Like Your Car, Your Cricut Needs Routine Care

Routine Care will protect and prevent problems with your Cricut. It is a big investment and caring for your Cricut will keep it working at its best.  I bought my Cricut Maker used and when it arrived it didn’t work because the previous owner didn’t take care of it.  But with a few simple cleaning tricks it has worked great for years!

Bonded Fabric Blade
Blade Routine Care

Your blade cuts through the vinyl glue and contacts the glue on your mats every time it cuts.  When it misbehaves little pieces of paper stick to it.  You may not even notice it.  But every little bit hurts your blade’s cutting ability.  Your blade is hardened steel so unless you are trying to cut diamonds with your Cricut, it won’t dull the blade, but all this debris will make it seem dull.

Every day, poke the blade into a ball of aluminum foil a dozen or so times.  This will scrape off all that stuff that builds up on your blade.  The foil does not sharpen the blade but just cleans it.

Replacing The Blades

I hear from people all the time that think they need to replace their blades weekly or monthly.  This is not necessary.  I use my machine about 30 hours a week on average.  And that is a lot!  I only replace my fine point blade every 3 months.  I do it whether it needs it or not and it usually doesn’t but every 3 month is easy to remember.  This works out to about 300 hours of cutting.  So if you only use your Cricut 10 hours per week, once a year is fine as long as you clean it regularly.

I buy new blades from Wish.  Just make sure you put in the right blade.  Some manufacturers put red caps on the fine point blade and some put red caps on the deep point blades.  Make sure you keep them straight.

Video Cover graphic of cutting muliple colors on one mat
Mat Routine Care
There is a complete mat care guide here but here are the highlights.  Clean your mat every day when you are done for the day.  Sometimes it loses it sticky more often, especially if you do a lot of cutting fuzzy material (fabric, felt, homemade or low quality paper)  Clean it if you notice a problem.  
So what do you clean it with?  Baby wipes work great.  Or I got some cheap disinfecting wipes since COVID,  These work too.  Scrub fairly hard to remove the fibers from the mat.  You will see them on the wipe.  You have to let the mat dry for about 10 minutes but the sticky mostly comes back.
Always cover your mat when not in use.  The cover keeps dust off the mat and if you are like me, my craft room is not the cleanest room in my house.  This also keeps stuff from falling on it or putting a stack of paper on it while you are looking for something else.  Admit it, this happens.
Deep Clean Your Mats
This will help keep the sticky but it won’t get it all.  So once a week wash the mat with soap and water.  Do not use a scrubbie or paper towel!  Use either a flour sack towel or your finger nails to scrub it or you are just putting more lint on it.  Hang the mat up and let it completely dry.
No matter how well you care for it the mat will eventually lose its sticky.  You can either resticky it or buy a new one.  There is a tutorial for restickying your mat here but the Paper Studio mats and other off brand mats are getting so cheap that I just buy a new one.  Every other week the Paper Studio mats go on sale at Hobby Lobby and I get two for $7.50.  It is much easier (and cheaper) than restickying the mats.  If the mats are too sticky at first you can either use them with vinyl for a while or rub them with a low lint t-shirt and takes some sticky away.
Routine Care of Rollers
Roller Routine Care

The rollers of your machine pick up little pieces of vinyl and paper, not to mention sticky from your mat.  About once a week I clean them with an alcohol wipe (being diabetic I have lots).  A baby wipe or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol will do too.  To get to the whole roller, turn off and on your Cricut.  It thinks it needs to eject a mat so the rollers all turn.  Just press the cleaner to the rollers as they turn.  You may have to do this several times to get all the rollers.  

This was the main problem with my Cricut when it showed up.  The rollers were so dirty that they wouldn’t grab my mat and load it.  Cleaning the rollers and blowing it out (the next section) fixed it!  Some people oil their Cricut.  I have never done this and don’t think it really needs done so I don’t know how.

Routine Care with canned air
Canned Air
Dust Removal As Routine Care
Paper fibers and little pieces of whatever get caught in your machine.  It doesn’t open up to easily clean all this out.  So how do you get to it?  Canned air!  They sell it in most computer sections of Walmart or wherever.  It costs about $3 per can and is wonderful.  This was the other problem with my used machine.  There was so much paper dust that I could see it!  Ken took his air compressor and blew it out there was so much of it.  But if you do this routinely, it shouldn’t get as bad as that.  Once a week or so I blow out all the little stuff and you would be surprised how much stuff gets under the Cricut!  This does the trick!

With proper care your cricut should last years.  Mine was used as an industrial cutter and was sold instead of cleaning it.  I did a little work and I have owned it for two years with no problems.  Like your car, it just needs a little TLC.

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