Quilting Tools & Books

Self Healing mat- are they really?

Hi friends!

As the holiday are approaching, some of us (well, I am anyway!) are thinking about what quilting goodie we might want to find under the tree. One item on my wish list is a new cutting mat. Mine is a bit messed up. 


I have been doing a LOT of cutting and trimming lately. Which leaves lots of debris on the mat. And I must admit that I don’t change out my rotary blade as often as I should so it probably tears up the mat a bit.

But cutting mats are expensive, even with a coupon! So I searched and found a few articles on how to give new life to your cutting mat. Here is a link to one article on the National Quilters Circle website.

It said to first get rid of the threads and fibers using a pot scrubber. I remembered I had this nifty tool that I had uncovered over the summer when I cleaned out a few drawers during the Creative Spaces blog hop.


It did work to get rid of a bunch of the threads and loose bits of the mat. Though a pot scrubber would work.

Then I put the mat in the tub to soak in a solution of cool water and vinegar. They suggest that the tub should be big enough for the mat to lay flat but I don’t have a tub that big! And since I mostly cut in the center of the mat, I figured it was OK if the ends did not get as much soaking time.


Then I used a little dish soap, put that in the water and scrubbed the mat. Then I dried it and looked to see if it worked. Kira wanted to help.


I will say, the mat feels softer. And some areas seem better. But some of my deeper divots are still there. Maybe if I had done this before the mat got quite so bad it would have worked better?

Have you tried doing this with your cutting mat? Did it work? 

Hmmm… I may leave the cutting mat on my with list.

happy quilting!


4 thoughts on “Self Healing mat- are they really?”

  1. The smoother will get the deep lines out. I forget to turn the mats and not use the same spots. It could possibly take the mat lines off if you use those.

  2. When I am squaring up blocks and don’t need the lines on the face of the mat, I flip it over and use the side that is blank. I figure it is all the same material, so I use that side for those repetitious little cuts.

    1. Susan,
      Makes sense! Funny, this particular mat has lines on both sides and I use the lines only for the bigger cuts- small ones I just the lines on my ruler. Not sure why, but that is what I do! I just stand in the same spot and seem to cut in the same area. Of course, it could be the usually the rest of the mat is covered with paper, other fabric….

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