Your mouse pad is an essential part of your overall user experience when it comes to your computer station. However, this small piece is often forgotten about. If you're having trouble with your mouse, and it's slowing you down, it might be because your mouse pad is dirty. Not only will your mouse pad absorb any debris or dirt from your desk, but it also absorbs a great deal of oil and dirt from your hands. A dirty mouse pad will hamper mouse pointer performance and smell.
Generally, you take the time to clean other desk items, like your keyboard and your monitor. So, you should include your mouse pad in your routine.
Types Of Mousepad
Unfortunately, cleaning a mouse pad isn't as simple as slinging it in the washing machine and forgetting about it.
As there are numerous types of mouse pads available, there isn't one definitive way of cleaning them all. Each needs to be approached in a unique way in order to clean properly without damaging the material.
What Type Of mouse pad Do I Have?
For the most part, gaming mousepads are designed using a cloth-like fabric. Having said that, there are a number of different variants that range from fabric to plastic, and pretty much everything in between - including glass.
If you currently own one of the latter options, a simple damp cloth or wet wipes will be more than fit for the task. Having said that, cloth or fabric mousepads require a little more effort - especially if you want to remove every last bit of dirt.
If you are in a hurry, or if your mouse pad isn't too dirty or stained, you can use a quick cleaning method. If your mouse pad is stained or really dirty, such as from spills, you'll need to take additional steps.
If you have baby wipes on hand, they will work well, especially on plastic mousepads. Anti-bacterial wipes also work. If you don't have either of these handy, simply use a damp sponge or cloth. Moisten the cloth or sponge with warm water and wipe the front, back, and sides of your mousepad. That should remove dirt and make it smell fresher. Then, let it air dry before using it.
That method works well for rubber or plastic mousepads. For fabric or cloth pads, it might be a little more challenging, so you'll need to clean more deeply, using one of these other methods.
Clean Your mouse pad in the Sink
For more stubborn dirt, fill your sink with hot water and dish soap. Submerge your mouse pad in the sink and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub it with a sponge or cloth, rinse it well, and then let it air dry. It might take about 24 hours to dry, especially if you have cloth pads.
Clean Your mouse pad in the Washing Machine
If the sink cleaning method wasn't successful, then it is time to move to a more vigorous clean. If your mouse pad is really stained or made of cloth or fabric, you may even want to skip the previous methods mentioned and just start with using your washing machine to clean your mouse pad.
For extra stain-fighting power, before you place your mousepad in the washing machine, treat it with a stain remover. Apply the stain remover to your mousepad, rub gently to loosen the stain, and let that sit for a few minutes before you start the wash cycle.
Use the normal cycle with a moderate amount of detergent. Although a hot water cycle is typically what you use for stain removal, it is better in this case to use the warm water wash. Hot water could melt or cause deterioration to your fabric or cloth pads. It isn't necessary to use fabric softener, but if you desire an extra boost of fresh smell, or if you feel that your mouse pad is particularly smelly, you can do so.
Once the wash cycle is done, place the mouse pad on a drying rack and let it air dry. It's not a good idea to put any kind of mousepad (plastic, rubber, fabric, or cloth pads) in the dryer, as the heat could destroy them.