How to Clean a Cricut Mat (and other tips for keeping your mat sticky for longer!)
How to Clean a Cricut Mat: A Comprehensive Guide
Welcome to another installment of our series Cricut Joy for Beginners. In this video from Lou Collins, we will focus on an essential aspect of maintaining your Cricut machine - How to Clean a Cricut Mat.
Properly cleaning and caring for your Cricut mat can extend its life, ensuring you get the best cuts possible every time and save money by not having to replace your Cricut mat as often. If your mat has reached the end of it's usefulness then you can find a replacement Cricut mat at CraftStash, with best prices guaranteed.
Cleaning a Cricut mat may seem like a daunting task - how will you get the stickiness back. Fear not, by the end of this guide, you'll be a pro at keeping your mats in top-notch sticky shape. If your Cricut mat doesn't get sticky then you can purchase new mats at the best prices guaranteed from CraftStash - Best Value Cricut Mats
How to Clean a Cricut Mat: A Step-by-Step Guide
Is your Cricut machine mat looking a little worse for wear? Covered in bits and lost its stickiness? Before you rush off to replace it, we have some tips to share that could help extend its lifespan. This guide will take you through the process of cleaning your Cricut machine mat step by step, ensuring you get the most out of it before it needs replacing.
Why Clean Your Cricut Mat?
A clean mat is essential for clean, sharp cuts. If your paper is slightly moving or you're getting a feathered edge during cutting, cleaning your mat could solve these issues. Dust, pet hair, and paper remnants can significantly reduce the mat's stickiness, causing materials to move about during the cutting process.
Scrape Off the Dirt
The first thing you'll want to do is scrape off as much dirt as possible. You can use any tool with a flat edge for this, such as a mixed media scraper or even the edge of a ruler. The goal here isn't to scratch the adhesive on the mat but to remove the surface dirt. Press down in one direction and then go in the other direction too. You'll notice a lot of dirt and dust being removed, and this alone may increase the stickiness of your mat.
Use a Sticky Lint Roller
If scraping doesn't completely clean your mat or you're not happy with the tackiness, the next step is to use a sticky lint roller. Run it over the surface of your mat to pick up dust and glitter. Remember to roll it in the direction of the grain of the paper, otherwise, you'll end up pulling off the adhesive. If you have a new sheet of sticky on your roller, run it on your clothes first to reduce the tackiness.
Wipe It Down
If there are still bits on your mat that you need to remove, the next stage involves using a wet wipe. However, you don't want just any wet wipe - avoid those with alcohol content as it breaks down the stickiness of the glue on your mat. Instead, use a water-only wet wipe, which you can find in the baby care aisle of most supermarkets.
Rub the wet wipe over the surface of your mat until you're happy that it has picked up as much dirt as possible. Then, let your mat air dry. While your mat is wet, it won't be sticky, but as it dries, the stickiness will return. Be patient and let it air dry naturally - don't try to speed up the process by wiping it down with a towel, as that will just add more fibers to it.
If none of the above work you can try washing your Cricut mat
If your mat is exceptionally dirty, or if it's been a while since its last clean, you will need to wash it. This process involves using warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Avoid using the scouring side of the sponge as it can scratch the surface of the mat and damage the adhesive over time.
Immerse the sponge in the soapy water and start scrubbing your mat, building up a good lather. Work in small circles, focusing on areas with the most wear and tear. Once you're done scrubbing, rinse your mat under a tap and leave it to air dry.
A Few Additional Tips for Clean Cuts
To ensure the cleanest cuts with your Cricut machine, follow these additional tips:
- Check your blade: Always ensure that your blade is free from any small fibres. You can remove the blade from the machine and use tweezers to remove any fibres. Remember not to touch the blade as it is very sharp.
- Use different areas on your mat: It's tempting to always use the top left corner of the mat, particularly with small designs. However, to spread the wear and tear evenly across the mat, try moving your design around on the mat before sending it to cut.
- Choose the correct cardstock and pressure: Make sure you are choosing the correct cardstock for your project and use the least amount of pressure needed to avoid any damage to your mat.
Maintaining Your Mat Post-Cleaning
Once your mat has completely air dried, you'll notice increased stickiness and it will feel like new again. Repeat this cleaning process as necessary. Eventually, there will come a time when you'll need to replace your mat as the adhesive wears down. When that time comes, remember to visit Craft Stash, your go-to source for all your digital cutting machine needs.
Always use the cover that comes with the mat when it's not in use. This practice increases the longevity of your mat, keeps it sticky, and prevents dust and little fibers from sticking to it while it's stored.
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide on 'how to clean a Cricut mat'. By following these steps, you'll extend the life of your mat and ensure optimal performance from your Cricut machine. For more tips, techniques, and tutorials, don't forget to subscribe to the Craft Stash YouTube channel and check out their dedicated Cricut Joy machine playlist.
Happy crafting! We hope you have enjoyed learning how to clean a Cricut mat!