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I tend to get more questions about Cricut mats in particular, but this guide will apply to any sort of similar cutting mat with an adhesive, including Silhouette mats.
Having a sticky Cricut mat is important because you don’t want the material you are using to slide around while the machine is cutting. This can lead to wasted materials and a jammed cutting machine.
Mats only tend to stay sticky for a little over a dozen cuts, more or less depending on the materials you use. If you use your Cricut a lot, this can really add up because cutting mats aren’t cheap!
This guide will help you learn how to clean debris off of your mats, and restick them so that they work good as new.
How do you know when it’s time to clean your mat?
When you first open your Cricut mat, you’ll notice that they are SUPER sticky. Often times I find that I have to dull the adhesive using a shirt or towel so that it doesn’t damage my materials.
However, in doing so, this accelerates the wear on the adhesive. After a dozen or so cuts, mats will lose their sticking power.
You can tell it’s time to clean your mat when your materials no longer firmly stick to the mat.
Sometimes it will appear that materials are stuck to the mat, but when the machine starts cutting, they begin sliding around or creating bubbles.
This will decrease the accuracy of your cuts, leading to the waste of materials, a possibly jammed or damaged machine, and an unsuccessful craft project.
How to Clean your Cricut Mat
It’s very likely that you will not need to follow every step on this list. If your mat isn’t very dirty, you may be able to get away by only doing the first couple steps and not have to restick the mat at all.
However, don’t worry if the adhesive is removed in the process of removing dirt and debris. It’s very simple to restick the mat once it is clean, and after you have the materials, you’ll find that it’s much cheaper to restick the mat than constantly purchase new ones.
Use a Scraper
The first thing you’ll want to do is grab your scraper if you have one. If not, grab an old credit card or something similar. Run your scraper along the surface of the mat, removing any debris or buildup. If your mat has a lot of paper fibers or debris, this may take a few passes.
Use a Lint Roller and Baby Wipes
For stubborn buildup, many crafters recommend using a lint roller. Any kind of lint roller will do, as long as it is sticky. After giving it a few passes on the mat, you might be shocked how much debris a Cricut mat can collect!
Once most of the debris is removed, I recommend using baby wipes. You’ll want to use baby wipes that are both alcohol and bleach free, or you’ll risk ruining the adhesive of the mat.
If your mat doesn’t have a ton of buildup, these steps may return it to its former glory. However if your mat still isn’t sticky, continue with the rest of the guide!
Use Soap and Water
If your Cricut mat has truly seen better days, it might be time for a bath in some dish soap and water.
Let your mat soak in warm soapy water for 10 minutes, then remove. If your mat still needs some TLC, then you can use a sponge, brush, magic eraser, or dishrag to remove the debris.
In some cases, if a lot of scrubbing is required, you may have to restick your mat when you are finished. Allow the mat to air dry when you are finished.
For Very Stubborn Debris, try Goo Gone
Using a paper towel, spread around a bit of Goo Gone or adhesive remover. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then scrape it off with your scraper. This will remove the buildup as well as the adhesive on your mat, so you will need to restick your mat after this step.
Let the Mat Air Dry
After removing the buildup, allow your mat to air dry. You might be pleased to find that after these steps, your mat is quite sticky once again, and you can go back to using it with your Cricut.
If you had some stubborn debris and you had to do a deeper clean, then you might have to restick your mat. Don’t worry, this step isn’t too hard, and once you’re finished, your mat should be as good as new!
Resticking your Cricut Mat
Cricut mat not sticky anymore? Follow these steps to help it get back to its former glory.
Make Sure Your Mat is Clean
Before resticking your mat, make sure the surface is clean and doesn’t have any debris. Follow the steps above to make sure you have a surface that’s ready for some fresh adhesive. I recommend using soap and water or Goo Gone to remove the old adhesive layer.
Tape the Edges
Grab some tape and tape the edges of the mat where you don’t want adhesive. On a Cricut mat, these are the margins where the Cricut rollers move the mat back and forth.
You’ll want to make sure that these edges don’t get sticky with the new adhesive, or else you will risk damaging the rollers on your machine.
Any kind of tape should work fine for this. When I do it, I tend to use blue painters or masking tape, however it is entirely up to you.
Cover Mat with Adhesive
At this stage you’ll want to cover the mat with some adhesive. You can use a spray adhesive or a glue stick.
Here’s some adhesives I would recommend:
Aleene’s Tack-It Over & Over Liquid Glue
Mix the liquid glue 1:1 with water and coat the cricut mat. Depending on how sticky you want the mat, you may want to coat it multiple times.
Kuretake ZIG 2 WAY GLUE
With this glue, you don’t even have to tape off your mat! After cleaning, simply use the glue stick on the grid part of the mat, and wait for it to dry clear before using.
Stencil Ease Repositionable Stencil Spray Adhesive
Lightly spray onto mat from a distance after taping the edges. If it is too sticky, you may have to place and remove something (like a t-shirt or towel) on the mat a few times to loosen the grip.
Let the Adhesive Air Dry
After spraying or using a glue stick, allow the mat to air dry. Once the mat is dry, you can then remove the tape, and your mat should be as good as new!
You can test a small corner of your mat to make sure it is as sticky as you would like. If the mat is too sticky, you can use a t-shirt to slightly dull the adhesive.
These steps should increase the life expectancy of your mats by quite a bit. You’ll be able to save some money and frustration by cleaning your mats instead of constantly buying new ones.
I hope this guide was helpful! Do you have any Cricut mat cleaning tips and tricks that weren’t shared here? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for other ways to save money on your Cricut? Check out 8 Money Saving Tips for Cricut and Silhouette