aluminum foil, poster board, fabric with stiffener, glitter cardstock, and craft foam. This stick on this mat is incredible, and if the wrong material is used on this board it could end up tearing or not coming off the surface easily.
Pink FabricGrip Mat
This mat can be used for fabric and crepe paper. It isn't as sticky as the other mats, but it is sticky enough to keep the material from sliding as it is cut by the machine. If you have a machine that works with bonded fabric and has a bonded fabric blade, this mat is the one you want to use.
Do You Need to Replace Your Cricut Mat?
Using a Cricut mat with your machine is highly recommended as this will ensure that your designs come out looking the way they should and keep your machine from getting damaged. Without the mat, material could get caught in the rollers or the blades. The mat also holds the material in place so that the designs are cut to specification and look amazing when you take them out.
Over time and use, the Cricut mats will wear down. The materials you place on them will leave residue or pieces behind. This is especially true when it comes to certain fabrics, foams, or paper. There's no way to stop fibers or small pieces from staying stuck to the surface, so keeping your mats clean is important.
Of course, in time, they will get to the point where keeping them clean no longer works and they'll have to
be replaced. When this happens will depend on how often you use your mats, the material you use on them, and how well you clean them.
How to Make a Cricut Mat Sticky Again
When looking for how to make a Cricut mat sticky again, there are some steps you can take. The first is to ensure that the surface is clean. This process can vary depending on the type of mat you are using. Below are some ways to keep them clean.
How to Clean the Green, Blue, and Purple Mats
For these mats, you'll want to start with removing any leftover material that may be on the surface. This can be accomplished by using a scraper. If there are smaller bits that are hard to scrape off, you'll need to use a sticky lint roller to remove them.
Once these have been removed, you'll then need to wipe down the mat with a non-alcohol-based cleaning wipe. You might consider using baby wipes or Purell wipes for this task. After that has been completed, you'll then to wash the mat with water and gentle soap. You might consider using dish soap for this step. Then you will need to allow the mat to air dry.
How to Clean the Pink Mat
If you have the pink mat, the cleaning process is slightly different. You'll want to make sure that you avoid touching the mat as much as possible as the oils from your fingers can have an impact on the adhesive. You also don't want to use a scraper on this mat because it can take off the adhesive as well as the fabric bits. You also don't want to use soap and water or any other cleaning agent on this mat.
To remove fabric from this mat, you'll need to use tweezers, the Cricut spatula, or the strong grip transfer tape. If you are using the mat to cut extra fuzzy material, such as fleece or felt, you might consider putting the transfer tape behind the fabric to keep your sticky mat clean.
How to Make a Cricut Mat Sticky Again by Adding More Sticky Material
If you find that your mat still isn't as sticky after cleaning, you might consider adding more adhesive. However, it's important to keep in mind that you could void the warranty on your machine if you do this. It's possible that the adhesive could gunk up your rollers and make the machine function poorly.
If your warranty has expired and you want to do some experimenting, there are some ways to add adhesive to your mats. This includes adding tape to the edges of the mat or using an adhesive spray. Either of these may answer the question of how to make a Cricut mat sticky again and allow you to create more designs and patterns with your machine.
If taking these steps doesn't make your mats sticky again, then it may be time to consider getting new ones. They weren't mean to last forever, and they will wear out over time and with use.
Using a Cricut machine to create projects can be incredibly fun and fulfilling. There are so many different things you can do with your machine, and you can use a variety of materials to create amazing crafts. Using a Cricut mat is the best way to ensure that everything comes out looking the way it should and that your machine is working optimally.
When trying to figure out how to make a Cricut mat sticky again, there are some steps you need to take. Keeping them clean will help them last for a while. However, at some point you may find that you'll need to replace the Cricut mat, as nothing was meant to last forever.