Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How To Clean A Cricut Cutting Mat

Now that you are well on your way to creating by finding social media groups and practicing with your machine, chances are your Cricut cutting mat is getting a little worn and dirty. While you could go out and replace your mat with a new one, there are a few things that you can do to revive a dirty mat in order to save time by not going to the store, and better yet MONEY. We all can use a little more of that right? So let's learn how to clean a Cricut cutting mat.

Sometimes, even with the best tips for cleaning your Cricut cutting mats you may still need to replace them. You can find everything you need through the Cricut website HERE and can even use coupons and even get things cheaper on sale than you can buy them at local craft stores.

First off, there are a couple of different ways that a Cricut mat can be cleaned, and I have tried each one of these. All of these methods work; however, I will list below the different methods, which ones work best and which ones will work in a pinch, but not so much long term. It also best to note that resticking a cutting mat can void your machine's warranty. Always check the warranty information that comes with your Cricut cutting machine.

One of the first things you can do to your Cricut mat is to wipe your mat down after use with an alcohol free baby wipe or a lint roller. The lint roller helps to remove any remaining paper bits that you can't get off with weeding and the baby wipe just removes any dust or dirt that may have collected on the mat. I have heard that scotch tape work as well, but I have not tried this method for myself. If you are anything like me, sometimes I forget to put the covers back on my maps and this is a quick way to ensure you are working with a decently clean mat before begining a project.

This is the method that I use if I have completed a fairly large project with lots of cutting and chaning out materials which can cause the mat to become less sticky. If your mat isn't heavily soiled with bits of paper, you can try the simple method of just washing it with soap and water. I usually put dish soap on a sponge and scrub it a couple of times to knock off dust or small paper particles that may keep the mat from sticking. When you are finished, lay the mat on a flat surface and let it air dry. When the mat is dry it will be sticky again. The soap and water just take dirt, dust and paper off the top of the surface, but there is still sticky left on the mat to continue on to your next project. It may not be as sticky as before, but it will still hold your work down. I don't suggest using anything more than lightweight materials.

I use this next method as a way to start from scratch and really deep clean a soiled mat, maybe I shouldn't say "soiled" more like well loved. :). This method requires several steps, but it will completely clean your mat and give you a fresh start. The first step is to apply Goo Gone to the mat and allow it to sit there for about 30 minutes. Once the Goo Gone has set, take a scraper and scrape all of the sticky off of the mat. I used the tool set that came with my cricut that is more specifically used for applying vinyl to different surfaces. If you don't have one of these with your machine, you can easily pick one up at a local craft store or you can go HERE and pick one up on Amazon for yourself slightly less expensive.

When you have finished scraping your mat, there should be no residue left. This is where this project can get a little messy. Using a spray adhesive you can re-stick your mat. I suggest taping the mat off with painters tape. The tape just keeps the paint from setting in places that you don't want sticky. Once you have sprayed your mat with spray adhesive, I let it sit for a couple of hours to settle. Using a spray adhesive will make your mat REALLY STICKY, so you will need to use something to help take some of that away. I use a piece of fabric that will pull some of the unwanted adhesive off. Keep dabbing the fabric across the mat until it is the correct amount of sticky that you need for your projects. If you do not de-stick your mat before placing your materials on it, you have a really good chance of it getting stuck. Trust me, I learned this from experience.While this method is a little tedious and time consuming it will keep you from having to buy a mat every time you complete a project.

3M Spray Adhesive
Elmer's Spray Adhesive
Aileen's Spray Adhesive
Krylon Adhesive Spray

I personally use the 3M and Krylon spray adhesive. Both of these work great. If you are looking for an option that is less expensive the 3M spray is the way to go as Krylon can be a bit more expensive. I feel both work equally as well.

Obviously, we we have already touched base on the warranty information when we started this article. That is IMPORTANT! I always have 2 mats available when I am working on a project. If I need to clean a mat, I always have one as back up.

Remember, these are just a few methods that I have tried. There are many bloggers and vloggers that have different methods and it is always best to find what works best for you. To help you with this process, I have taken the time to find a video on youtube that may help you, and of course it is from Melody Lane. She is so helpful, and if you weren't currently following her from my previous suggestion, then you need to follow her now. If you haven't read my article about learning your cricut explore machine and what you can do to overcome your fear of using it, I suggest you read my article HERE

Check out Melody's video below. Happy crafting and be blessed.

Geeks and Glitter

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