How To Clean A Cricut Mat
A Cricut mat is a surface used to cut and score designs into hundreds of materials, including fabric, paper, and vinyl. These mats are ideal for projects like decorative vinyl decals and scrapbooks.
Cricut mats are typically meant to last for about 40 uses, but periodically cleaning them can increase their useful lifespan. When you cut your materials, they release tiny particles, dust, and fibers. Leftover debris can get into your Cricut mat, thus affecting its functionality.
Here's how you can restore your Cricut mat to optimal condition through proper cleaning.
Light-Duty Cleaning Methods
Cricut mats lose their purpose when their surfaces fail to produce precise cuts. You'll know it's time to clean your Cricut when it starts losing its adhesiveness. Is your mat no longer sticky enough to hold your crafting materials? These cleaning methods will breathe life back into it.
1. Light Cleaning
Light cleaning generally involves using a plastic scraper that comes in with your Cricut machine. Gently run the scraper along the surface in a meticulous manner to remove small debris.
2. Baby Wipes and Lint Roller
Baby wipes are one of the best cleaning companions for your mat because they're damp and soft. Using them leaves your Cricut mat unscathed. If your mat isn't too dirty, it's best to start cleaning with these wipes. However, keep in mind that you can't use just any baby wipes on the market for cleaning purposes.
Only choose the bleach and alcohol free ones, or you'll end up losing your mat's stickiness. To clean your mat with a wipe, run it through the surface slowly while ensuring that you cover every part in a straight line.
Most crafters fall into the trap of using nail varnish removers to dislodge mat residue. But this is a bit risky as you'll permanently ruin your mat's stickiness and destroy any hope of making it sticky again.
A lint roller serves to fulfill two purposes. First, it eliminates any stubborn matter that fails to come out with scrapers and baby wipes. Second, because lint rollers are sticky, you can use them to transfer their adhesiveness onto your mat's surface.
After cleaning your Cricut mat with wipes, run a sticky lint roller across it to remove fibers, dust, and bits of paper. You can do this every day, especially when you forget to cover your mat overnight or whenever you notice dust accumulating on your mat.
When the roller is stickier than your mat, it pulls all leftover debris right off the surface of the mat. In most cases, the use of baby wipes and rollers is enough to eradicate mild build-up.
3. Soap and Water
If you've repeatedly used your mat and it lacks stickiness, it may need a light scrub. Allow it to soak for about ten minutes before taking it out. If the leftover debris doesn't come off, wash the mat with soap and warm water.
Here, it's better to use dish soap that's free of lotion to prevent it from gunking up your mat. Gently scrub the mat's surface with a cloth, magic eraser, or soft sponge and rinse well with warm water. Remember, using too hot water to rinse your mat might warp it, making it hard to fit well in your Cricut machine.
4. Air Dry
Once you're satisfied with the results, it's time to air dry your mat. Let it dry completely before using it. Using tissue or paper to dry the mat will be counter-intuitive. As a result, the bits of paper will stick on the surface, minimizing overall effectiveness.
Heavy-Duty Cleaning Methods
If the gentle cleaning methods fail to restore your Cricut mat's functionality, you may have to use potent cleaning methods. One of the best ways to clean very dirty or greasy mats is by using an adhesive remover.
Adhesive removers are potent solvents that you can use to effectively get rid of all the gunk on the surface of your mat. However, this method might strip your mat off adhesive, so you'll have to reapply adhesive on your mat.
To use an adhesive remover, you should first read the instructions and adapt as necessary. Pour a small amount of the remover onto your mat, and then use a scraper to spread it around the surface. Leave the solvent on the surface for a while. Keep in mind that the longer the adhesive remover stays on the mat, the more gunk it will remove.
Generally, the exact amount of time depends on the type of solvent you use, but leaving it for about 25 minutes will do the trick. You can then use a scraper to remove the messy adhesive off your Cricut mat. To remove any leftover residue, wash the surface with dish soap and warm water before leaving it to dry completely.
How to Restore Adhesiveness in Cricut Mats
A non-resinous mat can greatly interfere with your project. Luckily, there are various methods on how you can make your mat sticky and functional again. Here, you'll need to use an adhesive spray which is easily available on online shops and retail crafts shops.
Because each product has different instructions, ensure you read them carefully. Other tools you'll need for this procedure include scrapbooking glue, quilt basting spray, and repositionable glue sticks. Remember to secure the mat's edges using masking tape to prevent them from becoming sticky and ruining your cutting machine.
First, apply plain rubbing alcohol on the surface to remove any remaining stickiness. Then, slowly spray the sticky spray on the surface of the mat. Finally, let the adhesive set and bond to the surface.
After about twenty minutes, carefully remove the masking tape on the sides before inspecting the finished product. At this point, your mat should be sticky and ready for use.
Regular Cleaning Is the Key
A clean Cricut mat surface enables you to use accuracy techniques without worrying about dirt getting on the way. And the best way to keep your mat at optimal condition and maintain its adhesiveness is through periodically cleaning it using the methods mentioned above.
No need to spend lots of cash buying new mats because of reduced adhesiveness. With these methods, it will only take you a few minutes to rejuvenate and make your Cricut mat sticky again.