Caring for your cricut mats properly will extend the life of your mat and keep them sticky longer.
Paper fiber and dust can cause your mats to lose their stickiness after just a few cuts. Proper cleaning of cricut mats can remove these issues. I clean mine at the end of every day but then I use them for 100 cuts or so every day.
You can clean them with baby wipes. Scrub them pretty hard and you can remove the little bits of things clogging up your mats. Rub the whole mat with the baby wipe. You should see them getting cleaner and see the residue on the wipe. The mat will be wet after so it won’t feel sticky right away but as it dries you will feel the sticky coming back.
You can clean cricut mats with dish soap too. A lot of people recommend Dawn dish soap, but I haven’t noticed a difference with he brand of soap. Use whatever you have to do your dishes. Do not use a rag to scrub your mats. This can leave fibers. And a scrubbie can take the adhesive off completely so that isn’t good either. Scrub with a sponge for best results. This also makes the mat very wet. Do not dry with a towel. This will leave fibers too. Just hang them up and let them air dry. It will take some time though.
Routine Daily Care
Never leave papercuts on your mat. Always scrape them off with some sort of scraper. I use a paint scraper that I bought at the dollar store. The cricut scrapper works well for small pieces of paper.
Don’t gouge your mat with the scraper. Digging a corner of any scraper into the mat will remove glue and give you strips of non stickiness.
Always put the cover back on your mat when not using it. I write with a sharpie on my mat cover so that it is easier to find. You don’t know (or maybe you do) how easy it is to lose the cover in a cluttered craft room. If you write on it make sure to put the clean side down on the mat or you will transfer ink.
Hang your mats up. I have a nail in my craft room that I hang the mats on with the cover sheet. It keeps them from getting lost and keeps the cover on them. And it keeps them off your work-space.
Avoid using too much pressure on your cuts. When I made the movement card, there were lots of thin parallel cuts that ruined a mat because I used too much pressure and I couldn’t get it cleaned or healed. I reconditioned my mat and it wasn’t even good then. There was just too much damage.
Reconditioning your mats
This is not recommended by cricut. That said, I have done it several times. That post is separate since it is a long topic itself. See it here.