How To Clean A Cricut Mat : Step by Step Guideline
If you like working on various cutting projects using your inkjet printer for Cricut, then you no doubt have a Cricut mat. These sticky mats are essential to your work efficiency, but sadly, they do not last very long. Once they get dirty, they start to lose their stickiness which practically makes them unusable.
And since the mat is designed to be sticky, it can be downright impossible to clean it properly. Or is it? A little-known truth is that if you clean your Cricut mat, you can extend its lifespan by quite a bit.
A typical Cricut mat is good for only about 25 to 30 uses. But by cleaning it you can get even more use out of it. However, you need to learn how to clean a cricut mat properly before you can get the most out of it. And that is where we aim to help you.
In this article, we will give you a few tips and tricks to ensure you do not have to throw away your Cricut mat even if it gets dirty and loses its stickiness. So, without further ado, let us dive in.
Types Of Cricut Mats
Before we get started with the restoration methods, you need to understand that there are, in fact, two types of Cricut mats you can buy, the traditional Cricut mat and the cake Cricut mat. Since the cleanup steps for the two variants are different, you need to know a bit about both of them.
A traditional Cricut mat can come in four different colors. The color signifies the overall stickiness or the gripping strength of the mat.
With the blue mat, you get the softest grip which makes it suitable for cutting lightweight materials such as printer paper, or vinyl.
Then you have the standard grip which is green suitable for cutting bonded fabric, texture paper, or similar materials.
Strong grip mats are purple in color which is for materials like thick cardstock or poster board. Finally, you have the pink mat, which is mostly for cutting fabric.
A cake Cricut mat on the other hand is for cutting decorative pieces that you can use in baking. If you use your machine for creating gum paste, frosting sheets, or fondant, then there is a good chance that you are using this type of mat. In terms of gripping strength, it is comparable to that of a Pink Cricut mat.
How To Clean A Traditional Cricut Mat?
To ensure your Cricut mat remains sticky, you should keep it well-maintained. This means if you take some time to clean it up after each cutting session, it will last you a lot longer.
There are three different ways you can clean your traditional Cricut mat. The method you choose depends on the condition of the mat. In the following section, we will give you a quick walkthrough of each method.
Method 1: Plastic Scrapper
First, you want to use a scraper to scrape off the light debris that may get stuck on the sticky surface. Only stick to plastic scrappers as a metal one might damage the mat. Then use a lint-roller or baby wipe to gently rub over the surface of the mat to remove the residual debris.
Method 2: Soap and Water
For the next step, you want to use a bit of soap and water on the surface of the mat. However, avoid pouring it over the mat. Instead, take a soft brush or cloth, dip it into the soapy water, and rub it gently on the surface of the mat. You can also use a sponge instead of a brush.
Method 3: Degreaser
If your Cricut mat is in a bad shape, and cleaning it with water or scrapper does not cut it, you have to use a degreaser to restore it. A good quality degreaser can cut through the debris stuck on the mat and clear the surface. However, you must clean the mat with soap and water after applying the degreaser to remove any residual chemicals.
Once you have cleaned your Cricut mat with one of the steps mentioned above, you need to dry it well before you can use it. Simply store your mat in a well-ventilated area and let it air dry. Do not put it in direct contact with a heat source as it can damage the unit.
Way To Clean A Cricut Cake Mat?
If you use a Cricut machine for baking, then you should already have a Cricut cake mat. Unfortunately, these mats require more maintenance than the traditional mat. So, if you do not clean it up immediately after use, it can get dirty quite fast. You also need to change your Cricut blade for your machine to be in top shape.
Similar to the traditional mat, you want to tackle the cleaning method depending on the extent of the damage. In either case, make sure you peel off any frosting, or gum paste from the surface before getting started with its cleanup.
Method 1: Plastic Scrapper
Instead of a sticky cover, which is normal on the traditional Cricut mat, a Cricut cake mat comes with a layer of shortening.
For the first method, you want to scrape off the shortening as much as you can. Again, you want to use a plastic scraper for this method as it does not hurt your mat.
Method 2: Soap and Water
Soapy water also works perfectly fine in cleaning a Cricut cake mat. You can even use cleaning solutions as long as they are non-toxic. Since you will be preparing food items on the mat, toxic cleaning agents are a strict no-no.
Once you are done cleaning it leave it out to air dry. You may have noticed that we did not suggest using a degreaser to clean this type of mat.
The reason behind it is that degreaser can be harmful to your body if ingested. And even if you clean it off with water, there is a chance that some amount of it will stay on the surface of the mat.
That is why you should avoid using a degreaser to clean a Cricut cake mat.
How To Restore The Stickiness Of A Cricut Mat?
If you were reckless with your Cricut mat and noticed that after cleaning, it has little to no stickiness left, there is still a way to restore it. However, this requires a bit more work. Here are the steps to making your Cricut mat sticky again.
- Remove the upper layer from the mat using an adhesive remover like Goo Gone.
- Block off the edges of the mat using masking tape.
- Then apply repositionable adhesive such as scrapbooking glue or glue sticks on the surface of the mat.
- Let it air dry.
Voila, your Cricut mat should be as sticky as when you first bought it.
Sure, nobody loves cleanup duties. But keeping your Cricut mat neat and clean will help you extend its durability. And since you can restore the stickiness, there is really no point in throwing out your old mat.
We hope our article on how to clean a Cricut mat will help you save money on mats that you have to replace and help you get the most out of every single one you own.
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