No matter how meticulous or careful you may be around your computer, accidents do happen any now and then. Apart from the unexpected coffee spills or the crumbs from your favorite cookies, there’s always some dirt and build-up skin follicles that render the mousepad to be a lot dirtier than you’d think.
Let’s be honest: we barely pay attention to the mousepad, for no matter the reasons. It’s one of the most affordable accessories that you can use, but using a dirty mousepad can worsen your performance (when gaming especially).
Removing grime and dirt from your mousepad isn’t difficult, nor time-consuming, but it’s good to know the tricks for doing it right. There are several ways to do it also, so why not read the whole guide?
1. Method one- removing light dirt
When you only notice a thin layer of dust on your mousepad, the easiest way to do it is to grab your vacuum cleaner for a good vacuum cleaning session.
It’s not a tragedy if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner. Get a mill microfiber cloth and run it across the surface. Keep in mind that it’s a compromise though, as you’re not going to be able to get rid of the sweat, dust, dirt, or hand oil residue.
2. Method two- cleaning a hard surface mousepad
Should you have a mousepad made of a hard surface (rubber or plastic), the cleaning shouldn’t be very tricky. You don’t need much moisture, and you shouldn’t make the hard top layer to detach from its foam padding base.
Use a wet sponge/cloth and make sure you ring it out. You don’t want it to be drenched, but damp. Grab an all-purpose household cleaner and spray it on the mousepad. You may scrub the surface with gentle moves, for getting rid of grime and dirt. If you worry that the surface isn’t going to handle the cleaner, you can run a test on one of its corners. Take a look and see if it’s eroding the pad or not.
When you’re done with the scrubbing, continue with rinsing the cloth/sponge. Ring it out and wipe your mousepad clean of any cleaner or lingering muck. You may have to do it a couple of times.
Grab a dry and clean towel for wiping the surface clean. Let your mousepad dry entirely before using it again. You can place it in a well-ventilated spot or even on an airing cupboard. It may take several hours until it’s dried.
When you’re looking for a simple clean, some sanitary wipes can come in handy. You shouldn’t eliminate the thorough cleaning, though.
3. Method Three– making a cloth mousepad squeaky clean again
Even if the cloth mousepads may take the use for an incredibly long time, they’re the most straightforward to clean.
- Start by rinsing a bath/large sink so that there is no dirt in it. Fill it with warm water just enough to cover your mousepad. You don’t want to use hot water as it may ruin the mousepad for good. At the same time, cold water isn’t going to be efficient for dislodging the ingrained dirt. You only want the water to wet the surface quickly and not completely submerge it in water.
- Squirt a bit of shampoo, some household washing up liquid or laundry detergent into the water. Straight water isn’t capable of cleaning, especially if there is some sugary food you’re trying to remove from the mousepad.
- Leave the mousepad sit for a couple of minutes in the water. You can apply a bit of your cleaning solution right on the mousepad. A soft scrubbing brush, a cloth, or a towel are handy for massaging and scrubbing away the dirt from the top layer.
You should loosen the dust embedded in the fabric of the pad. In the case of soiled mousepads, you may scrub several times. If it’s the first time you clean it, the water may turn brown right away. Don’t worry- it means you’re doing it right.
Try not to scrub the underside of the mousepad, as you may damage the gripping rubber pattern. The last thing you want on your mousepad is to shift while you’re playing.
- After you’ve removed the dirt, you need to flush away the dirty water. You may rinse it right under the tap, getting rid of all dust. You can also fill up the sink/bath with some clean water.
You also want to remove moisture from your mousepad and allowing water to drip off is going to help. Use a cloth if the mousepad is flexible enough and don’t continue if the pad shows resistance.
- Get a dry and clean towel and wrap the mousepad with it. Dab away the moisture, even if it may take some force to squeeze out the water. You may very well leave it wrapped in the towel for a couple of minutes.
- Hang the mousepad in a well-ventilated place, but away from direct sunlight as it may alter its color for good. Don’t put it right on a radiator since the heat may render the mousepad to be crispy and the edges to curl.
You can use a hairdryer, but use a safe distance between the pad and the dryer. You don’t want the heat to damage the pad. You should air-dry the mousepad, as moisture may linger deep within the cloth fabric.
It goes without saying that the cleaning process can work wonders even for the filthiest mousepads out there.
4. Method four- the good old washing machine
When you don’t have the time nor the will to clean it manually, you can throw the mousepad into the washing machine. Choose a delicate cycle with cold water. Only a pinch of detergent may be enough. Remember that machine washing may cause fraying of the edges.
You can put the mousepad in with a couple of towels, selecting a short/delicate/cold water setting. The towels are going to protect the mousepad.
Bear in mind that the washing machine is a solution only for a deeply soiled mousepad. It can alter the mousepad for good.
Our final piece of advice
Sometimes, a mousepad is beyond cleaning, which is why you should consider buying a new one. As it’s an affordable accessory, its lifespan is rather short.
You’re able to find excellent and durable mousepads for a lot less than you’d think.
Keep in mind that regular and fast cleaning of your mousepad isn’t just going to remove dirt, but it can also increase the responsivity of your pad, which counts a lot when playing!