My first thought was to dig deep into the wallet and try to find a great deal on a new one. Envisoning a bigger mat where I could cut even more fabric for even more projects made my heart skip a beat ..... BUT .....
then the frugal side of my brain clicked in and thought, "what I am thinking?!" There is nothing wrong with the cutting mat I have and new mats can be pretty expensive so where did I turn? The web, my friend.
My cutting mat is an Olfa mat so I thought I would start there. Well exactly 2.6 seconds later after entering 'Olfa Cutting Mats' in the search bar, I was directed to the official Olfa Cutting Mat site which explains exactly how to care for and treat your mat! Who would have thunk?
After some reading which didn't take long at all, I thought I would give their tips and suggestions a try. There was no harm in it and it could save me some money.
First lay your mat in cool water with either a little vinegar or dishsoap. Using cool water ensures that the mat will not warp. I laid my mat in the bathtub as my kitchen sink is not big enough.
Then the site suggests using either a scrubbie type sponge or a mushroom brush to gently scrub the surface of the cutting mat which will help to remove the link that can be caught in the cutting 'grooves'.
I used a sponge that had a scrubbie pad on one side. It worked very well.
The mat was then carefully dried with a fluffy bath towel after removing it from the bathtub.
Extremely pleased with the results, I am now ready to tackle some sewing with a sharp blade and a clean, healed mat. Ignore the white slotches on the mat .... that's what happens when you use it as a drop cloth while painting something! So if your mat looks as bad as mine did, just give it a bath and it will be as good as new!
Remember to give your loved ones a hug!