Cleaning your rotary cutting mat |
sewing Becky  

How to Clean Fuzzy off of your Rotary Cutting Mat

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When you are in the groove of sewing and just cutting, sewing, cutting, sewing….you will find that all of a sudden your rotary cutting mat is full of lint!  This happens all the time to me.  I speed up the process a lot becuase I am constantly cutting batting, felt, or fleece on my mat too.

Cleaning your rotary cutting mat |

Does your rotary cutter look like this?

How does this happen?  When you are cutting with a blade it runs along the fabric…cutting the fabric and the mat.  The little bits of fabric get caught in between the mat cuts and when the mat ‘remembers’ where it was supposed to be, it traps the little bits inbetween.

It’s hard to cut over the areas that have a bunch of lint in them.  It makes you skip parts when you cut and pushes that lint in further into the mat.

Let’s try and fix that today shall we?!

Removing the fuzzy lint:

Take an eraser and rub it all over the mat, catching the parts wehre you have the most lint.  I found that I had to clean off the eraser all the time to remove the bundles of lint so it could work again.

You can also use a dish scrubber {the plastic ones}  You don’t want to use anything to agressive or sharp on the mat.  It can damage it.

I kept rubbing and erasing, and rubbing some more.

I also got a cloth damp with some warmish watter {not hot} and scrubbed it some more.  Lots of elbow greese going on.

There is still a bit of link stuck in the mat, but it is A LOT better! I can see the mat again and tell where the lines are and actually line up the ruler again.

Sometimes I wonder why I wait so long to do things like this…..

Cleaning your rotary cutter mat |

Has your cutting mat had it? Ready to replace it? How about starting here with Cutting Mat & Rotary Cutter 45 mm.

Do you have a trick to cleaning your rotary mat? I’d love to hear it!

29 thoughts on “How to Clean Fuzzy off of your Rotary Cutting Mat

  1. Siretha Bell

    I use a sticky brush . it looks like tape on a roller handle. I also use it on my ironing board and the floor after I’ve completed a sewing project , this saves me time also when I need to vacuum my sewing area. Most of the loose thread that would get entangled in my chair wheels or the roller for the vacuum isn’t as bad

  2. Lori

    I turn it over and use other side… I will have to try the eraser trick…

  3. Anne

    I’ve always used a lint roller, but it doesn’t get the stuff stuck down in the cracks very well. I’m going to give an eraser a try the time next I clean it off! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial:

  4. Grandma G

    Nancy’s Notions sells a tool just for this purpose. It’s called, of all things, a Cutting Mat Cleaner. 🙂 I have one… it works great!

  5. Laura

    Best tip : Only use sharp cutting blades. This will slow some of this down, you won’t be putting the pressure down and cutting so deeply. I’m a cheapy so it’s hard for me to toss blades but my mat is way too important to ruin. 🙂 Thanks for the tip.

  6. Valerie Gunnell

    I vacuum it with the upholstery tool … the suction is tight enough to get most of the stuck threads. Between it and the lint roller it stays really NEW looking. When I cut fur or fleece … I do use the blank side of my cutting mat because of the particles getting stuck. Allowing the mat to bend a little as you use the lint roller helps release the tight grip the mat has on the lint. I vacuum as I go when doing fur and fleece projects. Makes everything a happier fur free environment.

  7. Marcy

    A bad mat will dull your blades faster. I save an old mat and cutter for cutting fleece or batting. This way my newer mat doesn’t get “ruts.” Sometimes ruts on your mat can be from dull blades.

  8. Rita E in AZ

    I use a damp micro fiber cloth when my cutting mat cuts fuzzy.

  9. Becky

    Marcy, I do notice that. I shift my mat every once in awhile so I cut on a new spot, but yes…dull blades bite!

  10. Becky

    Thanks Anne for sharing…i have never thought of a lint roller. Sometimes I use tape, but it isn’t nearly as good or sticky. Thanks for the suggestions!

