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How to Clean a Mouse Pad Properly (Guide)

A mouse, particularly a modern wireless one does not have a tracking ball inside it. The tracking ball was found on older, wired mouses. A mouse with a tracking ball needed a smooth surface to work well, and it needed to be cleaned often.

New mouse models are typically optical ones and they can work on almost any surface. There’s no tracking ball to wash but that doesn’t mean it won’t gather dust. To give an optical mouse a good surface to run on, and to keep it as clean as possible, users often get a mouse pad.

Clean mouse pad

A mouse pad is basically used to give a mouse a smooth surface to move on. It’s generally made of soft, spongy material and it’s meant to be placed on a hard surface e.g., a table or desktop. The mouse pad will have a somewhat coarse finish so that there is some friction between it and the mouse, making it easier to control movement.

Over time, a mouse pad builds up lots of dirt and grime, and grease. If you’re in the habit of eating at your desk, crumbs and the like will further dirty it.

Types of mouse pads

Although a mouse pad is generally a flat mat made of cloth or cloth-like material, it comes in other variations as well;

  • Cloth or sponge material.
  • A mouse pad with cushioned wrist support.
  • Glass mouse pads.

A mouse pad is easy to clean

You will need:

  • A washbasin or any other sort of washing station or a a tub.
  • Warm water.
  • Any mild household detergent that is not caustic.
  • A dishwashing sponge, preferrable a small one.

Here’s how to clean a mouse pad

1. Clean a cloth-like mouse pad

To clean the mouse pad, follow the steps below;

  1. If the mouse pad has crusted or congealed dirt and grime on it, you need to soak it for a while.
  2. Put warm water in a tub, add a few drops of detergent, and fully immerse the mouse pad in it for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove the mouse pad and rinse it off.
  4. Examine it closely to see if anything is still stuck to it. If it is still dirty, use the washing sponge to gently remove it. It will remove easily after the soak.
  5. Dry the surface and then leave the mouse pad spread out flat to dry. Do not dry in sunlight or in a dryer. You can leave a fan running over it to help it dry faster.
  6. Do not use the mouse pad until it is completely dry.

2. Clean mouse pad with wrist rest

This type of mouse pad is just as easy to clean as the flat kind but it will take longer to dry.

  1. Add lukewarm water to a tub.
  2. Add detergent to it, or just use a few drops of shampoo.
  3. Make suds and soak the mouse pad in the tub.
  4. Allow it to sit, fully immersed in water, for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse the pad under running water. Stop when the water is no longer soapy.
  6. To dry, you can hang it in your shower, or leave it out on a flat surface. It will take time since it’s far denser but don’t put it in direct sunlight or in the dryer.

3. Clean glass mouse pad

You can clean a glass mouse pad with just about anything that you can use to clean ordinary glass. Use a soft cloth and small amounts of the cleaning agent you have on hand. Make sure the mouse pad is completely dry before you use it and do not use anything caustic.

Benefits of cleaning a mouse pad

A mouse pad should be cleaned regularly, or replaced if it gets dirty. This ensures that;

  1. Any germs that have built up on its surface are killed.
  2. The mouse works smoothly on it.
  3. The mouse pad doesn’t develop fungus or mold from any bacteria that may develop on it.


Mouse pads come in different sizes and you will find some variation in the material that is used to make them but no material is dirt-proof. Many people simply replace a mouse pad when it gets dirty because it’s a cheap buy but some mouse pads, particularly those for gaming, tend to be expensive. This is why it’s a good idea to know how to keep it clean.

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