At the Quilt Festival, I met (and purchased from)a new Olfa rotary cutter and blades (so cheap I might add...we are talking Wal-mart fiskars cheap). The man (Charlie) was giving great info I had to pass along to extending the life of your rotary mat and blades.
To Clean: Fill up a tub (or sink) big enough to submerge your mat. You need to do a 1 gallon of water to 1/4 cup vinegar ratio (what CAN'T you do with vinegar???). Make sure the water is cool. Once you have enough liquid, submerge your mat and wipe off any residue. Use dove or ivory dish soap and work into a lather over your mat. Rinse off. Self healing mats love moisture and the more supple they are, the kinder they will be to your rotary blade...I did not know that! Wipe your mat off with a towel.
To save your hands: Every Olfa cutter has a little set of ridges to indicates the best ergonomic position for your hands. Put your finger or thumb on those ridges to help decrease any joint pain. Apparently, folks, I was doing it ALL wrong. Now wonder I have wrist pain...I was messing my ligaments all up.
I hope this tip can help you. Do you have any good tips to share?