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Cutting Mat Care

Posted: 7 January 2016 at 6 a.m.

Cutting Mat Care

Rotary Mats are a quilters best friend!  When you begin quilting, your life will be made much easier by purchasing a self-healing mat.  These mats close up or “heal” any incisions from rotary cutters leaving no visible slices on the mat.  Self-healing mats have a certain limit to the amount of slicing they can take so if you start seeing cuts remain or need more pressure when using a rotary cutter, this may indicate your mat needs replacing. 

Mats can last a long time, and to ensure your mat serves you well, take care of it!

Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your mat.  Clean stains and dust by using a gentle soap/water combo and a lint-free cloth.  If you cut a fuzzy fabric, like minky, the extra fluff can sometimes get stuck in the cuts.  In order for your mat to heal, the fuzz needs to be removed.  

Store your mat flat, not on its side.  Do not let your mat get too hot or sit on your cutting table in direct sunlight.  These practices lead to warping and a sad quilter!

Take care of your mat and you can enjoy hours of cutting together!

Do you have additional tips on how to care for a self-healing mat?  Please share in the comments below.

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  • 16. JoAnne T. (01 July 2017 at 4:24 p.m.)

    Use an old credit card to scrape the mat. Also, they like a bath now and then. If it fits in your bathtub, give it a good soak in lukewarm water. I learned that from the Olaf man in their booth st Road to California. My large mat is too big for my bathtub so when I finish using it, I scrape it and give it several sprays of water and let it sit to dry, not in the sun, it needs to be wet for awhile.
  • 15. Charlotte (30 June 2017 at 6:43 p.m.)

    Just replaced my mat after 16 years of use, used batting scraps to dust it regularly.
  • 14. Charlotte (30 June 2017 at 6:43 p.m.)

    Just replaced my mat after 16 years of use, used batting scraps to dust it regularly.
  • 13. JanineMarie (30 June 2017 at 5:13 p.m.)

    Try to vary the direction of your cuts and the area of the mat you cut on. If you do that, you'll find areas of the mat that still have a lot of life in them.
  • 12. Rotary Cutting Mat (17 April 2017 at 12:48 a.m.)

    Wonderful information thanks for sharing.
  • 11. Tina (19 January 2017 at 3:08 p.m.)

    Thank you for the amazing hints, mine needed doing! I heard someone say they oil the mat, is this true?
  • 10. Sherry (18 January 2017 at 7:33 a.m.)

    I use a nylon-net Pom Pom, like a bath scrubbie. I make 8" strips of netting,tie it in the middle with dental floss. It works wonderfully and lasts for years. Of course the Pom Pom is used dry.
  • 9. Alison Kuller (10 January 2017 at 6:43 p.m.)

    I've cleaned my mat and then laid it out on a flat cement patio to dry. This seemed to help with warping too. Just be sure the sun hits it evenly.
  • 8. Liz in LA (28 March 2016 at 6:23 a.m.)

    Before u throw out your old mat because you think it is all used up, turn it over and use the under side. You will only be missing the grid lines.
  • 7. Jo (26 March 2016 at 10:38 a.m.)

    Good ideas! Thanks! I use a woven scrubbing pad. I've never wetted mine, I'll have to try that.
  • 6. Mary (25 March 2016 at 12:49 p.m.)

    I use a 'Dobie' pad to remove the fuzzies in the very tiny cuts. It doesn't remove the markings on the mat and picks up fuzz you can't even see. I also, yearly, put my mat in the bathtub with room temperature water to cover it and let it 'moisturize' for a few hours. Dry with cotton cloth (not bath towel).
  • 5. Lois (25 March 2016 at 5:47 a.m.)

    I place the mat over the edge of the cutting table to give it a gentle bend. This opens up the cut lines with the fuzzies to make it easier to remove.
  • 4. Cecelia (04 February 2016 at 11:56 a.m.)

    I use a fabric lint remover brush, a roller sticky tape kind.
  • 3. Celeste @ Superior Threads (26 January 2016 at 11:14 a.m.)

    I apologize, the best tape to use is wide, clear packing tape, not Masking tape. Sorry for the confusion.
  • 2. Celeste @ Superior Threads (25 January 2016 at 1:14 p.m.)

    Jamai - The answer is tape! If you get a long strip of masking tape and put it over the fuzzies and then pull it up from the end, it'll get rid of them.
  • 1. Jamai (24 January 2016 at 6:28 a.m.)

    Thank you for the information, but how does one remove the fuzz? Can the mat be oiled or revived?

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