Looking After Your Mats

New Mats – ‘Condition’ your mat so that it will last longerTo ‘condition’ it, take a credit card and go over the plastic before you remove it for the first time (if there isn’t a sticker on it already that says ‘this side up’ then use a sharpie and write top on it). You cannot see the difference but there is a right and wrong side to the clear plastic. Placing the plastic on the mat wrong side down can damage the adhesive.

After I remove the plastic, I take may hands and ‘pat’ the mat all over a few times, then I take a piece of cardstock and put it down and pull it up a few times. I find that this gets me the most use out of my mat.

Care of  your Mats – Never leave paper on the mat for extended periods of time and definitely not overnight. The adhesive will bond to the paper and could pull away from the mat when you remove the paper. Always remove all paper scraps no matter how tiny. Little scrap can result in poorer quality cutting. Use a lint roller or rolled up tape to get rid of lint and dust. These will clog up the adhesive causing poor adhesion to the paper. Always cover your mat with the plastic cover when not using it. This will prevent dust, pet hairs and lint from sticking to it. It will also keep the adhesive from drying out.

Cleaning your mats – You can wash your mat, I wash mine with warm water and small amount of washing up liquid and a soft nylon bristle brush, rinse off and pat dry with a lint free cloth and then leave them about an hour to air dry before replacing the cover sheet. . This does restore quite a lot of sticky to the mat.

Re stickying your mats

  • Aleene’s Tack It Over & Over – You want make a 50% glue and 50% water mixture and brush that onto your mat. Let it dry for 20 minutes, brush on another coat, and let that dry for 24 hours. Your tacky cutting mat should now hold paper and cardboard as it did when new.
  • I also use the ZIG blue glue pens, get the biggest marker type pen (Jumbo or Biggie) you can. Remove all the original sticky using a sticky stuff remover, then use the ZIG marker to cover your mat completely and leave it to dry for about 2 hours and then it is ready to use. Again you can wash this in the same way and it becomes sticky again. If it stops being sticky just recoat it using the ZIG Marker. I have found this the most economical way to resticky mats.
  • You can re sticky your mat using repositionable adhesive spray and lots of people do – I do not like spray adhesives, I always get it everywhere.