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How to Clean Sticky Cutting Mats

As many of you know, I'm an avid crafter. And many of my crafts involve cutting fabric. So, a couple of weeks ago, I had the bright idea to cut some fabric into smaller squares and then cut circles from those smaller squares so I can make fabric yo-yos. Weeellll, the fabric squares kept slipping on the regular cutting mat as I used the circle cutter. When I had cut circles before, I cut them from the full length of fabric, which added more weight, so they didn't slip, and I didn't have this problem. So, now, I had to come up with another bright idea to fix my first bright idea. That's when I brought out my sticky cutting mats (for fabric) that I bought for my Cricut. Yes! I was so proud of myself for having this clever idea. I don't use the Cricut anymore, but I still have all the nice gadgets. 😉 So, cha-ching for me. 

Ugh! Another reality check. It turns out I'm not that clever after all. It had been quite a while since I've used these sticky mats, and I had forgotten something very important. While they worked well - briefly - the loose ends and "dust" from the fabric started covering all the sticky sections of the mats. Because of this, the fabric stopped sticking. Hmmm! So, I had to have yet another bright idea to get out of this not-so-sticky situation. I found the solution pretty quickly. Finally, redemption for all my "bright" ideas. And something I can pass along to you! See below to find out how I was able remove the fabric and preserve most of the sticky foundation. 

sticky fabric cutting mat
Squares placed on the sticky cutting mat

sticky fabric cutting mat
Circles cut from the squares

sticky fabric cutting mat
Cutting fabric on a sticky mat leaves a mess

cleaning sticky cutting mats
Use a razor blade in a safety holder like the one pictured above to scrape off the excessive fabric left behind

cleaning sticky cutting mats
Spray glass cleaner on the scraped surface. Allow the cleaner to sit for a few seconds

cleaning sticky cutting mats
Wipe off the glass cleaner with a cotton rag (old sock, t-shirt, wash cloth, etc.). I've shown the difference between the top, left section that I cleaned and the other 3 uncleaned areas.

So, as you can see, this does a decent job of removing the excessive fabric left behind from cutting. You can let the mats air dry and the stickiness will come back. Drying the sticky surface with a blow dryer on high for a couple of minutes will quickly re-activate the stickiness faster. And it seems like the stick lasts a little longer when the blow dryer is used.  

Since these do have to be cleaned frequently when I'm cutting 2,000 or so squares, I use 2 mats so I don't have as many cleaning interruptions. You can use more mats if you want to. The HTVRONT FabricGrip mats that I buy instead of the Cricut mats actually have a better "sticky" life, and they cost much less too.

Over time, of course, the scraping and cleaning will take their toll on the mats. But this cleaning preserves them for a while so you don't have to replace them as often. I hope this helps you! 

Happy crafting,

Patricia


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