You've Been Neglecting Cleaning Your Mousepad For Too Long

When your computer mouse is not functioning as well as you would like, it might be time to check for signs of grease and grime. Assuming you don't know this by now, dirt can accumulate on your mousepad over time, and taking a moment to check is an action many computer users overlook or don't even think to do. If it's not taken care of, an unclean mousepad can decrease your mouse's accuracy, precision, and speed.

Luckily, cleaning your mousepad is a simple and effective solution for a slow, laggy mouse. Cleaning a mousepad only requires a few supplies and — hopefully — only a little bit of your time. Plus, this doesn't need to be done nearly as often as you clean other parts of your computer setup, like an external monitor or laptop display. A quick search in related Reddit forums shows that users differ in how often they clean these accessories. Some suggest every few weeks should do the trick while others think an annual scrubbing is enough to keep a mousepad in optimal shape. So, without further ado, here are the ways to keep your mousepad — no matter the kind — clean, shiny, and new.

How to clean a cloth or rubber mousepad

Unsurprisingly, out of all the types of mousepads, rubber and cloth are the easiest types to clean. This is what you need: soap or dish soap, water, a bristle brush, a large bowl or your kitchen sink, and a small towel. Now, you're ready to start.

  1. Fill a large bowl or your kitchen sink with enough warm water to cover the mousepad.

  2. Place the mousepad in the water.

  3. Squeeze a small amount of dish soap on your towel or sponge and start scrubbing. You may also want to use a brush to help remove stains or grease.

  4. Afterward, rinse the mousepad until all of the soap is removed.

  5. Dry gently to remove excess water.

  6. Allow the mousepad to finish air-drying.

Of course, there's an obvious question you may be asking right about now: can you put the mousepad in the washer and dryer? According to PC Gamer, which interviewed multiple manufacturers, extreme suds and heat are bad for the rubber inside the mousepad. As a result, it can end up being warped and misshapen.

How to clean an RGB or wired mousepad

When it comes to cleaning them, RGB and other wired mousepads require a little extra attention because of their wiring and lights. Treat these accessories exactly like your other electronic products and avoid submerging them in water — and never throw them in the washer or dryer, of course. To effectively clean these devices, you need three things: dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth (a microfiber cloth is best if you have it). Here's how to clean these wired mousepads:

  1. First, unplug the mousepad from your desktop or laptop.

  2. Dip the soft cloth in a small amount of soapy water and wring it until there is no extra water. The cloth should be damp to the touch.

  3. Use the cloth to remove stains, dirt, and grease from the surface. Stay away from sections where there are wires or ports.

  4. Wipe again to ensure the mousepad is dry and remove any soap residue that might remain.

Position your mousepad to dry so that it doesn't get water on its electrical parts (via SteelSeries). Naturally, the mousepad will pick up dirt and dust over time. Spending a few minutes every week or two to clean your mousepad is not only hygienic, but will also keep the accessory looking good, plus it'll feel great when your mouse glides smoothly over it.