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Cleaning Up Your Act

Does your iron look like this? Would your cutting mat pass as Snuffleupagus these days?! Yeah, I hear ya, these last few months of day and night sewing have done a number on mine too. I think my sewing room needed a little TLC, so I thought I would share a couple of easy ways I freshened up my well-loved and much used tools! And when I say much used, I mean used till they turn to junk! haha! I try to get the longest life out of my sewing room staples :)

Let’s talk about that cutting mat! Whoa, how does anyone see the lines after these things get so gunked up? The thing with the self-healing mats is that everytime your rotary cutter cuts through fabric it also cuts into the mat and in the process stuffs a little bit of fiber in with it…. especially if you’ve been cutting anything fuzzy. This fiber doesn’t just wash off or wipe off, it is quite literally wedged into slivers of space everywhere.

Rather then taking tweezers to every tuft of fuzz, grab a large eraser and work your way across the mat section by section. I did swirling motions first, then went back over tough areas and worked the lines up and down.

The eraser has a way of grabbing the fuzz and pulling it out; you’ll have a pile of eraser nubs mixed with lint at the end. That gets rid of the bulk of it!

Next, get a fresh box knife blade or razor blade that you can hold.

Tilt the razor blade to one side and stroke it across the mat with little motions essentially “shaving” off any remaining fuzz.

Whatever wasn’t pulled out will now be sheared off leaving the mat clean and bright! I wiped it down with a warm wet washcloth at this point to remove any floating lint from the process. It's not quite like new, but it'll go for a while longer!

Now for your iron. I use a lot of fusible stabilizer for different things and every once in a while I space out and press the wrong side! It doesn’t take long to realize my mistake, but the damage is already done. And look out, because this gunk will rub off on the next piece you iron if you’re not careful.

I use Dritz Iron-Off Hot Iron Cleaner. This stuff is the best! ….it stinks though. I think they were trying to make it smell like coconut and failed.

Take a piece of flannel and fold it over a bunch of times to make it very thick. Once you think it’s thick enough, give it one more fold… seriously, I don’t know how the heat gets through it, but it gets very hot very fast.

Put a healthy amount of the iron off cleaner on the flannel wad, and wipe it slowly up the piping hot iron. It will sizzle and smoke (like crazy), and it will start to loosen the gunk from the iron. You may have to reapply more cleaner and give it a little elbow grease as you scrub away any tough spots. I then took a few Q-tips and worked the gunk out of the steam holes.

Well, there you go :) the before and after... It feels pretty good to have a fresh start!

Happy Sunday everyone,


Follow all my quilty adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Visit my Youtube channel for free tutorials and tips. If you like my patterns, you can buy them on Etsy, and here on the website.

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