The best way to clean a mouse pad will depend on its type and materials. If the pad has a fabric surface, you may rub it clean using a moist washcloth with shampoo. Mouse pars with a hard plastic surface, you can use a mild spray household cleaner with a sponge or cloth to clean it.
Not only is a dirty mouse pad gross, but the dirt and grime also result in added friction between the pad and the mouse. This may, in turn, affect your gaming performance. To restore the pad to its initial appeal and efficiency, it is advisable to clean the accumulated dirt and dust every once in a while.
This guide will enlighten you on how to handle different mouse pad types while cleaning them. You will also learn the best way to clean different mouse pad materials.
Types of Mousepads
Before deciding on the best way to clean a mouse pad, you first need to ascertain what it is made of. Most of the leading mousepads are made of a spongy foam, covered by a knotted fabric or plastic surface material.
You need to note that there is no one definitive way of cleaning all mouse types. Each mouse pad type needs to be approached differently to prevent damage while cleaning. In this regard, the various mousepads may be grouped into three broad categories, as follows:
Ergonomic Mouse Pads
Ergonomic mouse pads feature carefully-placed padding layers to reduce pressure on your wrist tendons during usage. While Ergonomic pads come in different forms, all are designed to ensure that your wrist remains parallel to the table surface whenever you are using the mouse.
Such a design helps reduce strain on the carpal tendons, hence reduce such complications as repetitive strain injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Gaming Mouse Pads
These are designed for extended use, and to help enhance your overall gaming experience. Most of them are meant to offer, a larger working area, better ergonomics, and improved sensitivity. In most cases, gaming mousepads are made of plastic.
Not only are they designed for endurance, the surfaces of these pads often have graphical images/pictures. As such, they need to be cleaned properly to avoid damage to their surfaces.
Textured Mouse Pads
Textured mousepads feature a fabric surface layer to improve the efficiency of the mouse, especially on smooth table surfaces. The design of textured mousepads also features mild cushioning for the user. Different materials are used to make these mouse pads.
Most of the textured mouse pads in the market today are made of a low-density rubber composite like a butadiene rubber. Fabric is then glued on top of the rubber to offer the required textured surface for the mouse.
Some textured mousepads are made of leather, plastic, silicone rubber, cork, or even wood.
Can You Clean It In The Dishwasher?
Yes, most of the common mouse pad types can be washed in a dishwashing machine without sustaining significant damage. In this case, there are no special considerations that you need to make for the wash cycle.
However, it is not advisable to use hot water, and powerful detergents while cleaning a mouse pad in a washing machine. For the more delicate mouse pad materials, you may need to wrap the mousepad with a few towels before throwing it into the washing machine.
If you want to clean the mousepad in a washing machine, here is how you should go about it to minimize damage:
Step 1: Throw the dirty mousepad into the dishwashing machine, and add a dash of either soap or regular detergent.
Step 2: Set the washing machine to cold, low tumble, and start it.
Step 3: Air dry the mouse pad; leave it to dry for 24 to 36 hours before using it again.
The Best Way to Clean a Mousepad
Depending on the mousepad type and material, different methods may be used to clean it thoroughly. Again, the right cleaning method will also depend on how dirty the mousepad is. For instance, you can remove dust from the surface of a mousepad by wiping lightly with a cloth.
However, deeper stains on fabric mousepad call for a more sophisticated cleaning method. Discussed below are some of the most effective methods you can use to clean a mousepad depending on the type and material:
How To Clean An Electric Mouse Pad
Some of the best gaming mousepads feature electrical components, such as LED lighting. As such, electrical mousepads tend to have unique cleaning requirements. Immersing such mousepads in water or splashing water on the will damage their electrical components.
In this regard, electrical gaming mousepads should be cleaned without water. So, how can you clean a mousepad without water? You need to get a multipurpose cleaner or multipurpose wipes as your cleaning supplies.
Spray the multipurpose cleaner on to a clean cloth to dampen it. Alternatively, you may use multipurpose cleaning wipes. Gently rub the damp cloth or wipes onto the mousepad surface to remove dirt and grime. Once done, wipe the mousepad with dry clothes and leave it to dry under room temperature.
How to Clean a Neoprene Mousepad
Neoprene is a type of natural rubber that is preferred for it’s non-skid and improved grip properties. By design, most Neoprene mousepads feature a rubber base, attached to a fabric top. The material does not absorb water and dries rather faster after cleaning.
While this material is easy to clean, you should never use acetone and alcohol-based cleaning agents on Neoprene. These cleaning agents will destroy the rubber glue that attaches the rubber base to the fabric top of the mousepad.
