How to clean and restick old Cricut cutting mats

These are  questions that comes up a gazillion times with Cricut Explore users…  how do I clean my mats and what can I do to make them sticky again?

Condensed version for impatient peoples in a hurry:

 

  • Scrape off stuck card/paper with old credit card, or Cricut scraper
  • Clean mat with warm soapy water, leave to dry

    Congratulations… clean mats again.

 

  • Take gross old mat, scrub with Isopropyl alcohol and an old face clothe.
  • Rinse and leave to dry
  • Apply thin coat of Kuretake Zig 2 way glue
  • Wait till  glue turns from blue to clear

    Congratulations… sticky mats again.

However if you mats are creased, or sliced .. it’s just time to buy some new ones. I always have a stash of spare mats, I grab them when Cricut have sales 🙂

Now here’s the longwinded version for anyone who cares lol.

… well  here’s the answer to at least one of your problems.   First off let me just say that the mat I tested this on was “NASTY”  lol.  I had thrown it in a corner as no longer viable as a cutting mat and  it was in my pile of old mats I use for  various other things…. like protecting surfaces while I cut, glue, paint etc.  They may not be much use on my Cricut, but they are useful enough to keep for other purposes.

Usually when I “clean” my mats..I use an old credit card to scrape off any card or paper that is stuck to the mat and carry on my merry way.  When they get too grungy I run them under warm water with a bit of soap and a terry face clothe, when those two options no longer produce workable results… they are  relegated to the “other uses” pile.

Kuretake

 

So.. onto the no longer sticky problem… CraftingAbility sent me  this rather handy little glue stick in my latest package. It comes in various tip sizes depending on what your needs are.  This particular one is the  Zig Memory system 2 way glue  with the Jumbo 15mm tip.  My mat was gross….  cat hair, old paper residue, dust ..you name it, that had got suck on it over the months lol.  I have 4 cats  who just love to sleep on my craft space… so my good mats hang on a hook on the wall.  The old ones however get thrown in a stack..and since I am usually using the back side of them. I’m not overly concerned with what sticks to the front. Even when they lose their usefulness for cutting, they are still sticky enough to pick up all that crap.

 

So.. I grabbed an old mat to try this out with… I have heard a lot of great things about this glue, but I won’t lie… I really wasn’t expecting much as far as results go.  I’ve never had a 2 way glue that worked that well, so I was expecting it to be ….ok, but nothing great.


Warm water, soap and a rag weren’t going to cut it with this mat, so I grabbed my trusty bottle of alcohol and threw it on the mat.  Like magic all the crud was coming off….I was quite impressed by that, even if I wasn’t expecting great results with my mat experiment.  I figured the best way to tell was definitely to work with the cleanest old mat I could;  so I scrubbed it clean with alcohol, rinsed it off and left it to dry. Funnily enough it actually had a touch of tacky still on it after the alcohol cleaned it all up.  But definitely not enough for a run through my Cricut.

cricut_mat1

So now we are left with a clean-ish old mat.  You can still see the designs that scored into the mat from previous projects, but it was actually green again lol.  At a quick glance it almost looked like a new mat… score!

 

Ok so these  2 way glues, how they work is first off… you need to prime your glue.  The tip is dry when it arrives and priming it is very simple. Press the tip up and down on a scrap of paper.. you will see the tip nearest the body start to turn blue.  Don’t get too over excited and pump it like crazy…. that blue is the glue soaking down to the tip.  Once it has soaked all the way to the tip, you are ready to Rock n Roll.

Now one important thing to remember, DON’T get glue where your Cricut rollers go along the sides. I just masked mine off with a bit of scrap car to test this out on a section of the mat… but if you are doing a mat entirely, you might want to use some masking tape.  The glue goes on blue when wet, simply apply and wait till it turns clear… and VOILA.. sticky mats again.

cricut_mat2I have to say ….I am suitably impressed with this glue.  It’s sticky enough for anything I use on a regular basis…. 110lb card stock  etc.  It doesn’t leave any residue on the back of my project after removal.  I think I have to give this one a thumbs up.

Good Job Kuretake, yet another fab product to add to my growing collection of Zig craft supplies.  Only problem is I have a pile of about 15 old mats I now need to clean off and reapply sticky to lol.

If you are still unsure about this glue… stay tuned for two more uses I found for it while I was playing around… I know I for one will be keeping a bottle of this in my stash from now on 🙂 along with the new tape runner I also got to play with in this box.

 

 

The glue used in this post was provided free of charge for test and review purposes

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