How to Clean Cricut Mats with Baby Wipes (Quick & Easy Way to Clean Your Cricut Cutting Mat & Make It Restick!)
How to clean cricut mat with baby wipes. Want to keep your Cricut mats clean and sticky? In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to clean your mat with good old baby wipes.
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It’s no secret that crafting can be messy.
Whether you’re working with glitter, paper, or fabric, things can get pretty hairy pretty quickly. But one of the worst offenders when it comes to messes is the Cricut cutting mat. Here’s how to keep it clean!
How Can I Clean My Cricut Mats?
The advice for cleaning your Cricut Mats usually goes like this:
“Cricut mats can be cleaned with a few simple steps. First, remove any debris or excess vinyl from the mat using a pair of tweezers. Next, use a mild soap and warm water solution to clean the mat, being sure to rinse thoroughly. Finally, allow the mat to air dry completely before using it again.”
I don’t know about you, but that feels like a whole lot of work. If I have to take my mats all the way down to the kitchen sink and scrub them with dish soap, chances are they won’t be cleaned very often.
Thankfully there’s an easier way!
Why Cricut Mats Get SO Dirty!
If you’ve ever used a Cricut machine, you know that those mats are sticky. A sticky cutting mat is a good thing, of course, if you need to cut a sheet of paper without it slip-sliding around the mat.
The problem is that the repositionable adhesive holds onto every bit of debris, too. Dust? Yep. Fabric fibers? Yep. That gold glitter that’s still haunting you from last Christmas? You bet.
But don’t despair – you probably don’t need a new mat just yet.
There’s an easy way to clean your grungy, grimy mats without sacrificing stickiness. Alcohol-free baby wipes!
Here’s Why Baby Wipes Are My Favorite Cleaning Method
If you’ve ever used a Cricut cutting machine, you know that one of the most important parts of the process is the mat. The mat holds your material in place while the blade does its work, and if it’s not properly cleaned, it can cause all sorts of problems.
Here’s why I love plain old baby bum wipes to clean my mats:
- It’s easy – no special tools or cleaners required!
- Keeps your mat away from water to avoid damage and extend the life
- Super quick! Clean your mat in a few seconds after each use.
- Wipes are cheap and easy to find – you can buy them anywhere
- Keep a pack of wipes handy in your craft room – you can use them to clean all kinds of stuff including self healing cutting mats!
How to Clean Cricut Mats with Baby Wipes
When your mat’s surface get dirty, alcohol free baby wipes or wet wipes are the way to go! They’re gentle enough to not damage the mat, and they do a great job of picking up all the dirt and debris.
Here’s how to get the best results when cleaning your Cricut mats with baby wipes:
- Start by removing any large debris bits from the surface with your fingers (or scrape your mat if it’s really bad, see next section!)
- Grab a baby wipe and rub the mat in a circular motion to remove dirt and residue
- Let the mat air dry completely before using it again
It’s that simple – genius, right?
Scrape Your Mats First
If your mat is covered in tons of little bits (like after cutting an intricate paper piece), removing them one at a time is tedious and takes forever.
Instead, scrape the entire surface of the mat to the edges of the mat to remove lots of debris in one go before you start the cleaning process.
The official Cricut scraper tool [LINK] is great, but you can use a plastic scraper [LINK] from the hardware or a metal one from the kitchen. I’ve been using an old metal pastry scraper and it works great! Anything with a thin, flat edge will work – you can even repurpose an old credit card or plastic gift card.
Just lay the mat on a flat surface, and scrap the whole surface with even, gentle pressure. The scraper will pop the bits of paper or vinyl off the mat so you can just brush them into the trash.
In my experience, this is way faster than trying to remove tiny pieces one at a time!
Try the Sticky Lint Roller Trick!
Many crafters swear by using a lint roller from the dollar store to lift little bits off the mat instead of scraping. Honestly, I find this less effective than scraping, but if you have a lint roller kicking around you can give it a try! (You can do the same thing with transfer tape too!)
What to Avoid – Don’t Use Dish Soap & Hot Water to Clean Cricut Mats!
Time to clean your mats? I know it’s tempting to just wash it in the sink like a cookie sheet, but dish soap and hot water is not the best way to keep your mats fresh.
Hot soapy water can warp your PVC mat and cause the edges of your mat to curl. Once that happens, your mat is toast – it won’t fit in the machine anymore.
Plain old Dawn dish soap is an awesome cleaner for many things, but Cricut mats are not one of them.
Pro tip: avoid paper towels and tea towels too – the fibres will stick to the adhesive coating and cause an even bigger mess.
