Everyone Needs To Know How To Clean A Mousepad! Seriously!

Have you been gaming a lot recently, and you’re on your way to becoming a pro gamer? Or maybe you spend a lot of time on your office chair working or studying? Using the right accessories definitely helps you out. One of the important extras you need is a mousepad! Even if you keep that space clean, cleaning your keyboard and everything around, any mousepad or mouse mat will get dirty eventually, especially after extended use. Grease, sweat and snacks can all ruin their longevity. So if you’re wondering how to clean a mousepad, you’re in the right place!

close up to females hand holding a mouse on a mousepad in front of a computer screen

Mousepads help your mouse move more smoothly and may even come with extra cushioning for support. Since they are so essential, everyone should know how to clean their own properly. A dirty pad is not only unhygienic but can also interfere with how well your mouse works, especially during gameplay. Depending on the mousepad type you have and how messy it is, you can use 1 of these methods to make it look new again! And when you’re done, it’s time to clean your laptop as well!

Types of mousepads

People use computer mousepads to prevent the build-up of dirt, dust, and oil on the mouse, reduce wrist injury and wear on the desk surface. Although mousepads were initially developed for a mouse designed to incorporate a physical ball, they have now expanded to meet other needs of computer users.

Did you know that there isn’t one way of cleaning all mousepads? That’s because numerous types of mousepads are available, ranging from fabric to plastic and many more. The most common fabric type is a low-density rubber composite, like butadiene rubber, with fabric glued to the top. You can also find mousepads made from plastic, leather, silicone rubber, cork, wood, stone, and steel. You should know what type yours is so that you can follow the proper cleaning method. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Most ergonomic mousepads are designed using a microfiber cloth or fabric. Some of them feature a wrist rest in their design through careful placement of supportive padding.
  2. Textured mousepads are also very common. Vinyl board cover was very popular in the 1980s due to the tackiness of the mousepad surface. Later, fabric was the new trend, with the introduction of a rubberised silicon surface to the steel roller ball. This fabric layer provides a lint-free surface for your mouse to move on, plus a small amount of cushion for the user.
  3. Gaming mouse pads provide a larger than standard working space, improved sensitivity and better ergonomics. A gaming mouse pad is often made of plastic and is designed for endurance.
gaming gear, mouse, keyboard, joystick, headset, headphone and mouse pad

How to clean your fabric or cloth mousepad

Do you have a fabric or cloth mousepad that needs a thorough cleaning? Here is a step-by-step guide to making it look brand new!

What you’ll need

  • Large bowl, sink or bathtub
  • Mild dish soap or shampoo
  • Sponge, damp cloth or rag
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Microfiber towel

Step 1: Use cold water & soap/shampoo

  1. Find a large bowl or use a clean sink or bathtub.
  2. Place your mousepad at the bottom and gently spray water on its surface. 
  3. Apply a small amount of hand soap or gentle shampoo on a sponge.
  4. Wipe away stains.
  5. Flip it over and repeat the same cleaning process on the back.

Step 2:  Wipe down with a soft bristle brush

  1. Use the soft brush to scrub any tough spots. You shouldn’t scrub too hard or use a wire sponge as you could damage the mouse pad. Be extra careful if it has a design on top.
  2. Flip it over and repeat the same cleaning process on the back.

Step 3: Rinse off

Gently rinse away the soap with water, ensuring no suds are left on the front or back.

Step 4: Pat dry with a towel

Now everything’s clean, but you have to collect any excess water and moisture left. 

  1. Use a towel to dab your mouse pad. Wrap it with a towel and apply gentle pressure.
  2. Let it air dry, or put it next to a fan. Keep it out of the direct sun to avoid fading.
  3. Give it the rest of the day before you use it again; you don’t want any wetness to damage your mouse or computer.
close up to male hand holding computer mouse on black mousepad

How to clean a plastic mousepad

The steps above can also work on a plastic mousepad, but you may speed up the process using cleaning sprays or wipes.

