Rotate your mat every time you cut. Reposition your cutting. This way you are not constantly using one portion of the mat while leaving perfectly good sticky on the rest of the mat. You can either flip it the opposite direction or use the arrows on the machine to start cutting in a completely different area of the mat. If you are a sure cuts a lot user or a cricut design software user this is pretty easy because you can visual position your cuts anywhere on the mat.
(Get two mats and rotate between the two is also a very helpful tip.)
Keep your mat covered. If you don't all the particles floating in the air can land on your mat and and prevent it from being sticky. Use the clear plastic or store your mats face to face to prevent dust and debris from landing on your mat.
Clean off extra paper from your mat every time you use it. When you are done with the your cricut mat for the day wipe them down with a damp cloth or use baby wipes. Baby wipes are just part of my scrapbook supplies. They keep your hands clean, surfaces clean, they wipe up craft mats after using ink techniques. Wipe your mats with baby wipes. They will feel less tacky but as they dry the sticky will return. Another handy tool is a lint roller. It can be helpful to pick up dust off your cricut mat as well as getting those tiny little pieces of paper off.
- You can also use arousal adhesive such as Wacky Tac. A word of precaution if you have a warranty on your machine and you are worried about voiding the warranty don't use this. Place your mat on wax paper. (Or something large enough to catch any extra adhesive.) Cover along margins so that you don’t get any of the sticky on your rollers.
Using this method I have been able to extend the life of my Cricut mats for nearly 6 months.