Tips to Keep Your Mat Clean and Extend the Life of the Adhesive
Treating your mat right can preserve the sticky layer and extend the life of your mat. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping your Cricut mats clean and in good condition:
- Use the right mats for your material. Cricut mats come in 3 stickiness levels (LightGrip for regular paper, StandardGrip for cardstock and vinyl, and StrongGrip for heavy cardboard and backed fabrics). Match the weight of your material to the grip level of the mat so materials don’t stick more than they need too.
- Always keep your mats covered with the plastic cover between uses. Especially important if you go a long time between uses. If you’ve lost the original cover, try parchment paper as a protective cover.
- Rotate your mat regularly to help it wear evenly. I always tend to cut in the top left corner, so it wears there first. Rotating the mat each time you use it will keep the spot you use most often from wearing out ahead fo the rest of the mat.
- Do a light cleaning after each project. Don’t let the grime accumulate between projects. Letting it sit dirty will just make it harder to clean. Wipe the mat after each project, so it’s ready to go next time. Baby wipes are perfect for this!
FAQ: How often should you clean your Cricut mats?
Cricut mats are an essential part of any project. It’s important to take care of you mats by cleaning them regularly – you machine will work better if the mat is clean!
Depending on how often you use your Cricut machine and how many Cricut projects you cut, you may need to clean your mats more or less frequently.
For Light Users
Cleaning your mat after every project is ideal. A quick wipe down after each use ensures that it won’t sit dirty between uses.
For Frequent Users
If you’re using your Cricut machine more frequently, you can probably get away with cleaning your mat every few projects.
Any time it starts to lose stick, or look like it’s collecting little bits of dust, hair or fibre, it’s time to give your Cricut mat a clean.
FAQ: Can I use dish soap to clean my mats? Magic Eraser? Alcohol? Windex?
Baby wipes are by far my favorite way, but if you don’t have any you can use other cleaning products in your craft room.
If you need to, try cleaning your mats with dish soap and a little lukewarm water (never use hot water – it can warp your mat). Just rub it gently with your fingers and then let it air dry flat (avoiding the drying rack is a good idea – again, warping is a risk).
I have never used them myself, but Kara from KaraCreates [LINK https://karacreates.com/how-to-clean-cricut-mats/] loves Magic Eraser.
You can also try La’s Totally Awesome spray, rubbing alcohol or windex. Just remember to be careful and test a small section with cleaner first.
FAQ: Is it OK to use baby wipes to clean the pink fabric mat? How about the other mats?
Cricut has in a few different mats to choose from. The pink Cricut fabric mat, or pink FabricGrip mat, is extra strong to withstand the force of the rotary blade cutting fabric.
Any of the sticky mats (pink Cricut mat, blue mat, strong grip mat) can be cleaned the same way.
FAQ: How do I keep my Cricut cutting mat sticky? Is there a way to restick it after cleaning?
The cutting process gets harder when mats lose their stickiness. The best way to preserve the adhesive coating on the sticky surface is to keep it clean in the first place. Make sure the entire mat is clean before putting it away, and always store your mats with a protective sheet over the sticky side.
If you want to try to revive an old mat, you can try using tacky spray adhesive like [LINK]. Remove any debris from the surface and make sure it’s clean. Mask the edges of the Cricut mat using painter’s tape, then give it a light coating of adhesive spray. Let the adhesive spray dry before peeling off the masking tape and using your mat.
I have used this method and it worked well for me. Resticking Cricut mats is not recommended by Cricut, though, so add new adhesive at your own risk!
FAQ: When should you replace your Cricut mats?
If you’ve been using your Cricut machine for a while, you may be wondering when to replace the cutting mat. The more often you use your Cricut, the more quickly the mat will wear out and lose its stickiness.
Here are a hints you need to buy a new mat:
- The mat is excessively dirty or damaged. If your mat is stained, warped or torn, it’s not going to grip your material as well and will likely result in poorer cuts.
- Your cuts are no longer as clean as they used to be. If your blade is sharp, but your Cricut is leaving jagged or uneven edges on your material, it might be your mat. If you’re constantly having to trim away excess material after cutting, it’s time for a new mat.
- Your clean mats have last their stick. If you’ve already tried cleaning it, and resticking your Cricut mat with adhesive spray isn’t working, buy new mats.
Final Thoughts on Keeping Your Cricut Mats Clean with Baby Wipes
Buying new Cricut machine mats whenever they start to wear is expensive and, good news, it’s also unnecessary. Save that money to buy more pretty cardstock!
Using baby wipes is a great way to keep your Cricut mats fresh. It’s an easy, effective, and budget-friendly way to keep them in good shape and extend the life of your Cricut mats. Plus, it’s a method that can be used on other types of cutting mats, too.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep your Cricut mats good as new, give the humble baby wipe a try!