by Karen Jones
Having a Cricut mat can make cutting designs very easy. However, once you notice that your material does not cling to the Cricut mat in the middle of a cut, know it isn't without reason.
Now, Cricut cutting mats are very expensive. Hence, they are not something you always want to change. However, if the paper, cloth, or material you want to cut does not stick properly to the mat, you risk ruining the mat as well as the material itself. One important thing to note is that when your Cricut cutting mat starts to lose its stickiness, it simply means the mat is dirty!
Of course, the best solution is to clean it. This helps save costs rather than buying a new Cricut mat. However, the mats are delicate and not something you want to handle without care. So it is important to know the best and proper ways to clean a Cricut mat. After going through this awesome guy, now with a clean Cricut; you can get these best printers For Cricut Maker Projects.
As with almost everything in this world, there are different types of Cricut cutting mats. The type of mat you buy or use should depend on the material you want to cut. There are four (4) main categories, each with its unique gripping power i.e. different levels of adhesion. They are:
This type of mat is specially designed to hold lightweight materials in place. They are very durable and can be used to cut light cardstock, office paper, wrapping paper, vellum, etc.
They are specially designed for cutting lightweight materials but they can also hold heavy materials such as vinyl. They have a long-lasting grip and do not damage the material while cutting. They also hold office paper, wrapping paper, vinyl, cardstock, etc.
As the name implies, they are for strong materials. You can also use them to hold fabric while cutting. However, sometimes it can damage the fabric by digging into the fabric texture and creating holes.
Fabric Cricut mats combine increased strength, density, and durability. They are adhesive enough to hold the fabric in place. They are also gentle to the fabric and won't damage the fabric texture while cutting. With them, cutting different patterns on a fabric becomes easy!
Before you can clean your Cricut mat, you need to know the type of equipment or supplies you need to have at hand. They are:
NOTE: It is not necessary to have all the items on the list above. You only need to have any of them and you are good to go.
That said, let's now discuss the different methods you can use while cleaning your mat. Each method will involve the use of one or more of the items we listed earlier above.
There are different brands of Cricut mats and each comes with unique properties. Before we start, we would like to give a general how-to guide to clean all Cricut mats.
SUPPLIES: You need warm water, dishwashing liquid soap, and a big bowl.
- Make enough soapy water by mixing the dishwashing liquid with the warm water.
- Dip your mat into the soapy water and gently brush with your hands. This would remove any lint and scrap materials stuck in the mat. This should immediately get it clean in no time at all.
NOTE: It is important to use slightly warm water. Hot water would only cause the mat to warp.
That said, here are some fast, effective ways to also keep your cutting mats clean.
Lint Rollers, as the name implies, are equipment that removes dust from the surface of materials. There aren't many complicated procedures involved in the use of a Lint Roller.
- Use a brush or Cricut spatula to gently massage the top of the mat. This is important as it helps to unclutter leftover scraps on the mat.
- Next, roll the lint roller over the mat. This would absorb and remove any remaining debris on the cutting pad.
NOTE: However, you must gently roll the lint roller as you don't want to damage the surface of the mat.
Non-alcoholic baby wet wipes are also very useful in removing dirt from the cutting mat. As simple as the idea is, there are a few things you need to do before wiping down the mat with the wipe.
- Gentle dust the mat to remove all the debris and small pieces of material stuck on the carpet.
- Next, wipe the surface of the mat with the wet non-alcoholic baby wipe. It is recommended to also avoid using baby wet wipes that don't contain any perfume or chemicals such as skin conditioner creams that might affect the stickiness of the mat.
- Once you are done wiping it, leave the mat to dry off and it would be as good as new.
If this does not fix it and you still notice that your mat isn't as sticky as it should be, there are other steps below to take.
If your Cricut cutting mat isn't still sticky after wiping it with the baby wet wipes, using a magic eraser might work. That is of course if you have it around. Magic Erasers are on sale in local supermarkets as well as online stores.
The steps involved are simple. If there are still stubborn areas that the baby wipes didn't clean, you can treat them with a magic eraser. Do note that you have to gently rub the mat with the eraser. Rubbing too aggressively would only damage your mats in small patches. Hence, rub as lightly and fast as you can go.
After you are certain you have touched all the parts, rinse your mat, preferably in lukewarm water. Avoid scalding hot water as it would mess with the Cricut mat itself instead of clearing the eraser debris accumulated while scrubbing.
Lastly, hang the mat outside to dry.
NOTE: For any of the steps listed above and below, do not attempt drying yourCricut mat with a towel or clean cloth. This will just decrease the adhesive power of the mat as it would attempt gripping onto the towel or cloth.
FabricGrip mats are very different from other Cricut cutting mats. This is because they can do more than just hold paper or vinyl products.
The first thing to note while cleaning one is that you can't use a magic eraser to clean a FabricGrip mat. This would remove the adhesiveness of the mat.
There are two recommended methods to clean FabricGrip mats.
1. The first method is by picking out bits and pieces stuck in the mat using a tweezer. You can also do this manually if you don't happen to have a pair of tweezers lying around.
2. Another method is to use a lint roller. This might take a while to remove all debris stuck in the mat but it would also get the job done.
Another method, though not recommended, that seems to work depending on how old your FabricGrip mat is the use of non-alcoholic wet wipes. Of course, the wet wipe should not have any perfume ingredients and must be free from any skin-sensitive oils or lotion.
1. Always remove tiny bits of paper or other materials stuck on the mat after cutting.
2. Use a lint roller on the mat every time you use to mat.
3. All Cricut mats come with a clear plastic protective sheet. You can keep your mat clean by covering it with the protective sheet after each use.
A quick search on Google for tips on how to clean your Cricut mat would open you to a bucketload of suggestions and guides. Some of these guides will include steps on how to use alcohol, rubbing alcohol, or other reagents that contain alcohol to clean your Cricut mat.
Please note that it is best to disregard such guides. Alcohol will react aggressively with the adhesive in your Cricut cutting mat. This doesn't mean it would simply remove the ability of the mat to hold onto materials. It would also render the mat useless by eating into it.
Not all articles or posts on the internet giving tips on how to carry out a particular procedure works. Some are just online so that the blog owner can generate traffic and revenue. So while using alcohol will work, it would also damage your mat.
Hence, it is best to avoid using it, especially since many other alternatives give fast and superior results.
Yes, you can. This is a viable option if you do not have enough money to buy a new mat. Or if you have a special liking for your old mat.
One thing to note is that doing this is not a long-term option. However, it is a quick fit and would save you time and money to buy a newer replacement.
The following steps would help you rejuvenate your Cricut Fabricgrip mat:
i. First, place your FabricGrip mat on the table.
ii. Tape the edges of the mat so that the adhesive does not glue the mat to the table.
iii. Add appropriate adhesive to the mat and leave to dry. You can leave it to dry for about 30 to 35 minutes.
iv. Remove the tapes and your mat is as good as new.
So there you have it. Cricut mats are expensive but useful enough that you can't but use them. This guide helps you resuscitate your old Cricut mat especially when you are on a budget.
About Karen Jones
For the last decade, Karen Jones has worked as a freelance writer and social media marketing consulant. As an gourmand and avid traveler, she publishes cutting-edge articles about traveling that really attracting readers into her wonderful journeys. If you can't find Ms. Jones around her friends and family, she's definitely busy in her home office refining her writing composition and printing press.