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Olfa cutting matt odor
Olaf cutting matt odor
Wintermoons
Wintermoons
Member since 12/24/13
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Date: 2/12/14 9:18 PM

I purchased the large Olfa cutting matt, the one with three matts that clip together for one large surface. My problem is the strong odor. Has anyone else experienced this, and were you able to get rid of the smell? I purchased three weeks ago. I'm happy with the surface, but it is now residing in my garage as the chemical/plastic smell is so overwhelming that I can't have it is the house. I don't have an overly sensitive nose, so it is unusual for me to complain about odors. Any thoughts are appreciated!
dmh1
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dmh1
North Carolina USA
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Date: 2/12/14 9:22 PM

All of my cutting mats have come with a strong odor out of the box. When I lived in Florida, I would put them outside on the patio for a couple of days, where I think the sun/air flow helped the odor to dissipate. None of mine are Olfa brand, so I'm not sure if that's any help to you or not.

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Michelle

Warbler
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Warbler  Friend of PR
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In reply to Wintermoons
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Date: 2/12/14 10:47 PM

I spoke to an Olfa rep at a quilt show and asked him about the off gasing ordor. He said to use neutral temperature water in a tub; wet the mat, then in a dish basin mix 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup water and a 1 tsp of Dawn and and 2 tbs of baking soda. The solution will fizz but that's OK. Use a sponge to wipe both sides of mat and let it stand with the solution about 15 minutes and then rinse. do not use hot or cold water but just room temperature. If the smell does not go away repeat.

This really worked well and I did not have to repeat the wash!

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Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1

Sew Nanny
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Sew Nanny  Friend of PR
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In reply to Wintermoons

Date: 2/12/14 11:03 PM

I bought one a couple of years ago and tried everything but still couldn't get rid of the odor. It made my eyes water and my nose run. I just couldn't be in the same room with it.

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~ Patricia ~
Bernina 830LE & Artista 630E
Bernina 1150MDA & L220
"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness." Eleanor Roosevelt

SusiM
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SusiM  Friend of PR
California USA
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Date: 2/13/14 12:22 PM

I have owned two large mats that were so awful smelling they lived in the garage for months. I ruined one by putting it outside to air. But the heat from direct sun warped and hardened it. -A total loss. The second eventually lost its oder after washing and a long stay in the garage. Then it cracked prematurely. I switched brands.

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susiM

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
Ohio USA
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Date: 2/13/14 12:32 PM

Keep them flat (hang or lay on a flat surface and no sun as the heat and unstable surface can cause the mat to warp.

My mats are very old and never had any odor.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

"Isnít it a shame in todayís world you canít tell the truth. If you tell the truth youíre abrasive. If you lie youíre charming." - Bob Huggins/College Basketball Coach

SheBear0320
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SheBear0320  Friend of PR
Manitoba Canada
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Date: 2/13/14 2:23 PM

I just bought an Olfa mat at Michaels last night (50% off coupon) and it has no odour (and I'm sensitive to this kind of thing with my asthma and allergies). This is my 4th or 5th mat and I have never had a problem with odour on any of them. Most of them have been purchased at Michaels when they have their 50% or higher coupons.

I use the mat cleaner on mine to clean out threads and fiber and then wash them down with a damp cloth and let them dry thoroughly while laying flat.

When my mats get really marked up and "used" I pass them down to my DH who uses them as cutting mats for his model trains and rockets.

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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"
Stash Tally: net +38.5 yds (2014)
2015 Stash Tally: 106.5 yds out/122.875 yds in (net +16.375 yds)

2016 Stash Busting:
20.875 yds sewn (as of 04/30/16)
9.75 yds purchased (as of 04/30/16)

ThreeThreads
ThreeThreads
New Mexico USA
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Date: 2/14/14 1:33 AM

I would have liked to reply by brand--but, I cannot find my cutting mat. (Obviously, I haven't needed it recently.)
Yes, we moved furniture recently, room to room, after a refit of a specific room/part sewing area.
But, I can't find it, "anywhere." So, it's a puzzle.
Bought it out of the open rack at JA, few months ago. No odor noticed.
Otoh, my smeller has been at least half stopped up, since childhood. So, there are many things I just don't notice. (Besides a missing cutting mat.)

------
Just a thought: If your watch had a second hand, wouldn't it really be a third hand?

Grace Buchanan
Grace Buchanan  Friend of PR
New York USA
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In reply to Warbler

Date: 12/23/15 10:52 AM

Thank you for sharing this. The first Olfa mat that I got years ago was no problem. The one that I got yesterday from Joann's seemed fine in the store! On my way home, I thought that the car had picked up the smell of old cigarette smoke somehow. When I got home, I thought that my hair and clothes had somehow soaked up the smell. Finally I realized that the odor was from the mat.

The mat was factory-sealed, and in the mat rack at Joann's, so I don't think that it was bought, soaked up cigarette smoke, and was returned. Also, the smell isn't exactly like cigarette smoke; it also resembles sour body odor. It is strong enough to make one's brain fuzzy.

I followed the recipe, and the mat is on the porch drying in the shade. Our temperature is around 50 F today. I hope that this works!
Barbara3
Barbara3  Friend of PR
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In reply to Grace Buchanan
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Date: 12/23/15 12:11 PM

I also have a couple of older 24" X 36" Olfa mats that never had odors. So, when I wanted something larger a few years ago, I bought the 3-mat set. The odor was so bad that I called the manufacturer to ask about it. I was told that this was "normal" and that I could do any of a number of things to get rid of the odor. I did everything suggested, the last of which was to soak it in vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and water in a bathtub. When all of the recommended methods didn't work, I washed it with everything else I could think of. I also aired it outside for more than 2 weeks. Nothing got rid of that odor, and I couldn't bear to have it in my sewing room, so I returned it.

Without belaboring this and going into too many details, the odor is coming from the core of the self-healing mats - and the core compositions differ between the older and newer ones.

So, I looked around extensively online, and finally discovered the non-self-healing mats sold by the Sewing Emporium in CA. I also noticed that some PR members said that they were very happy with their SE mats. One PR member had had hers for more than 20 years. SE happened to be coming to a sewing expo in my community at the time. I bought the 40" X 72" size, and it's been just great. No odor at all, and very smooth and nice to work on.

I didn't do enough research to determine whether these self-healing mats were actually toxic, but I simply didn't want to spend time in my sewing room when it smelled like that!
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