One question we get a lot over here is crafters asking how to clean a Cricut mat.
Having a super sticky mat is incredibly important in ensuring that your craft cutting machine cuts accurately and precisely, just where you need it to.
And while most of the questions we get regarding cleaning and resticking cutting mats are from Cricut users, our advice can be applied to any machine that requires a cutting mat to work — including Silhouette.
We’ve compiled this guide to how to make a Cricut mat sticky again, with tips and tricks for cleaning and resticking.
(Plus, there are some awesome shortcut products for this that we think you’ll want to buy!)
Let’s take it away…
Why You Need to Restick Your Cricut Cutting Mat
These mats are usually made from rubber and are very tacky to the touch, allowing you to stick your paper, vinyl — or whatever material you’re using — to the mat, allowing it to slide evenly through your machine and to be kept intact and in place during the cutting process.
Cutting mats are essential when you’re cutting non-backed material without a release liner.
But over time, and with plenty of use, your Cricut cutting mat will start to lose some of its stickiness. It will probably suffer from material build-up and its adhesive quality will start to disappear over time.
This will start to interfere with the integrity of your cutting — leading to a lack of accuracy and your material falling apart in the machine once its cut.
So, what do you do?
Well, you can buy another mat but that can be expensive — if you’re doing a lot of cutting, you’ll be getting through your mats at lightning speed.
Or, you can do what all us craft cutting geeks like to do — rejuvenate your mat by cleaning and resticking it.
It should be as good as new!
How to Clean Cricut Mat
The first thing you need to do once you realise that your cutting mat is losing its stickiness is to clean it.
There are 3 ways you can do this, each one more effective than the last:
If your Cricut mat is just a little dirty, it might be best to start with a baby wipe, to gently wash away any material build-up that’s been gathering.
Make sure that you use alcohol and bleach free wipes — if you don’t, you might find that the wipes permanently destroy any hope of making your Cricut mat sticky again.
In a similar vein, some crafters use nail varnish remover to get rid of any mat residue but we think this is a little risky — we’ve ruined a mat’s stickiness before using this method.
Another handy product for a quick cutting mat clean is to use a lint roller to remove any build-up.
The stickiness of the roller may also lend your mat some extra stickiness of its own, so you could kill two birds with one stone using this method.
We’ve found that this is only helpful in very mild cases of build-up.
For particularly dirty mats, there’s only one solution…
Soapy Water and Adhesive Remover
The most effective way to clean your Cricut cutting mat is to soak it in soapy water for a few minutes. This should loosen most of the dirt and build-up off the mat.
If there’s still stuff stuck on it after that, you may need to use a more heavy duty product that can dissolve any material bits seemingly stuck to the mat.
Adhesive removers can be applied to the mat, left to settle for around 10-20 minutes (read the instructions) and then rinsed off with a scraper, pulling the remaining build-up off with it.
As you might expect from the name, adhesive removers will also remove any remaining stickiness that your mat has left, so you’ll definitely need to restick the mat after this cleaning step.
The most well known brand of adhesive removing products is Goo Gone and it can be picked up very cheaply from Amazon.
Here’s an awesome video of a cheap and easy way to clean your mat:
Once you’ve cleaned your Cricut cutting mat, you may find that its original stickiness has been restored.
If not, then you need to move on to the next step…
How to Restick Cricut Mat
You’ll need another low-cost product to make your Cricut mat sticky again — adhesive spray.
This may sound counter intuitive after using an adhesive remover in the above step, but we promise that it’s all necessary if you want to get the job done properly.
Before using your sticky spray, you’ll need to tape up around the edges of the cutting mat. This is so that you don’t get any of the spray anywhere but the body of the mat.
If the edges of the mat are made to become sticky, you can be sure that they’ll get stuck running through the rollers of your cutting machine, and won’t be able to work properly.
Make sure that you use enough masking tape so that there’s no chance of the edges become sticky.
Now it’s time to get spraying!
Sticky Spray to Restick Cricut Mat
Unlike adhesive removers, there are huge numbers of sticky sprays on the market that will be suitable for resticking your cutting mat.
Not all of them were created equal, however, so we’ve picked out ones that we’ve used and can recommend, as well as a few that our crafting peers like as well.
They can all be bought off Amazon and are all low in price — and, of course, can be used over and over again, as and when your cutting mat needs it.
And that’s it — your Cricut cutting mat should be good as new!
Restick Cricut Mat: Infographic
Just in case you prefer your how-to lists in a more visual format, here’s an infographic on how to make a Cricut mat sticky again.
A Note on Resticking and Your Warranty
It’s always worth reading your warranty carefully when you buy your Cricut or Silhouette machine. It may mention that your warranty will be voided if you manually restick your mat so make sure you’re clear before you start with the DIY!
For more tutorials and guides aimed at helping you get the most out of your machine, be sure to visit our How To section.