How to Clean Your Mouse Pad: Simple Guide

How to Clean Your Mouse Pad: Simple Guide

Steps for freshening up both cloth and hard mouse pads

Dua Rashid


Aug 31, 2023 1:20 am


Aug 31, 2023 1:09 am

When you think of times like spring cleaning, you probably think of decluttering and getting rid of extra junk around the house most often. However, it’s important to freshen up your office setup and keep your desk tech accessories clean too. This includes safely cleaning your laptop screen and cleaning your keyboard). And, not many things are more used than your mousepad at your desk which has gone through months of regular usage. Although just one of many things used regularly from your desk, believe it or not, your mousepad deserves some loving too. Not only is that necessary to keep it looking fresh and new, but it helps ensure its optimal performance as well.

Even if we aren’t thinking about it too often, mouse pads collect dust, grime, and stains over time. This has a direct impact on its tracking capabilities and affects overall performance; not to mention it gets pretty gross if never cleaned! It is recommended to deep-clean your mouse pad around every two to three months, unless a spill or an accident requires it; in which case you should clean it as soon as you can, of course!

Types of Mouse Pads

While cleaning your mouse pad is pretty simple, there is one small thing you need to be mindful of; the kind of mouse pad you use. There are two main types of mouse pads (fabric and hard-surface) and both of them have slightly different ways of getting cleaned. Hard-surface mouse pads are commonly made of polymer or aluminum surfaces with rubber backing versus cloth-based/fabric ones which are typically made of soft-woven cloth.

To be clear, this guide does not cover RGB mouse pads which should never be submerged in water without being unplugged first! Let us go over each below and get that mouse pad cleaned and feeling fresh again.

1) How to Clean a Fabric Mouse Pad

As you may have experienced already, fabric or cloth mouse pads are a little harder to clean as opposed to hard ones. Their stains are tougher and more stubborn to deal with, but don’t fret; we’ve got you covered.

What you’ll need:

  • Warm water
  • Dish soap or shampoo
  • Soft brush (Buy here)
  • Towel

Step 1: Prep the water

Prepare a small tub with warm water and submerge your mouse pad in it. Depending on the size of the mouse pad, a kitchen sink would be easiest.

Step 1: Add some soap

Next, pour a small amount of dish soap or shampoo on your mouse pad. You can use whatever is more convenient for you. Just make sure the soap or the shampoo you use is not an excessively harsh one.

Step 2: Get scrubbing

Use a soft brush to scrub a dub dub in order to get any stains and debris off. Pay extra attention to stains but don’t scrub too hard or you might ruin the fabric or design.

Step 3: Rinse it well

Thoroughly rinse it with clean water and try to shake it enough so it’s as dry as it can possibly be before you use a gentle towel for it.

Step 4: Let it air-dry

Place the mouse pad fabric-side down on a towel and let it air-dry. Make sure it’s completely dry before use. It’s best to let it dry overnight. If you need to use it urgently, you can point a fan in the direction of the towel where your mouse pad is drying to speed up the process.

2) How to Clean a Hard-Surface Mouse Pad

Since hard mouse pads don’t have bodies as porous as fabric ones, they’re thankfully a bit easier to clean. You also don’t have to worry about damaging their surface compared to when you’re dealing with a soft one.

What you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloth (Buy here)
  • Screen cleaner or rubbing alcohol (Buy here)
  • Towel
  • (Optional: Disinfectant wipe)

HONKID Aluminum Mouse Pad Image via <a href=
HONKID Aluminum Mouse Pad Image via Amazon

Step 1: Prep your microfiber cloth

Generously spray screen cleaner or rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Wipe it real good

Give your mouse pad a good wipe. You can place a little pressure on areas where it’s needed.

Step 3: (Optional) Kill those germs

You can also wipe it with a disinfectant wipe/an aerosol disinfectant if you want to get rid of germs too, but this step is optional.

Step 4: Dry it with a towel

Lastly, wipe the surface till it’s dry and let the mouse pad sit out for a bit. This is to deal with any extra moisture that it may be holding, so best to air dry a bit.

….And you’re done! That’s all you need to make your mouse pad look and feel brand new and offer excellent performance. While deep-cleaning your mouse pad once in a while is great, you don’t always have to be this thorough with it.

More Mouse Pad Cleaning Tips

  • For a quick clean, you can also just use a hand vacuum to collect dust. Or, for a hard mouse pad, you can use a dry microfiber towel or just disinfecting wipes in a pinch.
  • For PC gamers, many turn to larger gaming mousepads with premium spill-proof cloth designs, which would also eliminate the need to clean as often.
  • Although not covered here, for gamers with wired/RGB mouse pads (fancy, fancy), be extra careful to never get your mousepad wet when plugged in. SteelSeries experts say “Be extremely careful getting any moisture near the electronics box where the wire exits your mousepad!”

Time For a New Mouse Pad Instead? Shop Top Choices:

Corsair MM200 Pro Premium

Corsair MM200 Pro Premium

A thick and plush rubber mouse pad with densely woven fabric for easy gliding and an anti-skid bottom to keep it in place.

SteelSeries QCK Medium

SteelSeries QCK Medium

For under $10, this mouse pad delivers a smooth, tightly stitched fabric surface flexible enough to roll up and take on the go.

Razer Acari

Razer Acari

Muddy mouse movements aren’t an issue with its hard nano-bead, textured top layer that ensures better tracking and longevity.

Cooler Master MP510

Cooler Master MP510

This cloth mouse pad uses ultra-durable nylon with a slight texture for more precise control over the mouse.

SteelSeries QcK Prism Cloth 5XL

SteelSeries QcK Prism Cloth 5XL

At over 60 inches wide and over 30 inches deep, this mouse pad will cover your desk with a thick, micro-woven cloth and an RGB light strip around the edge.

Dua is a freelance tech writer for IGN and has been hooked on technology since she was a kid. When she isn’t obsessing over the latest gadgets, Dua spends her time working out, playing the uke or reading.

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