Cricut mats are important parts of the machine. They hold materials in place, so the machine can get clean designs and not get damaged.
There are a couple of different Cricut mats that are used, and each has their own use for various materials.
Since the mats are only useful because they are sticky, so the materials stick to them, there can be problems when they lose their use.
However, just because your Cricut mat is no longer sticky doesn’t mean that it can’t still be used. Often, all our mats need is a little TLC, and they will be back in working order.
If you need to find out how to get your Cricut mat sticky again, this post is for you. Here, we will be going through everything you need to know about getting your mat looking its best again.
Hopefully this helps you, and you are able to continue using your beloved machine in no time.
Why is the Cricut Mat Important?
As previously mentioned, the Cricut mat keeps everything in place when it is being cut. If the materials can’t be kept in place, they will move around and won’t get cut cleanly.
If you use your Cricut and the mat isn’t sticky, there will be nothing to keep the material you are using down.
Why Cricut Mats Get Less Sticky Over Time
Cricut mats will get less sticky over time because they get used and bits of Debris build up over time. Additionally, a mat will gradually become less sticky the more it is used, since the adhesive will never last a lifetime.
Generally, a met can last up to 50 uses, but this is only when it is taken care of (there is a section on how to keep your Cricut mat clean further down).
After about 50 uses, the adhesive will not be strong enough to stick the materials down.
How to Make Your Cricut Mat Sticky Again
Firstly, you can always go out and buy a new Cricut mat. There are often sales happening where you can buy mats in bulk, but this can still be pretty expensive.
If you don’t have the money to go out and order more mats for your machine, you can always try to re-stick it at home.
However, this should always come with a warning, because when you attempt to re-stick the mat at home, the Cricut machine’s warranty is likely to become void.
When you try to add adhesive to the mat yourself, there is a chance that the excess adhesive will get stuck in your machine. This can result in the machine breaking, or at the very least needing to be repaired.
It is safer to simply take care of your Cricut machine to extend the life, but there will always be people who want to try to DIY themselves out of any problem.
For those people, the below method is how you can attempt to re-stick your Cricut mat. Remember – this could damage your machine if it is not done very carefully.
To re-stick your Cricut mat at home, follow the steps below:
- First, you will need to clean the mat properly. You will need to get rid of any leftover materials, debris, and dirt that is stuck to the adhesive. Using a scraper tool should get rid of most of this, but you will need to clean the mat afterwards using one of the methods outlined below.
For mats that are only a little dirty, use a gentle cleaning method. If your mat has some stubborn dirt, use some mild dish soap. Using Awesome spray should always be a last resort, as it does not always achieve the desired results.
- After you have cleaned the mat, allow it to air dry completely. Never use anything to try to dry the mat, or else the fibers will just get stuck in the adhesive.
- When the mat is dry, use either blue painter’s tape or masking tape to tape off the edges of the mat. The edges of the mat do not need any adhesive, and if you do get any on it, it will have a negative impact on your Cricut machine. Anywhere the Cricut’s rollers touch on the map need to be taped off.
- Get your spray on adhesive and carefully apply it to the taped off mat. A spray such as the Spray m Bond Basting Adhesive is a good choice for this since it is temporary, like the mat should be. You will need to follow the instructions that are printed out on the can, no matter the brand. It is advised to do this in a well ventilated area.
- Once you have sprayed on the adhesive, you will need to leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes. After this amount of time, the mat should be good you use, and you can continue crafting.
There are a few other adhesives you can use for this project, too. These include Tacky Glue, Zig Adhesive, Aleene’s Tack It Over and Over, and Loctite. Some of these adhesives might work better than others for some mats, but you should be prepared to simply buy a new mat if the process doesn’t work well.
What You Can do to Extend the Life of Your Cricut Mat
If you can take care of your Cricut mat, it will last a much longer time. There are some simple things you should do to ensure this. This information won’t change for any Cricut machine, since they work with the same basic mechanisms. If you do the following things, your Cricut mat should last the full 50 uses.
- Get the right mat for the corresponding material – you will need to change the type of mat you are using, depending on the material you are working with. For delicate paper, you should use the LightGrip Mat.
For the heavy-duty materials like wood, the StrongGrip mat is best. If you are using fabric, you should use the FabricGrip mat, like the name suggests. Doing this will help ensure that the fabric isn’t damaged as the goes through the Cricut.
