How Do I.... Take Care of my Cricut Mats?

Good morning friends.  Today I am starting a brand new feature on my blog.  It's called "How do I?..."  This is a place where I will show you how I do something and ask for your feed back.  It is a place where I hope we can learn from each other.  If you have a question you would like featured please feel free to contact me through my profile on the homepage.  Please remember that any tips posted here are just ideas.  You try them at your own risk, so please use common sense when trying other people's ideas.  Now to today's question:

How Do I Take Care of my Cricut Mats?

I find Cricut mats challenging.  We all know that as paper builds up on them, they lose their stickiness and cuts are messed up.  We also know that they can be pricy.   So how do we prolong their life?

I saw a few tips on YouTube a long time ago when I first began having this problem.  I have tried several things and still don't have the answers.  I usually clean my mats every few uses with baby wipes.  That helps a bit, but the problem is that the wipes leave behind little fibers that you may not be able to see.  It seems to be a helpful quick fix, but it is not permanent.  When they have really been scrubbed down, I then go over the mat with a Zig 2-way pen and let it dry overnight.  This makes the mat sticky again.  However, I recently did this and ended up with nice sticky mats that still had a build-up on them.  Apparently, I had not cleaned them well enough and my wipes had left fibers.

After cleaning one of my mats with baby wipes last night, this is what it still looked like:

It's not a great photo, but the next one tells the story.  I decided to grab my Stazon Stamp Cleaner (because that's the only kind I have) and I sprayed it.  I grabbed my Pampered Chef clay scraper (yes I use these things to scrape more than my stoneware pizza pans) and went to work.  This is what came off the mat:

Ewww (and remember that was after I had already scrubbed it with baby wipes)...

Voila and the finished mat:

Unfortunately, the pictures don't show a huge difference.  I can tell you that my mats are much stickier this morning though and I didn't add glue.  We will see if it needs it in the future, but for now, I'm leaving them as is.

So how do you take care of your mats?  Do you have a tip on prolonging their life?  We would love to hear how you do!


Diane Dupont said…
I've watched a few YouTube videos recently on the subject of cleaning Cricut mats. I saw a video where the poster actually used brake cleaning fluid to clean her mat, scraping it with a wide "knife" (scraper)used for sheet rock mud. While she did get a large pile (about 4 times the size of your pile) of "gunk" off her mat, I was a little apprehensive about using something as caustic as brake cleaning fluid. I believe I'll try my stamp cleaning spray, along with the scraper. For re-sticking, a lot of people were recommending Alene's craft "over and over" glue, using equal parts water and glue, spreading with a foam brush, and letting dry overnight. I have to get to a store to buy the glue, and I'll let you know how my experiment turns out.
Cheri said…
LOL Diane, brake fluid does seem a bit extreme. Let me know how the tack it over and over works. The Zig 2-way did work for glue, I just didn't have them clean enough first. These guys need to last as long as they can! Keep me posted.
tina said…
I just stumbled across your blog, and while looking around found this post. I have had my Cricut since Christmas 2009, and like you checked out you-tube and other blogs. The best remedy I have for cleaning my mats are soap and warm water. Then using the Zig 2 way glue. Don't forget to condition your mats, whether new or re-glued.
I do that by putting my hands all over the mat to leave a film of my body oils, that way I am not glueing my ppaer to my mat, but it is still sticky enough to keep ting the paper from moving while cutting.

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