Mousepads are one of those PC accessories a lot of computer users and gamers tend to neglect. Over time they pick up dust, crumbs, and even the occasional spill from a drink. I fall victim to this as I am definitely the gamer that has my favorite snack and beverage nearby while gaming. No matter how careful I am I find that my mousepad gets dirty and is in desperate need to be cleaned before I know it.
Trying to use a dirty mousepad is not an enjoyable experience, to say the least. I am sure we have all experienced a dreaded crumb underneath our computer mouse. It is definitely not ideal.
I have created a quick simple guide on how to clean your mousepad. By the end, it should be looking as good as new, at least until you spill another drink on it.
How to Clean a Cloth Mousepad
Cleaning a cloth mousepad is super simple. I am not sure why many people consider it a difficult task as it only takes me a couple of minutes at most. However, if you do not clean it regularly or have a stain on It, it may take a little bit more time. You want to be extra careful when you are cleaning a cloth mousepad as you do not want to ruin the surface. They are made up of ultrafine threaded materials, damaging this could make the surface rough and course. This could cause the surface to lose its smooth glide while using your mouse.
Quick and Easy Method for a Light Clean
If there is no evidence of deep dirt and grime trapped deep within, a light clean should be all you need. I advise doing a light clean once every couple of days as they are very simple to do. This can even just include shaking out your mouse pad to remove any crumbs. However, here are the supplies I recommend if you need a little bit more cleaning power.
- Handheld vacuum or air duster
- Microfiber cloth
- Mild soap and warm water solution
Essentially all we are looking to do for a light clean is remove that surface grime. A vacuum or an air duster is the perfect tool to remove any food crumbs hair or dust particles. So, if you find yourself commonly snacking on chips, you may want to keep one of these options nearby. All you need to do is just run the vacuum cleaner or air duster over the surface. This should remove most of the larger particles.
For any light stains, a microfiber cloth with a mild soap and water solution will work perfectly. For the solution, a couple drops of soap to some warm water will work. You want to dampen the microfiber cloth in this solution and ring out any excess liquid. You then want to wipe down the entire mousepad. Be gentle while you are wiping, putting too much pressure may damage the surface of the mousepad. This should do a pretty good job at removing any small or light stains, making it look good as new. However, if there are any deep stains, dirt, or grime you may want to try the following method.
Deeper Clean to Make It Good as New
Sometimes we spill food or drinks on our mousepads that may leave a nasty stuck on stain. To remove these, we will have to do a little bit of a deeper clean. This should remove all the stuck-on grime with ease leaving you with a finished product that looks brand new. To prevent any damage to it I recommend doing a hand wash and dry only, the steps are below.
- Fill up a sink or bucket with lukewarm water.
- Add a few drops of mild dish or hand soap, mix this solution.
- Place your dirty mousepad into the solution submerging it.
- Use a microfiber cloth to scrub the mousepad.
- Remove it and thoroughly rinse it out in the sink or shower.
- Pat the mousepad dry with a clean towel, hang it to dry.
Washing your mousepad by hand will be the safest option to prevent it from getting damaged. If you notice that some stains still remain, you may have to let it soak a little longer and provide some extra elbow grease. But, just like before, when you are scrubbing with the microfiber cloth you want to be gentle. Applying too much pressure with harsh scrubbing motions is a recipe for disaster. Instead, scrub with light, smooth gentle motions.
Most mousepads also come with safe cleaning instructions; however, this guide is safe for most of them. Although there are some things you defiantly want to avoid, they are listed a little further below.
Cleaning Hard Cover Mousepads
This kind tends to be a lot easier to clean over cloth mousepads. This is primarily because they can not really absorb any liquid, dust, or crumbs. To clean this style of mousepad all you will really need is an air duster and a damp microfiber cloth. First, you want to blow away and loose dust, hair, or crumbs. After you will take your damp microfiber cloth and wipe the whole surface down. This should only take you a couple of minutes to do, it will remove 99% of the stuck-on grime. However, if you notice some sticky stains or water spots you may want to use the mild soap and water solution mentioned above.
Things to Avoid
As mentioned above, these are some things that you want to avoid. They are commonly recommended by others but they can lead to some pretty bad damage to your mousepad. To be honest I am not even sure how they can be recommended and advised a “safe” cleaning instructions.
Washer Machines & Dishwashers
Placing your mousepad in a washer machine is something that you 100% do not want to do. Some say that they are washer machine safe, but they can still be damaged. Even on a low heat low tumble setting, they are too rough. The same goes for a dishwasher. I am not even sure who on earth could possibly recommend this. The water is way too hot and rough to possibly be a safe cleaning option.
Most mousepads have some sort of rubber backing on them to prevent them from moving on your desk. While hot water may not damage the surface, it will breakdown or melt the rubber backing. I advise only using water that is just warm to the touch.
After you have washed your mousepad you may be tempted to pull out the blow dryer to dry it faster. Just like with hot water, hot air can damage the rubber backing on your mousepad. So, please do not do this. However, if your blow dryer has a cool option, that should be safe to use.
Again, after washing your mousepad you may be tempted to put it out in the sun to dry off. Sun can cause your mousepad to lose its color making it fade. You do not want this to happen especially if your mousepad is custom or has nice graphics on it.
Harsh Cleaning Chemicals
This may sound quite obvious, but you would be surprised at the chemicals I have seen people use. Avoid anything that may be abrasive like bleach, alcohol-based cleaners, and acidic cleaners. This can lead to further staining, loss of color, and damage to your precious mouse pad. So please, avoid these cleaners at all costs.
All in all, cleaning a mousepad is a very easy job to do, it should only take you a few minutes at most. I personally advise doing a light clean once every couple of days as needed. You can do a deeper more detailed cleaning as you see fit. For some, this may be once or twice a year. But, if your anything like me and snack while using your computer, this may be once a month. It is important to keep it clean as it will make a big difference in your overall PC and gaming experience.