Instead, you will require a mild cleanser, bowl, warm water, and a sponge to clean a Neoprene mousepad. Here is how you should go about it:
Step 1: Fill the bowl with warm water, add a few drops of the mild cleanser and stir to get a uniform solution
Step 2: Dip the sponge into this solution, and flip the mousepad over such that the neoprene surface is accessible.
Step 3: Using the wet sponge, rub the Neoprene surface to remove any dirt sticking to its surface.
Step 4: Repeat step 3 until the surface is clean.
Step 5: Rinse the Mousepad in clean water and leave it in the open to dry.
How to Clean a Fabric/Cloth Mousepad
Although some manufactures recommend that you clean the mousepad in a washing machine, fabric mousepads are best cleaned by hand. To do this, you will require mild soap, warm water, a drying rack, and some cold water in a basin, tub, or sink.
Here is the procedure you should follow to clean a cloth mousepad properly:
Step 1: Find the bowl with warm water and add a few drops of the mild liquid soap
Step 2: Stir the solution a bit to mix uniformly, and submerge the fabric mousepad into the soap solution
Step 3: Using a soft bristle brush, gently rub onto the top and bottom surfaces or the mousepad to clean them thoroughly.
Step 3: Dispose of dirty water and find the bowl with clean water. Submerge the mousepad into this water and rinse it thoroughly.
Step 4: Hang the mousepad to dry (preferably in a shade).
How to Clean the Touchpad on a Laptop
Regardless of the make and model, cleaning the touchpad on your laptop may improve its response and quality of motion. To clean a touchpad properly, you may use a 50% solution of isopropyl alcohol, or a small amount of ammonia-based window cleaner.
Before you can clean the touchpad, you need to shut it down and unplug it from the power. If possible, removing the battery will make the process even safer. Once done, this is how you should clean the touchpad:
Step 1: Dampen a piece of cloth on water and wring the fabric to remove all the excess water.
Step 2: Gently wipe over the surface of the touchpad to remove the dirt and dust.
Step 3: Now dampen the cloth with either an isopropyl or rubbing alcohol solution. Any glass cleaning agent will work great for this step.
Step 4: gently wipe the surface of the touchpad with the damp cloth to remove the dirt that is embedded on its surface.
How to Clean a Mousepad with a Wrist Rest
Some mousepads feature a wrist rest in their design. Such an interactive design offers support for your wrist whenever you are using the mouse. In most cases, the surfaces of such mousepads are covered with microfiber.
To clean this wrist support microfiber properly, you will need a bowl, hand soap, a large towel, and a microfiber towel. To clean the mousepad:
Step 1: Find the bowl with lukewarm or cold water
Step 2: Thoroughly wet the mousepad in the water and place it on a towel with the face facing upwards
Step 3: Add a few tablespoons of hand soap into the water bowl and stir to get a uniform solution.
Step 4: Dip the microfiber towel into the soap solution, and use it to work the soap into the mouse pad. (You may need to apply a considerable amount of pressure while at it).
Step 5: Now dip the mouse pad back into the bowl and allow the dirt to come out before dumping out the excess water.
Step 6: Refill the bowl with clean water and soak the mousepad in it before placing it back on the towel
Step 7: Use the towel to dab the top of the mousepad and leave it facing up to dry under room temperature.
How to Clean RGB Mouse Pad
As compared to conventional mousepads, RGB mousepads are more tedious to clean. RGB mousepads feature electric components, such as RGB lighting. To begin with, you need to unplug the mouse pad. Next, mix some soap and water in a bowl.
Soak a sponge into the soap solution and wring to remove the excess soap solution. Use the sponge to gently wipe the surface of the mouse pad while trying to avoid the electric lights as much as possible. After a while, clean the sponge and strain out the excess water.
Soak it in the soap solution, and repeat the cleaning steps once again until you are satisfied with the results. Once done, dab the mousepad top with a towel to drain excess water. Air-dry the mousepad for a couple of hours until it is completely dry.
How To Clean Razer Chroma Mousepad
This is another type of electric gaming mousepad that happens to have special cleaning requirements. The Razer Chroma requires minimal maintenance to deliver optimal performance. Even so, you still need to unplug it from the USB port and clean it thoroughly, at least once every month.
The mousepad should be cleaned using a cotton swab or soft cloth dampened in warm water for thorough cleaning. You should not use any soap or cleaning agents on this type of mousepad.
There are several types of mouse pads in the market today, all of which have varying cleaning requirements. You need to clean your mouse pad after every 4 to 5 weeks of use. The easiest cleaning method would be to just throw it into a dishwashing machine and run it under tumble low settings.
However, not all mousepad types and materials may be cleaned this way. Some, such as the electric types, should be cleaned without any water. Regardless of the type of mousepad you own, this guide will enlighten you on how to clean it properly with minimal or no damage at all.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.