Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rotary Mat Tip, and Smiles

Recently, "Quilting Down Under" Yahoo chat group, in which I've participated for several years, talked about cleaning Olfa cutting mats. While I've wiped off my mat now and then, I've never done what was suggested - to clean and moisturize your rotary mat!

Following directions according to this link, I put tepid water and white vinegar in the bathtub and added my 24" X 36" mat. As you can see, the mat didn't quite fit, but at intervals I left it to soak and then returned to reposition it. I used Dawn dishwashing liquid and my dish scrubber to clean both sides before rinsing it off and laying it flat to air dry.

I'll have to say that I can now see the difference. The mat is greener than it was before, and the cuts aren't so apparent.

Here's the specific information, if you'd like to revitalize your own rotary mat: 
OLFA Cutting Mats love moisture!It is recommended that you soak your mat from time to time. Your self healing mat loves moisture. 
To soak it, put your mat in a bathtub or large container (would have to be large so it can lay flat) and soak it for 15-20 minutes in a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar to every gallon of cool water. Let me repeat, cool water. Do this every so often to help extend its useful life. 
Then use a squirt of mild dishwashing soap (Ivory) and clean the mat with a mushroom brush (soft is the key word here). The purpose of this gentle scouring is to remove the fibers that get trapped in the cuts marks preventing the cuts from "healing". 
Keep 'em clean, keep 'em moist, keep 'em flat and NO heat. Your cutting mat is not a coffee cup coaster!

Like me, I hope you have a cute mug rug for your coffee (or wine)! Thanks Carla. I still love this.

I'd like to leave you with a smile today. This will only be meaningful though if you've seen the cartoon movies Despicable Me or Despicable Me 2. Our grandsons, Tay and Aesa's first movie theater experience, with me, was seeing Despicable Me 2. It was only natural for us to give them that DVD for Christmas.

Apparently, they've watched the movie several times now, and have memorized some of the script!

In their premier and starring rolls as Minions, here are 4 year-old Tay (left), and 3-1/2 year-old Aesa.
Linda


33 comments:

  1. Thanks, Linda, for directions on cleaning my mat. I'll be trying that soon! Oh, and I almost forgot about that little mug rug.=)

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  2. How funny, we gave our grandies Despicable Me and DM2. We haven't had a chance to see them.

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  3. Thanks for the cutting mat advice- I think I need to do that!

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  4. I never knew that! Off to soak my poor mat.

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  5. I never knew that! Off to soak my poor mat.

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  6. Awww! That certainly did make me smile!

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  7. I just bought a new Olfa mat so thanks for telling me about how to care for it!

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  8. Well there's a New Year's resolution- a bath for the rotary mat. I'll try it. Thanks. The Minions- too cute!

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  9. What a great tip! I am going to give it a try tomorrow.

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  10. Ive never heard that before. Will give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

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  11. Cute, cute video!! I love the Despicable movies!

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  12. Huh! I'll have to try soaking my mat tomorrow. It's years old and getting rather tired out. But I never knew about the moisturizing thing, so let's see if it's not too old to benefit from this still. :)

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  13. I had never thought about giving my cutting mats a bath. I'll have to give it a try.

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  14. Good tips on the mat cleaning, but LOVED the minions at the end--they put a smile on my face after a l-o-n-g day. Thank you!!

    Elizabeth

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  15. thanks for sharing the tip about the mat. I will have to give that a try.
    the boys are too cute.

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  16. Excited to give this a try!

    And about the heat, watch where you set your laptop they get pretty hot too :)

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  17. Can anyone suggest how often to clean the cutting mat that is in the tutorial? Thank you

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  18. When we moved my mat got damaged, it will no longer lay flat on one corner because of the way things got shifted, and it spent a week like this. Does anyone know if this would help it lay flat again??

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    1. You're a no-reply commenter, so I was unable to respond to you directly. But, it's my understanding that once a mat is bent/warped, it can't be undone... unless you have a two-ton weight to lay on it for a day or two! So no, I don't think giving your mat a bath will help at all. Sorry.

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    2. So maybe if you had a couple of pieced of heavy plywood with the mat in between and rest your car on it for a day or two it might straighten it out? My brand new large mat warped in the heat of my car giving it a bend/ripple in one corner--any hope with a car on it?

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  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUvuGSmb2vk try this can help

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  20. tepid or cool water???
    eau tiède ou eau fraiche???
    il y a une contradiction dans le tutoriel...

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  21. Thank you for the hint, I will definitely do this. Unfortunately my mat is falling apart. I duck taped it from the back. But the cracks are getting bigger. Any idea how to make it better ?

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    1. Gisela, you're a no reply commenter, so I cannot answer you by email. But I will say that I don't know of any fix for a mat that's cracked and breaking. That happened to me and I just cut it up the mat into piece to make two smaller mats. Then I bought a new big one.

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  22. Just received my cutting mat. Thanks for the advice.pm

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  23. Love this idea! Shared it in my weekly newsletter...and the feedback from subscribers has been great. Thanks for coming up with a spa day for my mat!

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    1. You're a "no-reply commenter" so I can't respond to your email. But I want to clarify that this "spa day for your mat" tip is not my own. All the information comes from the Olfa website, as I quoted in the above post.

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  24. This is perfect! I have a set of 3 mats that cover my large cutting table, and I was thinking the other day that I might have to buy new ones in a few years! Now I can soak them and clean them the right way...hopefully extending their useful lives to "forever"! :-)

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  25. I'm just curious about the instructions say to lay flay in tub but the picture shows it not flat butvcurving up the sides of the tub? Is that ok for the cleaning process? Thanks

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    1. Patricia, you are a no-reply commenter, so I'm unable to directly respond to your questions. But you are right. My bathtub is not large enough for the largest mat to lay flat. However, I felt this worked because I was able to get the mat wet, allowing it to absorb moisture. By the way, all this information is on the Olfa website. These are not my own ideas.

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  26. Thanks for the tip.
    I recently bought a smaller mat for portability and it has an odd smell. Will this soaking method eliminate that or should I return it? Thanks!

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    1. Nickie, you are a "no-reply commenter" so I'm unable to respond to you except here. In any case, I have no idea! I've never had a new mat that smelled, and I'm not a rotary mat expert. I was only sharing how to get extra miles from an old rotary mat.

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  27. Here's an idea the next time you want to soak your mat. I bought one of those plastic kiddie pool large enough to soak mine in. Worked great.

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