How to Clean a Cricut Mat and Get It Sticky Again
By Sharon Brandwein
A Cricut machine can be a crafter’s best friend, but there’s nothing more disappointing than starting a new project only to find that your material won’t stick to your cutting mat. If you think you need to throw away your Cricut mat when it gets dirty or loses its tackiness, guess again—you can actually clean your Cricut mat and extend its longevity. Of course, cleaning your Cricut mat won’t be the answer forever, but it will buy you some time and save you some cash.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the hows and whys of cleaning a Cricut mat, how to make a Cricut mat sticky again, and when it might be time to replace a seasoned mat.
Photo via Bethany Brandon
When to Clean a Cricut Mat
If you regularly use a Cricut machine, you know that an important part of the tool is the sticky mat that holds your materials in place as they go through the machine. Typically, a Cricut cutting mat should last anywhere from 40 to 50 uses before it begins to wear out or lose its stickiness. If your Cricut mat begins to lose its stickiness, you don't necessarily have to toss it out and buy a new one. You can extend the life of your Cricut cutting mat by cleaning it periodically and storing it properly between uses.
How Often Should You Clean Your Cricut Mat?
Typically, Cricut mats should be cleaned after every two to four uses. If you're a busy crafter and use your Cricut daily, you'll probably need to clean your mats more often than someone who only uses their machine periodically. If you're not sure or if you've lost count, a good rule of thumb is to clean the mat when the materials don't stick properly or as well as they used to.
It's also worth noting that the frequency of cleanings may also depend on the type of materials you use with the machine and the mat. Materials like felt, glitter vinyl, or denim tend to leave behind a good amount of debris, and you'll likely need to clean your mat more often if you work with them.
How to Clean a Cricut Mat With a Lint Roller
You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to clean a Cricut mat is also one of the easiest. Not only are lint rollers an easy way to clean the debris and other particles that build up on your mat, but it’s an inexpensive method to boot. And as an added benefit, when you clean your Cricut mat with a lint roller, the stickiness of the lint rollers can also impart a little stickiness back onto your Cricut mat.
Simply run (or roll) your lint roller across the mat repeatedly until you have removed the dust, dirt, and debris to your satisfaction. If your mat is exceptionally dirty, remember to change the lint roller sheets periodically.
How to Clean a Cricut Mat With Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are another inexpensive yet effective way to clean your Cricut mat. And these, too, come with a little added benefit. Because they’re wet, baby wipes will moisturize Cricut mats, ultimately giving them a little boost in stickiness.
To clean your Cricut mat with baby wipes, simply use the wipes to rub away any stains or residue on your mat. You may have to put a little muscle into it for stubborn stains.
Photo via I Create Crafts
How to Clean a Cricut Mat With Soap and Water
Soapy water is another easy and inexpensive way to clean your Cricut mat when necessary. Ideally, you’ll want to use a mild dish soap (like blue Dawn) and steer clear of soaps with lotions or oils.
To clean your Cricut mat with dish soap, first, use the scraper tool (which often comes with the machine) to remove any excess debris from the mat. Then soak the pre-cut mat in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. After you let your mat soak, you might want to hit it with the scraper again to give the loosened buildup a final go. Finally, use a sponge to scrub away the rest of the dirt and debris.
How to Dry a Cricut Mat
If you use soap and water to clean your Cricut mat, you should give it enough time to dry properly. Once your mat is clean and scrubbed, gently dab it with a paper towel and then let it air dry for at least 15 minutes.
It’s important to note that when the mat is wet, the surface won’t feel very sticky, but rest assured that once the mat is completely dry, the tackiness will return.
How to Deep Clean a Cricut Mat
If your Cricut mat is exceptionally dirty or greasy, you might need a little more cleaning power to restore the mat to its former glory. In that case, you might try LA’s Totally Awesome spray: a popular, widely available, and relatively cheap cleaning spray that Cricut owners swear by.
Before we continue, it’s worth noting that while some people say that this cleaning spray works like a charm, others have said that it removes all stickiness from their mat. So, if this is your first time deep cleaning your Cricut mat and using this spray, you might want to do a test patch and proceed with caution.
To clean your Cricut mat with LA’s Totally Awesome cleaning solution, start by spraying the mat with the solution. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Use the scraper tool to gently scrape any debris off your mat, using only light pressure here, so you don’t damage your mat. Rinse the mat with warm water and leave it to air dry.
How to Keep a Cricut Mat Clean
While you’re using your mat, dust and debris from the items you’re using will obviously accumulate on the mat; that’s to be expected. But a mat that just sits out daily is also likely to collect plenty of dust, debris, and other particles from your environment. So, to keep your Cricut mat clean for longer, be sure to cover the mat after every use.
How to Make a Cricut Mat Sticky Again
In most cases, cleaning your Cricut mat will restore its stickiness. However, cleaning it may not be enough if your mat is older and has sustained a bit more damage. Luckily, there are ways to restore the stickiness to your Cricut mat, which we’ll discuss here in a second.
Before we proceed, you should know that if you attempt to make your mat sticky again, you run the risk of voiding your Cricut machine’s warranty. If you apply the adhesive to the mats and it ends up jamming your machine, you might be out of luck.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Scraper tool
- Baby wipes or mild dish soap and water
- Painter's tape
- Spray adhesive such as Spray N Bond basting adhesive
Step 1: Clean the Mat
First, clean the mat with the scraper tool to remove any visible dirt and debris. Follow up with baby wipes or soap and water if needed.
Step 2: Tape Off the Edges
Once the mat is clean, prep the mat for the adhesive application and tape off the edges with painter’s tape. The painter’s tape will protect the outer border of the Cricut mat where the rollers touch the mat.
Step 3: Apply the Adhesive
Apply the adhesive to your Cricut mat by simply spraying the adhesive onto the mat. While those directions are relatively straightforward, it’s also probably a good idea though to read the directions on the back of the can before doing so.
Once your adhesive has been applied, let the mat dry for 10 to 15 minutes, and it should be almost as good as new.
When to Buy a New Cricut Mat
While cleaning your Cricut mat may work for a while and extend the longevity of your mat, it won’t work forever. It may be time to buy a new mat when any of the procedures outlined above don’t work to get your mat clean, sticky, and usable.
Do you have any clever solutions for making your Cricut mat sticky again? Tell us in the comments. We’d love to know!