One question we get a lot over here is crafters asking how to clean a Cricut mat, or how to restick a Cricut mat.
And while most of the questions we get regarding cleaning and resticking cutting mats are from Cricut users, our following advice can be applied to any machine that requires a cutting mat to work — including Silhouette.
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. Unfortunately over time, the adhesive on Cricut mats can become less sticky and cause problems with cutting projects. The main reasons for this are exposure to dust, debris, and heat.
The good news is that you don’t have to throw out your old mats every few months – there are several ways to clean a Cricut mat and make it sticky again.
We’ve compiled this guide to how to make a Cricut mat sticky again, with tips and tricks for cleaning, resticking and keeping your vital crafting area in tip-top shape.
(Plus, there are some awesome shortcut products for this that we think you’ll want to buy!)
Let’s take a look!
Why You Need to Restick Your Cricut Mat
When you buy your Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, a cutting mat will usually be included with your purchase.
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 A Cricut Mat: 3 Useful Cleaning Supplies
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 does a fantastic job at cleaning up those old mats.
- ADHESIVE REMOVER - Spray Gel is designed specifically to cling to stains and vertical surfaces, making it a versatile adhesive remover
- SPRAY GEL - makes it easier to clean all surfaces. Drip-free formula allows you to clean the mess without harming the surface below.
- REMOVE GUM FROM CARPET- excellent to help you remove gum residue
- WORKS ON - gum, crayon, adhesive, adhesive residue, glue and more
- SAFE FOR USE - on carpet, finished wood, sealed stone, painted surfaces, glass, fabric, metals, plastics and ceramic/porcelain
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 A 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.
- Effective spary glue that forms a strong, durable bond
- Bonds quickly, and works on a broad range of surfaces
- Versatile and fast drying spray adhesive that bonds a wide range of lightweight materials: fabric, cardboard, plastic, metal, wood, felt, and more
- Other uses include crafts, school projects, art projects, photo albums, light-duty repairs, light-duty soundproofing, decorating, and more
- Adhesive resists seepage for a stronger bond
- Instant hold, permanent, even spray application
- Non-wrinkle, flexible bond with longer open tack time for larger projects
- Available in an 11-oz. spray can
- All purpose spray adhesive creates a smooth, flexible and non-wrinkling bond
- The extended open-tack time is ideal for larger projects
- Use this adhesive for scrapbook layouts, paper crafts on cardboard, fabric, balso wood, felt, photos, decoupage and more
- Extremely flammable; contents under pressure
- Comes in 11-ounce aerosol can
And that’s it — your Cricut cutting mat should be good as new!
How to Make a Cricut Mat Sticky Again: Step by Step
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.
16 thoughts on “How To Clean A Cricut Mat [Make It Sticky Again!]”
I cleaned and used the spray adhesive method and it restored my mat, better than new. Thanks!
Hi Pam! Which Brand of adhesive did you use? Thanks!
Hi! I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I have cleaned my mats with dawn and water, put goo gone on for 20 minutes, scraped all the adhesive off, and sprayed the krylon repositional spray on. I have made sure to do this very carefully and I still get no stick. These were new cricut cutting mats that have lost their stick. What am I doing wrong? Thank you in advance!
I have the same problem, I cleaned my mats well and used Elmers multi purpose spray adhesive and i have no stickiness, what am i doing wrong? Please HELP
I have used this method for several years, and find that the stick will remain only for the day that you are using it. Then you have to respray it again when you use it at a later time. I created a window out of cardboard, for my mat, and use a couple of pieces of masking tape to hold the mat in place while I spray the adhesive. I also have a box that I spray down into. That way I don’t have to get newspaper out each time I need to spray. This seems to work OK for me, but I do enjoy the original stick that comes on the cricket mat. I hope this is helpful for you.
Do you recommend different adhesive sprays for the different mats? For example, a lighter spray for a blue Cricut mat, a medium spray for green, etc? If so, which brands are best for which mat?
Hi Pam! Which Brand of adhesive did you use? Thanks!
would Mrs. Cricut please let me know what is wrong with this idea.
The mats (new) are so sticky that it’s almost impossible to remove
your product without really getting destroyed.
I tried this and so far I have no complaints, take a new sticky mat then
cut a 12 x 12 piece of posterboard and put it on the mat then take
what you’re cutting, tape it down on 3 sides and let me know whatcha think….
Hi Joe, why only 3 side and do you have a preference on the sides? What about for mats 24”x12”?
My mat has cutting marks on it. Can I restore it or is it ruined?
Mine has cut marks too, a lot of them because I was cutting bows so it wouldn’t stick anymore. This method helped me restore that otherwise useless mat. The lines won’t disappear but it will become sticky where the cuts are.
I followed these instructions and used Spray n Bond Quilters Basting Temp Spray and it worked perfectly. I sprayed ones sweeping motion for light, twice for standard, and three times for strong grip mats.
To clean off the adhesive I think that De Solv It is far superior to Goo Gone. De Solv It is great for removing just about anything sticky from just about anything, and definitely works better than Goo Gone in every situation I’ve ever tried.
You can get it from Amazon, Walmart, hardware stores, etc.
I used to buy sheets with sticky micro-dots which can be transferred onto a cutting mat, but I can’t find them online anymore. . . Anyone ever used these kinds of sheets? Soooo much easier than masking and spraying.
You stated that not all spray adhesives are created equal, which is understandable, but what makes them an acceptable alternative? I have Loctite Spray Adhesive High Performance Middleweight Bonding spray. It says it has High Initial Tack. Do you know if I can I use this? What are we looking for in acceptable sprays to use?
I have two mats and both have gotten to the point where they are not sticky enough and I have ruined a few sheets of vinyl unfortunately! I cleaned my mats with soap and water lightly scrubbing just with my hands to remove all dirt and debris. I let air dry and then taped off the edges with painters tape and used Elmers all purpose spray adhesive. One coat barely made it tacky two coats made it almost sticky enough three coats and I’m satisfied with the stickiness.
Can I use hairspray? We use it to stick bicycle hand grips to the bar so they don’t slide.. I love it for that, it’s liquid when you need to slide it on, then sticks and evaporates into a solid under the grips.