Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tip: Cricut Mat Care & Cleaning

If you're a veteran Cricut owner, these tips probably aren't new to you.  But if you're just discovering the wonderful world of electronic cutting, the information below will help you save money by making your mats last a long, long time.

Before pulling off the clear acetate covering on a new mat, use a Sharpie and mark "TOP" on it.  Then after use, you can put the cover back on correctly and it won't stick to the mat.  It's important to keep these covers on when not in use so that the mats don't pick up dust and lint.
A new mat will be extremely sticky.  To "condition" it so that it will not ruin your paper, pat your hands all over the surface.  I like to keep 3 or 4 mats ready to go at varying degrees of stickiness.  Thin papers go on the least stickiest, heavy cardstock or Grunge go on the mat with the most stick.
It's important for a good cut to keep bits of paper off of the mat.  I use the Cricut spatula to lift off cut pieces.  Then if any residue is left behind, will use a handy little scraper I picked up at a business expo.  It's made to go on your keychain to scrape your car windows but as soon as I saw it, I knew it'd be perfect for scraping mats.  At the end of my cutting day or if the mat gets "fuzzy" I'll take a baby wipe and clean the mat.  When the baby wipes just don't seem to bring the stick back to the mat, I will simply scrub in the sink with soap and water.
Finally when even a sink scrub won't bring the mat back to life, I use International's "Stick & Spray".  You first remove any remaining stick with "Stick Away".  Once the mat is totally clean, tape off the sides with masking tape and spray on a coat of "Stick & Spray".  This will make your mat stick like new.  I have heard of people also using a mixture (1:1) of water and Alene's "Tack It Over & Over" glue or a Zig glue pen to re-stick their mats.  I haven't tried either of those methods so I can't tell you what I think.  One thing I do know is that I have used the same mats for 16 months and have only sprayed two of them once.  I did have to retire the oldest mat I owned but only because the edges curled and cracked.  I then used it as a stamping mat.

10 comments:

Crafty Bear Works said...

Hi Cindy thank you for the tips :)

tinkzilla63 said...

Thanks for the tips Cindy I was wondering what to do since the sticky was wearing off of mine. Where do you buy the sprays?

Cindy-Up In Northern Michigan said...

I got the spray when I ordered my Cricut from Custom Crops. They have a nice video on their site with detailed instructions. I know a lot of other online stores carry it. Check with your favorites.
Cindy

ADavis said...

Works great! Thanks so much for the tip!

ADavis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xashee's corner said...

i found you through blog hopping and sure GLAD i did! i am really new to a cricut machine and am thrilled to find such GREAT tips for those mats!!! thanx a bunch for sharing your knowledge! i know this will be one of my new favorite blogs! hehe :) off to check out more here! have a WONDERFUL day and thanx again! :D

alethia said...

I just bought my first cricut. Thank u for the tips.

Tina said...

I use the Stick Away & Stick and Spray, too. I did not know about using baby wipes to clean the mats. Thanks for sharing your info!

Jullie Roxen said...

Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success.thesteammop.club

Victoria Elliott said...

I have used zig two way glue to re-sticky my cricut mats, and it works very well, I also tried a spray adhesive and did not like it but have not tried the products shown, but Zig two way glue work well :)