  11. Chris

    These are the instructions I got from someone awhile back at Olfa I think:
    I put the mat in the bath tub in cool/tepid water. NOT WARM OR HOT and the I add 1/4th cup of WHITE Vinegar per each gallon of water. Then I add a squirt of Dove or Ivory dish soap and create a lather and I scrub the mat with a mushroom brush. (If you are sensitive to scents, you can add two capfulls of Murphy’s Oil Soap to the mat-washing solution.) If I don’t have the mushroom brush I use the scrubbie we buy that has mesh and yellow foam inside.

    Then I rinse it off with clear, cool water and towel dry the mat. Of course you can air-dry it too! If you air-dry the mat, make sure you lay it flat away from any heat source and of course out of the sun! I have been cleaning my mat like this for years, and I found the mat stays a lot softer and more supple, and the blades seem to last longer too!
    You can buy a Mat Scraper at Nancy’s Notions but honestly this does a great job.

  12. Jess

    I”ve actually always wondered this! Thanks for the tip!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  13. Samantha @ Five Heart Home

    What great tips! Lots of good ideas in the comments as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  14. Hilda

    Before you post instructions on the web you really need to do a spell-check. I picked up on this right away, as I’m sure others have too.

    Thanks for the hints. Printed out and will keep in my Quilting Tips book.

  15. Lois Oberg

    I also have an old mat that I use for batting, fleece and flannel and save my good mat for cotton. I clean with a lint brush and vacuum and this usually keeps it clean. I will try the eraser tip also.

  16. Susan

    When I clean mine I bend the mat very slightly to open the cuts and get a brush or cloth and rub along the cuts to remove the debris. A quick wipe over with a damp cloth and it’s as good as new.

  17. Becky

    Susan, that is brilliant! Bending it does open up those lines just enough to get that stuff out. Great idea.

  18. Deb

    Hilda, I think the spell check comment was very rude. Perhaps others don’t spell as well as others and perhaps they don’t have a spell checker. I you figured out what the mistake was why make a comment about it. some people have their feelings hurt easier than others.

  19. Carol

    There is a post on Pinterest about your mat needing to be washed in water…it likes it. The post on cleaning that way was right on. The other posts about using a “sharp” blade are true as well…a dull blade cuts a wider groove, allowing the fabric to be pushed into the mat. The idea of using the back of the mat for cutting batting and fleece is a good idea, too.

  20. Betsy

    My mat was so bad I nearly trashed it but my husband took his sander to it and it’s like new!

  21. bev smith

    thanks Deb …that was a rude comment…..sorry Hilda

  22. Barbara

    I had long lines of fleece stuck in one of my cutting mats. The eraser worked like magic! Now I’m soaking it overnight in water with a little white vinegar, and will scrub it in the morning. Thanks so much for posting your advice!

  23. Becky

    Barbara- thanks! and good luck. It is soooo wonderful cutting on a clean mat.

  24. Rotary Cutting Mat

    I have never been know all of the above details ever, its quite impressive and the way you described each step is commendable. thanks for the useful resource.

  25. Chris

    The spell check comment was very rude, I agree. There was no need for it. I dont understand why people have to be so hurtful to others when it is not necessary. We are all having a nice chat about cleaning mats and then someone has to put something nasty in. Well done Hilda.

  26. Chris

    There are some awesome tips here, thanks Ladies

  27. Audrey

    Thanks from Dundee, Bonnie Scotland, U. k. Thanks For all those extremely, will be trying them. my cutting mat is a disgrace, but I still love it. Just feel,sorry for it.

  28. Penny

    I have a friend who puts hers in the bath and gives it a gentle scrub

  29. Mea Cadwell

    Putting the cutting mat in water “feeds it” so the self-healing part gets moisture to work better.

    I’ve found using a wet micro fiber cloth works great (and it’s reusable) as well as a wet European cloth sponge (also reusable). And, since they’re wet they’re helping to feed the cutting mat so I don’t have to lug the large and heavy thing to the tub as often.

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