What You’ll Need:

  • Multi-surface cleaning spray
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Disinfecting wipes (optional)

Follow these steps

  1. Spritz the mousepad’s surface with a cleaning spray.
  2. Wipe clean with the cloth, concentrating on any areas with visible grime or dirt.
  3. Use a disinfecting wipe to cut down on germs on your pad. 
  4. Let it dry completely.
Woman using white wired optical mouse at office table

How to clean a hard mousepad

Over time, gunk builds up into hard mousepads’ little raised lumps that add extra friction to your mouse movements. The good news is that they are pretty straightforward to clean. Here’s how:

What you’ll need

  • Soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol

Step 1: Dampen a cloth with warm water 

If you want to loosen up clumps of dirt and debris, warm water works better than cold water. 

Step 2: Add a little rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol helps to break down oils and grease. For better results, add a splash to a small area of the cloth.

Step 3: Wipe away

While wiping away dirt and stains, focus on the gunky spots with the cloth’s side that has the alcohol. Turn it over and repeat the same process on the opposite hard surface.

Step 4: Leave it to air dry

Leave the mousepad to dry. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, and after that, you’ll have a clean mousepad to use! 

White and silver wireless mouse on a grey round leather mouse pad on a wooden surface

How to clean a Razer, RGB or QCK gaming mousepad

When it comes to wired RGB mousepads, it’s essential to be extra cautious when cleaning. If you’ve had any tracking issues while playing games, a dirty mousepad could be the culprit! Unlike the other pad cleaning methods, you mustn’t submerge a wired mousepad in water. Find below all you need to know.

What you’ll need

  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloth

Follow these steps

  1. Unplug the mousepad.
  2. Soak the cloth in water with a bit of mild soap
  3. Wring it out as much as possible to not risk getting any drops of water near your electronics.
  4. Use your damp soapy cloth to thoroughly wipe the pad to remove any grease, oil, and dirt. It’s OK to clean the edges of your pad, but you should avoid getting any moisture on the electronics box.
  5. Rinse the cloth and wring it out as much as possible.
  6. Use the damp soap-free cloth to remove all soap residue from your pad thoroughly. Repeat as needed to ensure that no soap or dirt remains.
  7. Let it dry flat, right side up.
  8. After a couple of hours, your pad should be ready for gaming. Plug it in and game on!
gaming gear, mouse, keyboard, joystick, headset and mouse pad

Can you put a mousepad in a washing machine or the dryer?

Are you not a fan of handwashing? Then, it is possible to put your pad in the washing machine. Of course, doing so with a wired mousepad is a huge no-no! These are the materials that pass the washer test: 

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Acrylic
  • Acetate
  • Microfiber
  • Foam
  • Polyurethane
  • Rubber

How to do it

  1. Use only mild detergents.
  2. Set your washer to cold water.
  3. Change the setting to a light wash cycle.
  4. Don’t use bleach.
  5. Let it dry when you take it out of the washing machine.

What to avoid

The washer method works only for materials that can safely go in the washer. If you are not sure whether your mousepad will be safe, you should contact the manufacturer. Also, keep in mind that the washing machine results may vary based on the mousepad’s material and quality

Wondering if you should use your dryer? Heat is not a good ally for your mousepad. That’s why you should never throw it in the dryer or use hot water. You should always let it dry! For the best results, hand wash your mousepad to avoid any damage and to clean it thoroughly. Then, let it dry for 24-36 hours.

How often should you clean your mousepad?

Washing your mouse pad doesn’t have a consistent frequency. Some people prefer to clean it for visually appealing reasons, while others only wash it when dirty. In general, you should wash it 3-4 times a year to keep it from getting too germy over time.

However, if you spill something on the pad, like coffee, then you should clean it right away to prevent stains. Build up from food, spills and more can increase friction on the pad and keep your mouse from gliding over it. If you prefer to clean on a schedule:

  1. Wipe it with a damp cloth once a week to remove any surface dirt.
  2. Plan for a thorough cleaning once a month.
Woman using modern white wired optical mouse at office table, holding a cup of coffee with the other hand

Mousepads should be clean to work correctly, but also for hygiene reasons. Now that you have all the information you need, you can easily clean your mousepad. Just be careful; you should follow the proper cleaning procedure required, depending on your pad’s type and material. You got this!

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