We all spend our days at our desks, so mouse pads can get exposed to stains, oil, grease, dirt, dust, and food. A dirty mouse pad affects mouse movement and causes the mouse to not work correctly. Plus, a dirty pad can make the mouse unsanitary. Often the pad just needs a good cleaning. We’ll help you get your mouse pad squeaky clean.
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How to clean a mouse pad without ruining it
Rubber, Cloth, or fabric mousepads can handle water much better and can even be thrown in a washing machine. Most mouse pads are cloth. To avoid ruining a cloth mousepad or fabric mousepad, use cold water and air dry.
A gaming mouse pad, such as an RGB requires a different approach. We’ll walk you through both below.
Except where mentioned, the steps below are for cloth pads since they are the most common. But don’t worry PC gamers, we’ll help you with how to clean your gaming mouse pad as well.
How do you clean a mouse pad fast?
The quickest way to clean a cloth or fabric mouse pad is to simply wipe your mousepad down with wet wipes or Clorax Wipes. Just wipe in a circular motion to remove stains, dust, and food debris. If there is anything left give it a little scrub with more pressure. Then let the mouse pad dry.
Instead of wipes you can also use rubbing alcohol to clean your mouse pad fast. Just add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a paper towel or sponge and scrub the dirty mousepad. That should help remove most of the grime and dust from the mousepad surface.
In lieu of using alcohol or soap, you can just as easily spray with Force of Nature and wipe the mouse pad clean. See our review of Force Of Nature.
How To Clean A Mousepad: Step By Step
A mouse pad can usually be washed with a mild detergent or dish soap. The majority of cloth covers just need some soap and warm water to remove the stains and debris.
While you can clean your mouse pad in a washing machine (we’ll get to that in a minute), the best cleaning process is hand washing.
As parents of 3 little kids, Force of Nature is our go-to all purpose cleaner. It's nontoxic but is EPA approved for use against Covid-19.
We love vinegar, but we use Force of Nature every day.
Also know that cloth or fabric mousepads require a little more scrubbing than a rubber or plastic pad.
Step 1: How To Clean Mouse Pad
Place your mousepad in the sink. Use a damp cloth and hand soap or dish soap. Continue scrubbing any especially dirty areas. Keep the water cold as heat could damage the pad material or some of the prints that you have.
Step 2: How To Properly Clean Mouse Pad
Use a sponge or old toothbrush to scrub any grimy spots. You can also use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth to wipe away residue.
Step 3: How To Clean Mouse Pad
Rinse off the soaps and detergents from the pad using cold water. Keep your water warm. Hot water will ruin your mouse pad. Afterward, rinse the pad to ensure no more residue is visible.
Step 4: How To Clean Mouse Pad
Use some paper towels to dry the mouse pad. If you have a dry microfiber cloth you can use that as well. You can pat it lightly or just set the pad on the towels.
The wet pads won’t dry instantly, so you need to give them a chance to dry before using a mouse on them.
Can you put your mouse pad in the washing machine?
Yes, you can wash a mouse pad in a washing machine. Be sure to use a mild laundry detergent. Set your washing machine on cool water or warm water. Use the light cycle for your setting. No bleach.
Please keep it cool. Avoid using hot water. Hot water will damage your mouse pad. You might be able to get away with warm water, but cold water is recommended.
If you use a washer, be aware that it’s a more aggressive approach to clean a mousepad than washing by hand. Depending on the print method, it’s better to wash manually. This is especially true if you do not want to risk ruining a custom design.
If you are still unsure whether or not you should put your mousepad in a washing machine, please consult directly with the manufacturer before putting your pad in the washing machine.
Speaking, of washing machines, when was the last time you cleaned yours? See our guide: How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading)
How To Dry A Mouse Pad
Now that you have a clean mousepad what is the drying process? Air dry! Do not use a dryer. Heat damage your mats, and just using a tumble dry is more aggressive than needed.
Just air dry your mouse mat.
Wait until it is completely dry before using it again. Patting it with a paper towel will help remove some of the water.
Hanging the mousepad on a clothesline will help dry it quicker since it will be exposed to more air.
You may be tempted to use a hair dryer to speed up the process. Don’t do that. Be patient and air dry.
To dry a pad quicker you can set it by a fan.
How To Clean RGB Mousepads?
What if you have a gaming mousepad? They are expensive and have electronics in them like lights, USB ports, and even wireless chargers. Ignore the tips above.
Don’t soak, rinse or wash a RGB mousepad in water. Cloth mousepads can handle water, but RGB gaming mousepad can not. In fact, just keep them away from the sink.
How Do I Know When To Clean RGB Mouse Pad
When you first bought your mouse pad the surface was dark black. As it gets used more and more the cloth fades to grey. This is the best sign that it’s time to clean your mouse pad. Also, if your mouse isn’t functionally optimally then it’s time for a cleaning.
Follow These Steps To Clean Your RGB Mouse Pad
- Unplug the pad
- Use a lint roller to remove any hairs or dust off the surface of the mouse pad
- Dip a sponge in a little rubbing alcohol and then wipe the surface clean. Some sites recommend using a little bit of soap but we don’t. We don’t want you to be in a position where you want to use water to remove the soap. Instead the isopropyl alcohol should remove the dust and oils from your pad. It will also dry pretty quickly.
- If the above didn’t work, do it again
- Let the clean mouse pad dry on your desk before plugging it back in. If you have a 3D printer you are already familiar with this approach for when you clean the bed of your 3D printer.
While you are at it, you can also use the alcohol to wipe the surface of your desk and your wrist rest if you use one. A clean desk is so refreshing.
These steps will work for Steelseries RGB Mouse Pads, Razor Mouse Pad, and any other brand.
How Often Should I Clean My Mouse Pad?
How frequently you clean your mousepad depends on how frequently you use your mouse pad. I’d recommend cleaning up the mouse pad three or more times each year, especially when working at home.
How often you clean your pad also depends on how much you prefer having a clean desk.
Is It Time To Replace Your Mouse Pad
If you’d rather just buy a new one, here are some recommendations.
Would you prefer a mouse pad with a bit more color? We love the fun colors on this one.
RGB Gaming Mouse Pads
RGB mouse pads are high tech. They are designed to give gamers pinpoint accuracy. They also look cool.
This mouse pad is not your grandpa’s mouse pad. The Future Charger Wireless Gaming Mouse Pad not only looks beautiful but it comes with a wireless charger for your iphone or Samsung phone.
How To Clean A Mouse Pad: The Final Word
Mousepad cleaning is simple, but the little effort it takes really does help. Clean the mousepad regularly using the steps mentioned above. The cleaner pad will be more sanitary (especially if you share your desk with an office worker) and help your mouse track better. It will also improve your gaming performance and accuracy.
How To Clean A Mouse Pad
- Dirty Mouse Pad
- Sponge, cloth, toothbrush
- Mixing Bowl
- Fill the mixing bowl with Cold Water. Using warm or hot water could damage the pad material and prints if your mouse pad is custom made.
- Place your dirty mouse pad in the sink
- Use a damp cloth with mild soap or dish detergent to clean the mouse pad
- Use a sponge or old tooth brush to scrub grimy spots
- Rinse the mouse pad using cold water
- Pat dry with paper towels to remove access water
- Allow pad to dry completely before using
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Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.