Who knew? I sure didn't. The subject came up at Stashbusters yesterday. Piqued my interest so I googled and found this information:
Cleaning – To prolong the life of any cutting mat, keep it clean. We recommend using your favorite all-purpose household spray cleaner or warm water and mild detergent. Avoid abrasive cleansers and solvents that can damage the mat or remove the printed markings. Use a lint roller or a napped lint brush to remove surface lint and fabric crumbs. A nylon net scrubber can be used to loosen any stubborn dirt or debris on your cutting mat. Microfiber cleaning cloths/towels can also be used to remove tiny fibers from knife cuts on your cutting mats.
Hmmm...............Having just finished cutting quilt batting on my mat, it was a mess. And since I just bought this nifty new rotary cutter, I decided to clean it up using a nylon scrubber!
You only open the part you use -- like so for right handers:
And like this for lefties:
Or if you are like me and use either hand to cut (depending on the need, without moving the fabric), you can open both and just flip it over when changing hands. This cutter is made by Olfa, and has a nice weight/feel. There's nothing like a new toy to play with!