- Use clear protective sheet all the time – when you buy a Cricut, it will come with a clear protective sheet that fits over the mat. The mat is there to make the mat’s the tackiness last longer by stopping debris, dirty, and anything else that could affect it from coming into contact with it.
If you remember to make use of the protective sheet and put it back onto the mat, it will last a pretty long time. The protective sheet should still be put back if you are planning on doing a couple of projects in a short time.
If the plastic sheet begins to get dirty, you can use something like a baby wipe to clean it, then put it back on the mat.
- Use the scraper regularly to get rid of built-up debris – the Cricut scraper tool you can use to scrape anything off the mat when it gets dirty. If you don’t have this scraper, you can use a plastic gift card to scrape the mat. To do this, all you need to do is scrape the edge of the card across the Cricut mat’s surface, and the scrap pieces and excess dirty will come off pretty easily.
Cleaning Your Cricut Mat Before Applying the Adhesive
You need to clean your Cricut mat whenever it starts to become less sticky, and when there is visible debris stuck to it. If you frequently clean it and keep it in good condition, it should last a much longer time.
Depending on the type of Cricut mat you have and use, you might need to use a different cleaning method.
If you accidentally use a cleaning method that is wrong for the type of mat, that mat probably won’t be able to be used again.
They are delicate items, and need appropriate care. You should always try cleaning your mat thoroughly before trying to re-stick it. More often than not, the mat just needs to be cleaned to get working again.
If you need some gentle cleaning method for your Cricut mat, you can try the following:
- Baby wipes – this affordable option is super easy and non-damaging. To do this, make sure you have alcohol-free wipes, and just wipe the mat with them in a circular motion.
Depending on how dirty the mat is, you might need more than one baby wipe. Before you use the mat again, make sure that it air dries fully, then it will be ready.
Never use any heat on it, and do not wipe or else fibers will get stuck to the adhesive. Just stand it up vertically and leave it alone to dry.
- Scraper – any leftover material that is stuck to the mat can just be scraped off using the scraper (or plastic card). Using the tool should result in whatever is stuck on the mat being dislodged. This method works great for scraping off fuzz, hair, or anything else that gets in your way.
- Lint roller – if you have used materials with glitter, small pieces of paper, or anything else that you can see stuck on the mat, try using the lint roller. All you need to do is roll it on the mat’s surface to pick up any bits of debris. This might not work to get a 100% clean mat, but it is great for anything that will easily come off.
The cleaning method to use on mats that need a little more elbow grease :
- Mild dish soap for some gentle cleaning – if your Cricut mat has some dirt that is a little more stubborn, get out the (mild) dish soap. Use this with some warm water, and gently wash the mat using a clean dishcloth or soft brush.
All you need to do is gently scrub its surface using circular motions until it is clean. Like with the baby wipes, you will need to leave the mat to air dry completely before using it.
Do not use any cloths or paper towels on it, or more stuff will get stuck to the adhesive.
Cleaning the Cricut cat that refuses to become clean:
- Try using Awesome spray (caution)- hopefully you will never have to try to use this, but if you do – be careful. If your Cricut mat refuses to get clean after using soap and water, this is your last option. To do this, you will need to spray the mat and leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Once the time has passed, use a scraper tool or squeegee to get the residue off the mat (do this very carefully). If you manage to get the map clean, leave it to air dry. Again – do not wipe or use heat on the mat.
Remember – taking care of your Cricut mat will result in its life being extended, and you will save money. Even the simple cleaning methods like using baby wipes can do the world of good for these mats, so never overlook it.
Before jumping to trying to re-stick your mat, clean it thoroughly (but gently), and see if that solves your problem. If not, consider buying a new mat, or a multipack to save time and money in the long run.
Applying adhesive to the mat at home and fixing the problem yourself can easily result in more problems, and they could be expensive and heartbreaking.
The DIY method should only be used if you are desperate, but even then it isn’t recommended. There are so many things that can go wrong, and the benefits just don’t outweigh the risks.
Cricut mats cost a lot less than a repair or entirely new machine would, so before taking things into your own hands, check out Amazon, where you can get packs of Cricut mats for as little as $8.50.
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