Maintenance Of Cricut Machine
Every Cricut machine needs to be cleaned and taken care of in order to keep it working for as long as possible.
Here, you’ll learn about the maintenance required for Cricut machines, and what you can do to keep your machine working efficiently.
Cleaning and Care
Cleaning your machine is very important, and you should do it regularly to keep everything in tip-top shape.
If you don’t take care of your machine, that’s just money down the drain. But what can you do to care for your machine?
Well, I do suggest initially that you make sure to run maintenance on it as much as you can and keep it clean.
There are a few other tips and tricks that can help prolong the machine’s life. For starters, keep liquids and food away from the machine – never drink or eat while you use your Cricut machine.
Set up your machine in a location that’s free of dust and try to keep it away from excessive coolness or heat, so don’t just throw it in the attic or an especially cold basement.
If you’re transporting your machine to use it at a different location, never leave it in the car.
Excessive heat will melt the machine’s plastic components, so be careful.
Finally, make sure the machine is stored away from sunlight. Keep it out of places in the home where sunlight hits it directly.
For example, if you have an office that is very bright and the sun warms the machine for a long period of time, you’ll want to move it so that it doesn’t get damaged.
Be gentle with your machine. Remember, it is a machine, so you’ll want to make sure that you do take some time and try to keep it nice and in order.
Don’t be rough with it, and when working with the machine parts, don’t be too rough with them, either.
Caring for your machine isn’t just about making sure that the parts don’t get dirty, but you should also make sure that you keep everything in good working order.
Cleaning the Machine Itself
In general, the exterior is pretty easy to clean – you just need a damp cloth. Use a soft cloth to wipe it off, and keep in mind that chemical cleaners with benzene, acetone, or carbon tetrachloride should never be used on your Cri-cut machine.
Any cleaner that is scratchy, as well, should be avoided at all costs. Make sure that you never put any machine components in water.
This should be obvious, but often, people may use a piece of a damp cloth, thinking that it’ll be fine when in reality, it isn’t.
You should consider getting some non-alcoholic wipes for cleaning your machine.
Always disconnect the power before cleaning, as you would with any machine.
The Cricut machine can then be lightly wiped down. Some people also use a glass cleaner sprayed on a cloth but do be careful to make sure no residue builds up.
If you notice there is some dust there, you can typically get away with a cloth that’s soft and clean.
Sometimes, grease can build up – you may notice this on the cartridge bar if you use cartridges a lot.
Use a swab of cotton or a soft cloth to remove it.
Greasing the Machine
If you need to grease your machine, first make sure that it’s turned off and the smart carriage is moved to the left.
Use a tissue to wipe this down, and then move it to the right, repeating the process again.
From there, move the carriage to the center and open up a lubrication package.
Put a small amount onto a Q-tip.
Apply a thin coating, greasing everything evenly, and also clean any buildup that may have occurred.
This is usually the issue if you hear grinding noise when cleaning the machine itself.
There are a few other important places that you should make sure to clean, besides the outside and the carriage.
Any places where blades are should be cleaned; you can just move the housing unit of the blade to clean it.
You should also check the drawing area, to make sure there isn’t any excessive ink there.
Never use spray cleaner directly on the machine, for obvious reasons.
The bar holding the housing shouldn’t be wiped down, but if you do notice an excessive grease, please take the time to make sure that it’s cleaned up.
Remember to never touch the gear chain near the back of this unit, either, and never clean with the machine on, for your own safety.
When caring for a Cricut machine, try to do this more frequently if you’re using the machine a lot, or twice yearly.
If you notice strange noises coming from the machine, do get a grease packet. You can always contact Cricut and they’ll help you figure out the issue, if there is one, with your machine.
Cricut machines are great, but you need to take care in making sure that you keep everything in rightful order.
Your blades will tend to dull over time, but this is usually a very slow process.
The best way to prevent it is to have different blades to cut different materials.
Having a different blade for each material is a really good idea. You can get
fine-point ones which are good for smaller items; deep-cut, which is great for leather and other fabrics; bonded fabric, so great for fabric pieces; a rotary blade for those heavy fabrics; and finally, a knife blade, which is good for those really thick items.
