Monday, December 27, 2010

Rating the Methods: Reconditioning Cricut Mats


Today, Faithful Readers, I am trying a new approach with a new toy. For Christmas, my Stepson Paul gave me (oh, and his Dad too!) a Sony "Bloggie" which is a very cute, very small high definition video camera. So if this post works and is something you might enjoy, I'll add an occasional video to my blog.

I decided to clean and rearrange my Craft Loft, and this included reconditioning all of my Cricut mats so they'll be as good as new going into the New Year. I've read up on it a bit, and methods vary.

Some people said to simply wipe them with baby wipes and they'll be as good as new. Others said, "hot soapy water and let dry." Others directed me to remove all of the old adhesive and apply new. And then I came up with my own ideas, too.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I've tried them all and show you the results on this video. To summarize and grade the results:

1. Off with the old, On with the new: Used Krylon spray Adhesive Remover. With elbow-grease/scrubbing: Grade D ... removed the adhesive AND all the ruler markings on the cut mat. With light application/wipe: Grade C. Bottom line: Not worth the investment ($9 or so) for the can of Adhesive Remover, or the time. And it STINKS.

2. Baby wipes: Completely ineffective, Grade F. Whoever thought of this idea must be using corrosive baby wipes. Mine were Huggies -- too soft for this purpose. Keep 'em on your baby's behind. Good news: sweet smelling, soft on hands.

3. Hot soapy water, hair dryer to dry: Grade B+ Removed the dirt and stuff hanging onto the mat but (good news, bad news) didn't really make the mat any stickier or "revive" it at all. Probably best for low-use mats.

4. Baking soda and hot water: Grade B. Again, removed dirt but was slightly more corrosive, and also removed some of the adhesive. But not enough of the adhesive to make it worth the while.

5. Goo-Gone: Grade A. Took two applications, and a gentle fingertip rub, but all the adhesive came off and left a clean surface ready to apply repositionable glue. Didn't damage the ruler markings. Some odor but not "give me a headache, use only in great ventilation" sort of chemical smell.

Recommendation: Goo-Gone. Then, once your mat is nice and clean, and free of old adhesive, I have applied Krylon Easy-Tack repositionable spray glue. Having tried this in several ways on my newly-cleaned mats, I will offer these tips:

1. Mask the edges of your mat, top/bottom and sides, before spraying your adhesive. You want the edges to be free of adhesive so as not to "gunk up" the rollers in your Cricut Expression or baby bug.

2. A light spray will do. Resist the urge to pile it on.

3. Lay the mats down and spray them while they are flat, so there are no drips or bubbles in your glue.

4. Prevent overspray -- that's the pesky adhesive that you'll get on your tabletop, counter, rug, equipment or clothes. Put newspaper down or spray outside (not in a stiff wind!).

5. Watch the weather when you're doing this. A low-humidity day helps the drying process.

6. Open a window ... this stuff requires adequate ventilation (chemicals) and it stinks!

7. Allow glue to dry thoroughly. The can's instructions say 3 hours. Believe them.

8. Keep your freshened mats fresh. Keep them away from your new sweater's lint, your cat's fur, your table where you're applying glitter, etc. Cover the mats up with their original acetate cover. Lay them flat or hang them from a hook or coat hangers (with pants clips) when not in use.

I hope this helps a bit!


Georgiana said...

Wow! I love your grading scale. : )

Happy New Year,

Josie0602 said...

Great video! I do have great luck with the baby wipes. I use Huggies and rub vigorously and it removes a lot of the paper and residue. The other product I have used is UnDu. It also removes the adhesive completely without damaging the mat.

D said...

Loved that you tried all the different ways! Thanks for the tip :)

Lolis said...

Great video! What worked really well for me was a product I bought at the Dollar Tree it is called LA's Totally Awesome. It took two applications but my mats had a lot of reisdue. I sprayed waited and scrapped everything off with a Pampered Chef Scrapper. Thank you for doing all this homework for us.