Mousepads are really underrated components in a computer user’s setup. No, they won’t make your computer run faster and, no, you can’t use them to input instructions for your computer to carry out. Yet, they get used almost as much as your keyboard and your mouse do. And, just like how it’s a good idea to clean the other components and peripherals in your system, it’s also a good idea to give your mousepad a good cleaning every now and again.
So, in this guide, we’re going to go over a few different methods that you can use to clean off your mousepad, ranging from simple and quick methods, to washing them in your sink or your washing machine.
*NOTE: The second and third methods laid out in this guide are only intended for cloth-based mousepads.
1. Ultra-Quick Method: Use A Baby Wipe, Sponge, or Damp Cloth
I’ve had the same mousepad for quite a few years and it’s never gotten so bad to where I’ve become disgusted with it and had to do a full-on cleaning of it. (Although, I have had to fully clean past mouse pads and we’ll discuss those methods further down in the post). Part of that is because I have been fortunate enough to not spill anything on it, and the other part of it is that I regularly wipe it off with a baby wipe/damp cloth so nothing too significant can build up over time.
And, really, if you’re just looking to get off the dust, dandruff, hair, tiny food particles, etc., all you really need to do is to give your mousepad a good wiping down. I use a baby wipe, but even a damp rag/cloth or a sponge will work to freshen up your mousepad if it doesn’t need a full cleaning.
Doing this quick-clean method on a regular basis will cut down on the need for full cleanings and it will work for both cloth mousepads and hard mousepads. However, if you’ve spilled something on your mousepad or there is an excessive amount of stains, grime, or debris on it, you’ll want to try one of the two methods below.
2. Wash Your Mousepad in A Sink
If you’ve spilled food or drink on your mousepad, or it’s just been too long since you’ve cleaned it and it’s not looking its best, you can simply do the following:
- Start filling your sink with warm water
- Pour some dish soap in
- Throw your mousepad into the soapy water
- Let it soak for a bit to loosen up the dirt/food/debris
- Using a scrub brush or a sponge, lightly go over the mouse pad in the water
- Drain the sink and rinse the mousepad
- Let the mousepad air dry overnight or use a hair dryer to try and speed up the process
This method is simple, effective, and, aside from the drying time, won’t take too long. If you need an even deeper cleaning you can try the method outlined below…
3. Clean Your Mousepad in Your Washing Machine
If cleaning your mousepad in your sink with a bit of dish soap didn’t get all of the stains out, you can try throwing it in the washing machine and see if that does the trick.
- Throw your mousepad into your washing machine
- Drop in a bit of laundry detergent/soap
- Change your washing machine’s settings to a lighter cycle and make sure it won’t be using hot water
- Let your washing machine do its thing
- Pull the mousepad out and air dry it overnight or use a hair dryer to try and speed up the process
While most mousepads are washing machine friendly, you might want to try cleaning it in your washing machine as a last result (unless you like to live dangerously). Running it through a washing machine is a bit rougher of a process and if any of these methods would have a chance to ruin your mousepad, it would be this one. However, as long as you don’t use hot water, the chances are that it will come out okay (and cleaner than ever) is pretty good.
Also, for that matter, it’s important to note that you probably shouldn’t throw your mousepad in your dryer after you’ve cleaned it to try and speed up the drying process. Or, at least, if you do, make sure you turn the heat setting to low or even to the air dry setting. The excess amount of heat from the dryer could melt the rubber backing on your mousepad or cause the glue that holds the rubber backing and the cloth-top together to break apart. Again, you could try and throw it in a dryer on a lower heat setting and that might be fine… but if you don’t like to live dangerously, air drying it will be the least likely drying method to ruin your mousepad.
How Do You Clean Your Mousepad?
In the grand scheme of things, cleaning your mousepad is a fairly straightforward and simple process. You can wipe it down if it isn’t too dirty and isn’t stained, or you can throw it in your sink or washing machine with some soap if it needs a more heavy-duty cleaning. And, for the most part, those three methods should help bring your mousepad back to life.
What about you, though? How do you clean your mousepad? If you’ve got some super top secret method for getting your mousepad looking brand new, share it with us in the comment section below!