If you work with a cutting machine, you’ll know just how important it is to have a good cutting mat. Most cutting machines come with their own cutting mats, and they are usually extremely durable.
You can also buy extra cutting mats from your local office supplies or crafting shops, but the ones that come with the machine are the best ones. Which is why, it is important that you take care of the cutting mat that you have, because the replacement might not be as good.
It’s the same with Cricut cutting mats that comes with Cricut cutting mats. These cutting mats are designed to last dozens of cutting projects, but over time, they lose their stickiness, and become dirty and dull. Cricut cutting mats are supposed to work perfectly for a few dozen projects, but there‘s no need to throw them away when they start to lose their stickiness.
You can always clean your Cricut cutting mat so that they are restored to their former state. If you can clean your Cricut mat according to rules, you’ll be able to use your mat a few dozen times more.
How to Clean a Cricut Mat?
Your cricut mat can come in various sizes, variants and depth, but the methods to clean them are the same. You can use the same techniques to clean not just Cricut cutting mats, but the mats that come with cutting machines of other brands, extra cutting mats that can be purchased separately, as well as the mats used in baking.
When a Cricut cutting mat loses its stickiness, it can’t produce precise cuts. This can ruin your designs, when your cutting mat doesn’t comply with the designs you want to cut and the blades you are using in your machine.
Here are some ways for you to effectively clean your cutting mat so that you can expand its use by a dozen or more times.
Light Cleaning/Simple Cleaning
Every Cricut cutting machine comes with a plastic scraper; if not, you will also get a plastic scraper with each cutting mat that you buy. You can also buy a plastic scraper separately if you need one. On the other hand, any plastic scraper would do, that you can buy in the local supermarket.
You need to run the plastic scraper along the surface of the cutting mat gently, without applying too much pressure. Just a little amount of pressure would do well, because this plastic scraper will dislodge all the small debris that has stuck to the surface of your cutting mat with every use.
The amount of debris would be more if you use adhesive vinyl material in your projects regularly. The adhesive on these vinyl material sticks to the surface of the cutting mat and they are difficult to remove with your fingers.
You’ll need a plastic scraper for this job. Make sure that you’ve covered the whole surface area of your cutting mat with the plastic scrape so that there’s no debris remaining anywhere.
Use a Baby Wipe/Wet Wipes
Next, use a baby wipe or a wet wipe to give your cutting mat a thorough wipe. Baby wipes or makeup remover wet wipes are perfect for this job as they are wet, soft and sensitive enough not to harm your cutting mat.
Only the particular brand of baby wipes or wet wipes that are free from bleach and alcohol, because those ingredients can be harmful for the cutting mat. Using a piece of wet wipes that has alcohol or bleach in it, or both, can wipe away a layer of the cutting mat, and slowly reduce its thickness over time.
Instead of wet wipes and baby wipes, you can even use a piece of soft cotton rag, water and mild soap to clean your cutting mat to perfection, but the job becomes easy when you use wet wipes. Just make sure you are doing this slowly and carefully, and that you have covered the whole surface of the mat.
Remove the Stickiness
A part of cleaning your cutting mat is to remove the remaining adhesiveness of the mat, which gradually reduces over time. Before you can make the cutting mat sticky again, you have to remove the previous, almost-extinct stickiness.
You can remove any excessive stickiness from the cutting mat by immersing it in a bowl or a bucket of soapy water. This will also loosen up the dirt and debris build-up on the mat, which you can remove by wiping with a piece of wet wipe. If soapy water doesn’t remove the stickiness, you can also use adhesive remover.
Adhesive removers are chemicals that can remove any level of stickiness from your cutting mats. They come as sprays that you can spray on the cutting mat, and let it settle for 10 to 20 minutes.
Afterwards, if you rinse the paper with a plastic scraper, all the stickiness and the remaining build-up lint would come out with the scraper. After this, you’ll need to make the mat sticky again before using.
Use a Lint Roller
A lint roller doesn’t usually come with a cutting mat, but you can buy them separately almost anywhere. After you’ve cleaned the cutting mat with baby wipes or soap and water, roll the lint roller over the surface of the mat. Do this more than a few times over the mat, and make sure you’ve covered the whole surface of the mat.
This will help your cleaning in two ways. One, if there are still some stubborn pieces of debris attached to the cutting mat that you hadn’t got out with the plastic scraper, you can get them out with the lint roller. As the lint roller is sticky, it will attract the little pieces of debris attached to the cutting mat, and pull them away.
Two, since lint rollers are sticky, it will transform some of its stickiness to the cutting mat. If your Cricut cutting mat has lost some of the stickiness because of use, it can get some of the stickiness back from the lint roller.
Besides, if there’s any kind of mild build-up on your cutting mat, you can remove it with the combined help of lint roller and baby wipes.
When you’re satisfied with the cleaning, hang up your cutting mat to dry in the air.It is always better to dry the cutting mat in natural air to dry, instead of using a towel, paper towel or pieces of tissue.
If you use these things to dry the cutting mat, there will be small pieces of paper or cotton stuck to the cutting mat that you’ll need to remove again.
Use an Adhesive Spray
If you are still not satisfied with the stickiness of the cutting mat, you can use adhesive spray to make the mat sticky again. This is the opposite of an adhesive remover; spraying the adhesive spray evenly on the cutting mat will create a sticky coat on the mat.
Let it dry for a few minutes and then, apply some plain rubbing alcohol on the cutting mat. Go over the cutting mat with a plastic scraper to seal the deal.
Before you apply the adhesive spray to the cutting mat, make sure to cover the edges of the mat with masking tape. This way, the edges of your cutting mat won’t be sticky, which can damage your cutting machine. You can remove the masking tape after applying the adhesive spray or the lint roller to add some stickiness to the cutting mask.
These are simple cleaning and maintaining tips that can increase the use of your cutting mat significantly; you won’t have to throw away your cutting machine after it has become dull and dirty or lost its stickiness, because after cleaning, you’ll be able to use it for a dozen more times.