Maintaining Your Cricut: What, When, and How

Like any machine, your Cricut cutter needs some maintenance to keep it cutting properly and running smoothly. But knowing what maintenance is required and how often to perform it is key to a properly functioning machine

Cricut machines need simple maintenance such as cleaning dirt and debris from inside and wiping the whole machine. Depending on usage and materials being cut, this should be performed every 3-6 months. Greasing the roller bar inside the machine is not recommended without first speaking to Cricut support.

Taking good care of your Cricut cutting machine will help it to last longer and continue performing well. I’ll discuss what you should and should not do as well as how often.

Vacuuming a cricut maker

What Maintenance Does a Cricut Cutting Machine Need?

Fortunately taking care of your cutting machine is relatively simple and not overly time-consuming. The main thing you need to do is clean your machine well. Cleaning your machine will remove any build up of materials, fibers, and dust allowing the rollers, mats, and carriage to move freely.

Both the inside and the outside of the machine need to be cleaned. Glass cleaner, a soft cloth, and a small bristle brush are some of the best tools to use to clean your machine. Also, a vacuum with a small attachment or compressed air is very useful.

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How to Clean your Cricut Machine

These are the simple steps I take to clean my Cricut Maker but they can be applied to any model of cutting machine.

Unplug your Cricut

Remove the plug from the back of the machine as well as from the wall. If you use a USB cable to connect your machine, unplug that as well.

Blow out and Vacuum out dust and debris

Compressed air and a detail vacuum attachment make removing lint, dust, fibers, and debris much easier. Start by spraying out the inside of your machine. Try to angle the compressed air so the bits are blown out from inside the machine instead of deeper into it.

Use the vacuum to suck up all visible dirt. For hard to reach areas and extra dirty spots, use a soft bristle brush, a clean toothbrush works well, or a clean paintbrush. You can also choose to purchase some cleaning brushes specifically for this, like this set on Amazon.

Amazon sells kits witha combination blower and vacuum with mini attachments. These are marketed for cleaning keyboards but work perfectly for your Cricut.

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Clean Carriage and Roller Bar

To clean around the carriage and roller bar, baby wipes can be used, or else some glass cleaner lightly sprayed on a cloth. Never spray any cleaner directly onto your machine. Always spray your cloth to prevent overspray and control where the cleaner goes.

If you prefer you can make your own glass cleaner with 1 part vinegar, 1 part water, and a few drops of dish soap. Never use any type of acetone on your machine (like nail polish remover)

Remove any blades from the machine and clean around the carriage. On the roller bar, slide the star wheels to one side. With a soft cloth or baby wipe, wipe down the roller bar and the area under the carriage and carriage shaft.

You can gently slide the carriage over with your hand to clean underneath. Do NOT wipe down the shaft the carriage is on. This shaft has grease on it to allow proper movement of the carriage.

If you notice a build-up of grease on the carriage shaft, Cricut recommends you use a Q-tip, or tissue to gently remove it. If you think the shaft needs to be greased again, contact Cricut support for full instructions.

Gently wipe the carriage itself, open clamp A and clamp B, and wipe inside of them. Avoid touching the gearing on the Cricut Maker and Maker 3.

Cleaning cricut maker with baby wipe

Clean Inside the Machine

Using your soft cloth or baby wipe, wipe down inside the storage compartments of your Maker or Explore machine. Then wipe the bottom tray, inside of lid, and, rear slot of the machine.

Carefully inspect your machine and ensure you have removed all dirt and wiped down all visible surfaces, aside from those that weren’t recommended.

Clean the Outside of Your Cricut

Next, wipe down the outside of your machine including in the storage compartments. On the Explore, do NOT clean the inside of the cartridge slot.

Gently wipe the buttons and (on the Explore) the dial. Make sure your cloth or wipe is not overly wet, you do not want any liquid seeping around the buttons.

Close your machine and wipe down the front of the tray and the top of the lid.

Blow out the USB slot and the AC plug slot to remove any debris.

Open your machine and let it fully dry before starting crafting or storing.

Clean the Blades and the Mats

Your blades and your mats should be cleaned regularly too. A dirty blade or mat are some of the biggest culprits for bad and incomplete cuts.

To learn how to clean your mat, head over to my article, How to Clean your Cutting Mat. This article will explain in depth how to do this.

To clean your blade, for the premium fine point, deep cut, and bonded fabric blades, carefully stab it into a tin foil ball multiple times. This will help clean any residue and debris. Unfortunately, this will not sharpen your blade, though many people claim it does.

For other blades and tools put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and carefully wipe down the blades. Rubbing alcohol removes stuck on adhesive and dries quickly. Be VERY careful when cleaning your knife blade and rotary blade since these are extremely sharp. This method can also be used with the fine, deep, and bonded fabric blades.

Learn how long a Cricut blade will last in my article, How Long does a Cricut Blade Last?

Cricut premium fine point blade being stabbed into a aluminum foil ball to clean the blade

How Long Does It Take to Clean your Cricut

Cleaning your Cricut machine is a simple task that should take you no more than 30 mins. If it’s been a long time since your machine has been cleaned then it may take a little longer but generally, if you maintain your machine regularly it should be a quick and easy task.

How Often Should I Clean my Cricut?

If you use your Cricut frequently, especially with cutting cardstock and paper products, you should clean your Cricut cutter every 3 months. Otherwise, every 6 months should be enough.

If your machine has been in storage for a while then I recommend cleaning your cutting machine before use to remove any built up dust.

Final Thoughts

Like any machine, your Cricut cutter needs to be properly maintained. It is easy to clean your machine inside and out every 3-6 months by dusting, wiping, and vacuuming.

Performing these simple tasks will keep your machine running well, protecting your investment and hopefully preventing some headaches.

Diane Davies

Diane loves to craft and create. She enjoys experimenting with her Cricut Maker and Accuquilt GO! She also dabbles in jewelry making and crocheting. She is also passionate about sewing.

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