For whatever reason, when taking care of their computer accessories, people tend to neglect their computer mice. In reality, the mouse should get primary attention as it is one of the only parts of a computer, besides the keyboard, that is touched and used every single time the computer is turned on.
The upkeep of your mouse is especially important when it’s used for gaming since any malfunctions with the mouse could severely affect your gaming experience. Not to mention, gaming mice aren’t cheap investments. So, you’re going to want to make sure you take good care of it so it lasts you a while. This article will discuss how to clean your mouse and mousepad to make sure you have the optimal gaming experience.
What You’ll Need:
- Q-tip or microfiber cloth - These are good for cleaning the filth off the mouse. Microfiber clothes are always best, as they won’t leave behind fibers, but a Q-tip is good for hard to reach spots.
- Isopropyl alcohol / Disinfectant Wipes - Alcohol is great for sanitizing. If you don’t have alcohol you may use disinfectant wipes or water.
- Clean, dry rags - Use these rags for dusting and drying.
- Toothpicks - Another great tool for cleaning crevices and spots that are slightly out of reach.
- Screwdriver - Just in case you need to disassemble your mouse.
- Tweezers - Not necessary but could be helpful when removing dirt from sensitive or hard to reach spaces.
DIY Gaming Mouse Cleaning
First things first, take a good look at your mouse. As mentioned before, the mouse is probably the dirtiest part of your computer aside from the keyboard.
According to a recent article by The Guardian, studies show that the average computer desk has up to 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. In addition, a mouse has a whopping 1,676 microbes per square inch. Although the level of uncleanliness may seem daunting, there is a simple solution: Cleaning and disinfecting!
A 4-Step Mouse Cleaning Process
Step 1: Disconnect your mouse from your computer
Disconnect the mouse plug from your computer. If your mouse is wireless, turn it off. Remove the batteries if necessary so no issues occur. Taking these steps beforehand will prevent you from getting shocked as well as any electrical shorts or accidents.
Step 2: Spray, swab, and pick
- You’re going to want to make sure all the cracks, curves, crevices, and all other parts that accumulate dirt and grime on your mouse are swabbed clean. Use a microfiber cloth and Q-tip dipped in alcohol to remove the dirt on the mouse. Make sure your cloth and Q-tip are damp but not dripping.
- A Q-tip can be a great way to get hard to reach spots and make sure all the dirt is collected.
- An important part to clean is the mouse’s sensor, as a dirty sensor will mess with the mouse’s tracking ability. Gently swab the sensor with your Q-tip.
- Another effective tool is a compressed air can or gun. Use this tool to blow air into the hard to reach spots and cracks of the mouse to make sure you’re getting all the dirt out of there.
- If your mouse has a rolling component, turn over your mouse and roll the wheel to loosen the dirt and wipe that area with your microfiber cloth.
- Use a toothpick to pry the unwanted grime, gunk, and filth out of the crevices of your mouse. These crevices can be found around buttons and the seams of the mouse’s body. Flip the mouse over and use the toothpick to chip away at the feet and the sensor area for any dirt you may have missed.
Disassembling your Mouse
Once the alcohol has dried, remove the top of the mouse. This step slightly varies depending on your mouse’s manufacturer. Some tops simply pop off, while others need to be unscrewed. Make sure you have checked your mouse’s manual and that it’s nearby before taking your mouse apart.
Get a new Q-tip and apply a fresh coat of alcohol to the tip. Due to the cracks and small openings on the top area of the mouse, it’s easy for crumbs, dead skin cells, hair, dust, and much more to find their way inside.
Look out for dirt on the mouse wheel, and on the circuit board. Due to the sensitivity of this spot, use tweezers if dirt must be removed from the circuit board.
Once again, wait until your mouse is dry, then reassemble.
Step 3: Make sure all the parts and pieces are dry before reassembly
The last thing you want to do is damage your computer. Before plugging everything back in to your computer, make sure all the components are 100% dry. Even a small amount of moisture can completely ruin components of your computer or mouse once they’re plugged back in.
Give your mouse a few minutes to dry then you may plug everything back in.
Step 4: Maintain your gaming mouse properly
Maintenance is the best way to make sure your mouse stays clean. Being proactive and making sure things are kept clean instead of working to undo wear and tear is always the most efficient way to keep your mouse in good, working condition.
Cleaning your mouse often will make sure the dirt and crumbs that may get in between the cracks don’t venture too deep into your mouse. Here’s how you can maintain your mouse as you use it:
- Wash and dry your hands before touching the mouse, especially after eating. The grease and other ingredients that stay on your hand after eating will cause grime to build up in the cracks and crevices of your mouse.
- Avoid drinking and eating food around your computer and mouse. Not only will this ensure that nothing spills over and damages your equipment, it will also keep your mouse from getting dirty.
- Wipe down your mouse and desk regularly, especially after use. This will keep dirt from building up over time. In addition, wiping your desk and computer clean will also keep harmful germs from getting you sick.
Cleaning your Mousepad - DIY Steps
Apart from the mouse, you also need to clean the mouse pad where it rests on. The mouse pad is also prone to dust and dirt accumulation. It’s very important that you regularly clean your mousepad to make sure your gaming mouse continues to work at its best.
Although cleaning the gaming mouse itself is the most important part, the mousepad shouldn’t be too far behind in your list of priorities. Since most mouse pads are made of cloth like materials, they’re prone to dust accumulation. They can also be dirtied by food, drink, and sweat, which may affect the mouse’s performance. Lastly, the mouse rests on the mousepad so it’s to be expected that if the mousepad is dirty the mouse will also eventually get dirty.
There are touchpads that are made from fiberglass, plastic, and aluminum. They are easier to clean than mouse pads that are made from soft materials such as foam. You can clean it by using a soft damp cloth and letting it air dry before using it again.
Soft touch pads may need to be cleaned with a shampoo or conditioner or simply be thrown out if you can afford to keep buying mousepads.
How to clean:
- Fill the sink with warm water and soap. Any kind works (dish or hand).
- Drop the mousepad inside and let it soak.
- Use a sponge, cloth, or soft bristled brush to gently rub the mousepad.
- Rinse out the mousepad and make sure there’s no soap residue.
- Pat the mousepad dry.
- Air dry the mousepad (24-36 hours should suffice).
Do not allow the soft rubbery part of the pad to be in contact with hot water. This may affect its adhesive and cause it to detach from the top portion or become deformed.
When washing a touchpad, dry it with a soft cloth and then allow it to air dry in the shade. You don’t want to leave it exposed to direct sunlight because it may ruin it and cause the rubber portion to detach. Using a hairdryer works too but use the coolest setting to dry.
Can a Mousepad be washed in a Washing Machine?
If you’re feeling lazy, yes, a mousepad can also be washed in a washing machine!
- Toss the mousepad in the washing machine.
- Add detergent.
- Use COLD water. Hot water may ruin your mousepad.
- Air dry, don’t use the dryer as your mousepad may get ruined due to the heat.
If you’re looking to invest in your gaming and purchase a gaming mouse, make sure you take care of it! We would hate it if you bought a mouse to enhance your gaming experience, only for it to become damaged due to poor maintenance practices.
If you’re looking for great mice and mousepads to get you started, check out our store! We’re here to satisfy all your gaming needs.