In order to maintain your blades, you should clean the housing area for every blade after each use, since they get gunky fast.
Squirting compressed air into the area is a wonderful way to get the dust out of there.
As for the blades, remember foil? Use a little bit of that over the edges of the blade to help clean and polish them up.
To polish them, you should put them on the cutting mat and from there, cut small designs on it.
It actually does help with sharpening them, and it doesn’t require you to completely remove them.
You can do this with every single blade, too!
To change the blades in their housings, just open the clamps, pull up, and remove the housing within the machine.
Put a new blade in, and then close it.
That’s all it takes. Storing them is also pretty simple.
There is a drop-down doorway at the front area of the machine. It’s made for storing the blades within their housings.
Put your loose blades in there first, then utilize the magnet to keep them in place.
The best part about this storage is that your blades are always with the Cricut, even if you take the machine somewhere else.
There is also a blade organizer that you can use, too, made out of chipboard with some holders attached. This is also a wonderful means to store all of your items.
Organizing your Cricut blades is very important, and understanding the best places to keep them is, of course, essential.
Your cutting mats need to be cleaned because if you don’t clean them frequently, they will attract dirt and lose adhesiveness.
That means you’ll have to spend more money on mats, which isn’t ideal.
There are different ways to clean them, and we’ll go over a few of the different means to clean your mats so you can use them for longer.
Cleaning the Mat Itself
First, if your mat is completely filthy, you need to clean it. Of course, you’ll also want to do this for just general maintenance, too. Once it’s been cleaned, you’ll notice it’s sticky again.
Typically, washing it down with either a magic eraser or a kitchen scrubber can do it.
Sometimes, if it’s really dirty, you might want to get some rubbing alcohol onto a wipe.
If you notice a chunk of the debris left behind, however, is fabric oriented, hen get some lint rollers or even just stick some scotch tape on there and pull it off.
This can eliminate the issue.
But what about the really tough grime? Well, get some Goo Gone cleaner. Put a little bit on the troublesome spots and wipe it around, and then let the goo stick on there.
From there, get an old card or something to get it off, and then wash the mat. Once it’s dry, check to see if it’s sticky. If it is, then great – you don’t need to do anything more.
But what if you notice that it’s still not sticky? Well, why not restick the cutting mat itself!
Resticking The Mat
To do this, you need to make sure that you tape the edges, so you don’t get adhesive near the edges, and mess with the rollers of the machine. Once that’s there, use either spray adhesive or glue stick, and then let it dry.
If you notice that it’s still not sticky enough when you’re finished applying the first coat, apply a second coat.
There are great adhesives out there, such as simple spray adhesive, easy tack, quilt basting, bonding, and also repositionable e glue.
All of these are fairly effective, and if you notice that the mat is actually sticking pretty well, then you’re in luck.
However, always make sure that you let this fully dry.
If you don’t let the adhesive dry and you start using the mat again, you will run into the problem of the material being stuck to it.
Once it’s dried, try it out with some test material.
If you find it too sticky at this point, but either your hands or a shirt on there to help reduce the tackiness.
Caring for Machines and Mats
Here are a couple of other tips to use with your cutting mats.
The first, use different mats. You may notice that you can get more out of one type of mat than another kind, which is something many people don’t realize.
Often, if you notice that you get a lot more out of the firmer grip mats, buy more of those.
Finally, halve your mats.
You can save immensely by making sure that they’re cut in half. This does work, and it helps pretty well. You can expect anywhere from about 25 to 40 different cuts before you’ll need to replace the mat, but cleaning after about half of that can definitely help with improving the quality of your cuts.
The life of the mat, of course, does vary based on the settings and what materials you cut. When you can’t get it to stick, try cleaning and resticking it, but if you notice that it’s still not doing the job, you’re going to need to get a replacement.
Taking care of your Cricut machine will get you more use out of it, so make sure you perform regular maintenance on all your machine’s components so it can be used for years.