There’s no getting away from the increasing popularity of the Cricut machine. Now one of the most purchased items in the crafting industry, the Cricut machine has long been a fan favorite for designers and hobbyists alike for many years.
Yet, with this industry renown and award-winning piece of machinery often comes a hefty price tag! Therefore, when it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of your Circuit machine, you’ll want to make sure you clean it as effectively as you possibly can. This way, you can ensure its longevity.
However, one aspect not as readily considered by many is the act of cleaning and maintaining those additional accessories that are used alongside the Cricut machine itself. One of these most neglected but albeit essential of accessories here is that of the Cricut mat.
Here we offer some expert advice on how to take care of and clean your Cricut mat, ensuring it doesn’t lose its stickiness over time.
Why the Circuit Mat Is an Essential Item
A Cricut mat works in harmony with a Cricut machine because it offers a surface area and a foundation to enable you to work on your projects.
The most common mat used is a self-healing mat. Offering the most perfect of cutting conditions, these mat types ensure cleaner cuts and offer several cutting positions along with their multi-angled grid lines.
Boasting an extra thick surface, they work hard at preventing your blade from piercing through the material.
Labeled as self-healing mats because of their ability to bounce back as good as new after each task performed on them, their powerful features make them fantastic workhorses.
A Circuit Mat Is Only as Good as Its Stickiness
Regardless of what type of Cricut mat you use, the most common aspect of these items is their stickiness.
Cricut mats are designed to be sticky to keep hold of the material that is placed on them. This means when you cut through the material or write on it, it stays put on the mat.
Fortunately, over time, as with many products exposed to wear and tear, a Cricut mat may start to lose its effectiveness. This is almost always due to the reduction of its stickiness.
These mat types have been designed to last for many uses, and how long they serve you will all depend on the frequency with which you use them.
However, rather than rushing out to buy a mat and parting with your money at the first signs of a reduction in stickiness, there is one way you can prolong the shelf life of your Cricut mat – and all you have to do is clean it regularly!
Tips for Cleaning Your Cricut Mat
By actively cleaning your Cricut mat, you can extend its lifespan and get it back to peak performance by doing so.
Therefore, we recommend that each time you notice your mat isn’t as effective and not sticking as it should be doing, take a few minutes after you finish your project to clean it.
What’s more, cleaning your Cricut mat need not be a hassle or a lengthy process. There are three types of cleaning methods that you can employ at different intervals.
1. A light clean after every project
This is a great habit to get into as each time you perform a light clean, you keep your Cricut mat sticky for as long as you possibly can.
Take a lint roller and roll it carefully across the surface of the mat. This will pick up any debris that may be stuck to the mat, clearing the area.
Then, use a baby wipe to gently refresh the surface and bring it up as good as new. A baby wipe is ideal here, as it will not damage the mat.
2. A medium clean after an intensive Cricut session
If you’ve been working at your Cricut machine for a long session or more extensive type of project, you may find that your mat’s lack of stickiness is really noticeable.
This is so simple to rectify by placing a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid along with a small amount of warm water over the surface area of the mat.
Using one of the softest brushes you can find, scrub at the mat gently.
Once you’ve finished, rinse the surface off with warm water.
The idea here is to use a sponge that is effective enough to remove the residue remaining on the mat but doing so gently, not scratching the surface of the mat.
3. A more intensive clean for a more problematic mat!
If you find that your mat is at the stage where there’s virtually no stickiness left, or if it’s filthy, a stronger cleaning method and product may be required.
A degreaser is the best solution for this type of job as it will cut through whatever remains on the surface, removing anything that doesn’t need to be there.
This method needs to be done with caution though. Some degreasers are known for leaving a residue, which you’ll need to then clean up afterward with soap and water.
However, many Cricut owners using a degreaser will often mention that their mat loses its stickiness after degreasing, especially if the degreaser is a strong one.
But, if you find this happening, simply apply a coat of sticky spray once you’ve finished degreasing it. This will instantly get your mat back to new.
4. The Importance of Drying Your Cricut Mat
Once you finish cleaning your Cricut mat, whatever cleaning method you choose, you’ll need to allow the mat to dry. This is to ensure it’s ready for use in your machine again.
The most effective way to do this is by allowing it to air dry. So, when you finish cleaning, either hang the mat up to air both sides or place it on top of a drying rack.
The idea of drying your Cricut mat this way ensures that no water remains on the mat, and therefore no moisture is absorbed.
Additionally, it’s never recommended to use any type of towel to dry the mat’s surface. Such material leaves fibers behind, instantly reducing the effectiveness of its sticky surface.
Final Words on Cleaning Cricut Mats
We thoroughly recommend cleaning your Cricut mat each time you finish working on a project. This way, it’s easier to keep it in tip-top condition while ensuring it loses none of that essential stickiness.
Though you will in time have to purchase a new mat, by cleaning the one that you do have, you ensure this isn’t a continual outlay, and that ultimately your mat is up to par every time you use it.