How to Clean a Bamboo Sushi Mat?

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Making my sushi has always been my thing. The whole process is all fun until it comes to cleaning the tools and utensils used. They are left with sticky rice which makes it annoying to clean. One of the tools that bare all the effect is the bamboo sushi mat.

So, how do you clean a bamboo sushi mat? You can easily clean your bamboo sushi mat with hot water and vinegar solution. When you run this solution over your bamboo sushi roll mat, it will get rid of any bacteria or germs in the mat.

I had tried several cleaning approaches/solutions with no success. However, with hot water and vinegar solution, I found a cheap and effective method that not only leaves my mat looking new, but also safe for use. With this solution, you don’t have any worries of cross-contamination when using your bamboo sushi mat like this.


The process of cleaning a bamboo sushi roll mat

As said earlier, you don’t need expensive cleaning solutions to keep your bamboo sushi mat clean. You only need to prepare a solution of hot water and vinegar and follow the steps below to keep it looking new and safe for use.

Could be you are wondering whether it’s a must you go for hot or warm water, right? Well, I insist on such water since it can kill bacteria and dissolve solids and oils on your mat. This is something you can’t achieve easily with cold water.

Run the solution over the mat

Run the solution over the bamboo sushi mat until it becomes wet. If there are any solids or oil patches on the mat, you can focus the water on that area for fast removal.

Scrubbing the mat

Using a dishcloth, scrub the mat to remove any sticky pieces of rice that were not removed in the previous step. Folding the mat into half and rubbing it against each other can help in getting rid of all the sticky pieces.


Then rinse the mat and leave to dry. Don’tmake the mistake of storing the mat while still wet. It will develop mold which can be harmful to your health. It will even start to break down meaning you have to find a replacement.

To avoid all this, ensure your bamboo sushi mat is hard and dry before storing it. You can hang it somewhere with enoug hair circulation for fast drying.

What is a bamboo sushi roll mat?

Wait! Do you even know what a bamboo sushi roll mat is? Well, I bet if you are true sushi enthusiasts you already know. However, if you are a newbie, a bamboo sushi roll mat is a small bamboo-made mat that is used to hold ingredients used in making sushi hold, roll them, and squeeze them into tight sushi rolls.

How to use a bamboo sushi roll mat?

So, how do you use a bamboo sushi roll mat? Follow the procedure below:

Lay out the rolling mat on a cutting board in such a way that the bamboo strips are running horizontally to you. In this case, I will be using nori to make my sushi.

Ensure you have left some space on the edges of the mat, say 1-inch on either side. Then spread a layer of sushi rice you have already prepared over the nori. Ensure its evenly spread and again don’t use too much of it. It may take you some time to know how much you can use.

You should also leave some space at the top edge of the nori for sealing up the roll. For this process to be smooth, ensure you wet your hands before. Otherwise, the rice may stick on your hand and won’t spread at all on the nori.

Add other ingredients such as cucumber or other vegetables along the center of the rice. Again, just like the rice, don’t add too many ingredients. You don’t want to overpack it and cause you trouble when rolling it.

Once you are done adding the ingredients, lift the bottom of the mat gently up and over the sushi. Roll it up while pressing and shaping the ingredients into a tube. Ensure you put just enough pressure to get a firm roll.

Roll it up until you are left with about an inch of nori showing at the top. Use some cold water to seal the edge to give a tight wrap in the mat. Squeeze around the mat to ensure your roll is firm uniformly.

Don’t put too much pressure or you risk getting your ingredients oozing out or smashing them. It will take some practice to do it right, but once you are used to it, it will be all fun. When you feel your ingredients have become firm uniformly, remove them from the mat.

You have used a bamboo sushi mat to make sushi! Cut the sushi into thick slices. 

Substitute for bamboo sushi mat

So, is there an alternative for bamboo sushi mat? If you don’t have a bamboo sushi mat, it doesn’t mean you can’t make sushi rolls. Below are some substitutes for a bamboo sushi mat.

  • Slatted wooden placemat with a towel – You have to spray some neutral oil on it to prevent sticking
  • Silpat baking sheet
  • A bamboo placemat
  • Cling wrap or
  • If you are an expert in sushi making, you can roll the sushi with your bare hand.

Related Article: Essential Tools For Making Sushi At Home


Can you put your sushi bamboo mat in the dishwasher?

It is not recommended to put your bamboo sushi mat into dishwasher because of the material it is made of. It can easily be broken. If you feel too lazy to follow the above procedure, you can use the top rack of the dishwasher. Use a light cycle and don’t leave it there for the dry cycle.

Is covering bamboo mat with a plastic film a good idea?

I know you may be wondering whether you can cover your mat with a plastic film and avoid all the trouble of cleaning it. To some extent, this can save you the trouble of dealing with a messy bamboo sushi mat.

However, as good as sounds, it may interfere with the rolling process, how? It is slippery to hold, and it won’t drain excess moisture from the sushi. So, if you can easily counter this negative, you can use the film on your bamboo sushi mat.


Making your sushi is fun. However, once you are done, the aftermath isn’t fun except for the eating part. Dealing with utensils with sticky rice isn’t easy especially for the rolling mat which is usually on the receiving end.

The above guide on how to clean a bamboo sushi mat makes things easy for you now. With the guide, you can maintain your mat looking new, fresh, and safe for use at all times. You can now enjoy everything about sushi right from making it to eating without any worries.

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