NB I must preface this by stating you should always follow manufacturers instructions for caring and cleaning your mat. I am no expert.


Hello. My name is Lucy and I have been abusing my self healing cutting mat. I generally just want to get on with the sewing and have neglected my poor mat. Here it is in it's sad state:

Notice the warping at the top, ironed on it by accident I think - whatever, just DON'T ever put hot stuff on your mat ok?!

After asking advice a couple of weeks ago people gave me some good ideas for how to tackle cleaning it, thanks to everyone that left a comment! And special thanks to Agnes, Corrie H. and Carla who gave directions and a link to this tutorial. So I did as recommended and stuck it in a cool bath with some white vinegar, then scrubbed it with a little washing up liquid.

It came out prune like and the cuts were really obvious, and even with gentle scrubbing a lot of fluff and small threads remained. Not really surprising given how bad it was. Still it was an improvement:

Then Catrin (I think it was you! Correct me if I'm wrong?!) mentioned that you could use the end of a frixion pen to rub the mat and remove all the little pieces. Well wouldn't you know that works perfectly! But my mat is big and I was not about to attempt to rub the tiny end of this pen all over it. Nicky suggested a rubber glove, which I'm sure would work too but I hate them so instead I grabbed one of my kids trainers (sneakers if you prefer) that has a rubber sole and scrubbed it with that. That worked too! So I suggest getting something fairly large, made of rubber and get to work!

That is the fluff I got off, the bottom one with the pen and the top one with the shoe!

And now my mat looks like this:

Still sad and I probably really need a new one but until that time this is a lot better!!

When I do get a new one I will definitely take better care of it by doing the following:

- giving it an occasional soak, these mats do love moisture
- wiping it down after using it and using the rubbing method if there's lots of bits!
- and definitely rubbing it after cutting wadding, that seems to be the main culprit.

Now back to cutting (and subsequent cleaning!)...