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How to Clean a Computer Mouse (Simple Steps)

by Lisa Hayden
how to clean a computer mouse

The computer mouse seems to be the most neglected accessory during routine PC cleaning. This is one big mistake as we touch the mouse all the time when using our computers. In addition, a computer mouse is more prone to issues after prolonged use. To ensure that your mouse is functioning optimally, we are providing you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your mouse properly.

Do-it-yourself Mouse Cleaning Instructions

If you have not taken a closer look at your PC mouse, now is the best time to do so. Next to the computer keyboard, the mouse is definitely the next PC accessory that gets dirty easily. If you are a hardcore gamer, you could even argue, your expensive gaming mouse is a vital cog in your arsenal. This should come as no surprise as we always touch the mouse when working on your computers.

In fact, you are most likely touching the mouse as you scroll down this article.

Your computer mouse contains more bacteria than any public doorknob or public restroom. In a recent study, the keyboard and mouse may contain up to 400 times more germs than most household items.

But before you throw that mouse in the trash, we have a solution for you! You can still use your mouse by simply cleaning and disinfecting it the right way.

Here is a four-step cleaning and disinfecting process for your computer mouse:

Disconnect Your Mouse from the CPU

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Remove the mouse plug from the computer. If you are using a wireless mouse, simply turn it off. If there are batteries inside, remove them before cleaning. It is essential to shut down all power sources or disconnect from your CPU.

Unplugging the mouse will prevent electrical shorts, severe damage, and accidents.

Begin Spraying and Swabbing

The build-up of grime, dirt, and loose particles should be removed from the sides and bottom part of the mouse. You need to use a microfiber cloth that easily fits between tight corners and crevices for an effective and deep clean.

Ideally, use compressed air in a can. Slowly blow compressed air into the crevices and tight spots of the mouse. This will help in the removal of smaller particles and debris which may have nestled in between corners and crevices.

Wipe the top portion of the mouse with a microfiber cloth with a little amount of water or alcohol. You may also use wet wipes with disinfecting properties or those that contain mild concentrations of bleach.

If you are still using a mouse with a scrolling wheel feature underneath, turn the mouse upside down for cleaning. Roll the wheel to loosen up anything that may have stuck inside. Finish the process by wiping the inside portion of the mouth, as well as the wheel with a microfiber cloth.

Ensure All Components are Dry Before Reassembly

how to hold a gaming mouse

Before plugging the mouse to the CPU, make sure that all parts and components are dry. Even a little dampness can result in major problems or may permanently destroy the electronic components once the power is flowing through them yet again.

Wait for a few minutes for your mouse and its components to dry. Do not switch the power on until the mouse is completely dry.

Proper Maintenance

The simplest and fastest way to keep your mouse clean is to avoid eating on your workspace. This will ensure that crumbs or morsels do not fall in between the crevices and tight spaces found in your mouse.

Make sure to wash up and dry your hands before touching the mouse after eating. Do not attempt to use your mouse with dirty hands or while you are eating. The grease and other ingredients from the food you’re eating will result in grime build-up. Simply put, make sure your hands are clean when using the mouse.

Aside from avoiding eating and drinking around your computer workspace, it’s also important to wipe down and clean your desk regularly. This is especially true if you are in front of the computer for extended periods of time.

Make sure to wipe the computer screen, CPU, and desk at least once a week with a damp dust cloth and dry thoroughly before turning the power on again. Ensuring that your computer and desk clean will keep all disease-causing germs at bay.

How to Clean the Mouse Pad Properly

how to clean a mouse pad

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. In addition, it is a common spot that is contaminated by food, beverages, and sweat, which then makes the mouse manipulation inaccurate and difficult.

With this in mind, it then becomes vital to clean the mouse pad regularly to make sure that your mouse works optimally.

There are touchpads that are made from fibreglass, plastic, and aluminium. 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 touchpads or mousepads are easily stained and frayed when used continuously and cleaned. If you don’t have the budget to continually replace them, you may use a gentle liquid cleansing agent such as shampoo or conditioner to wash it thoroughly.

  • Make sure to air dry completely before using it again. You may use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove the stains.
  • The rubber part of the touchpad or mouse pad at the bottom part should not get in contact with hot water. Exposure to hot water or strong impact may result in its detachment from its top portion, as well as deformation and damage that are beyond repair.
  • When washing the touchpad, you should dry it using a soft cloth, then air dry but under the shade. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or intense heat as this may result in the detachment of the rubber portion of the pad. 
  • You may also use a hairdryer but make sure to use the cool air option so as not to peel off the surface from the bottom rubber layer.

As you can see, it’s relatively easy to clean the computer mouse and touchpad. All you need are a few simple cleaning materials to properly clean and disinfect it from the comfort of your own home. These steps work amazing well for both wired and wireless mice!

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