Now if you do a lot of arts and crafts and that with these activities you do a lot of cutting then you most likely have invested on a nice and even hygienic self healing cutting mat. While these mats are undeniably quite expensive, the stability that they provide along with the accuracy that they give to your cuts without bad odors from the mat’s material or toxic products used in their manufacturing is definitely worth the extra cost.
While these high quality mats are built to be as durable as possible; the fact that their function involves taking cuts from straight or rotary blades means that they go through a lot of wear and tear when they are used and that if these mats are not cared for properly then it can actually cause the mat to be useless faster than you would think.
Despite having a great quality cutting mat, you will still want to take heed of the following care tips to ensure that your mats stay as long as they possibly can.
Probably the most basic thing that you will want to do is to make sure that your cutting mat is as free from dust, fabric and debris as possible and that even just simple wiping off of the dirt from the mat’s surface using a clean, lint free cloth should already enough. If you want a more thorough cleaning, you will want to use a soft brush in order to gently remove debris and dirt from the cutting marks of your mat. Not only will doing this make your mat clean and nice to work on; this will also help to prevent residue buildup which when left unchecked can actually ruin the look of your mat.
Another thing that you will want to remember is to make sure that your mat is not hit by direct sunlight. High temperatures can actually cause the compounds in your cutting mat to prematurely break down and over long periods; this can actually cause your mat’s surface to develop imperfections which will make the mat not a nice surface to do your cutting on. If your work area is near a window where it can be hit by sunlight; you will want to take the extra effort to cover your mat with a cloth or piece of cardboard. In relation to the breakdown that heat may cause; do not put your hot mugs or coffee cups on the mat.
Cutting mats love to have moisture to keep them soft and smooth to cut on. In line with this, you will want to soak your cutting mats from time to time in a solution that is comprised with about one fourth cup of white vinegar in 4 liters of cool water. Soak your mat in this solution for around 20 minutes. Not only will this solution give your mat more moisture; this solution will also help to remove bacteria and residue that may buildup and break your cutting mat’s composition in the future.