How to Clean a Laptop Touchpad

By Cooper Temple

A dirty touchpad can not only affect the look of your laptop but cause sticky fingers or erratic responses. There's no reason to avoid cleaning it when you likely already have the necessary supplies at home. Touchpads aren't so fragile that they can't withstand a basic cleaning, so grab a couple of supplies and drop a little elbow grease. Before you know it, you could have a touchpad that not only looks better but works better.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 Cloths (100 percent cotton or microfiber)
  • Distilled water
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Step 1

Turn off the power to the laptop. You can also unplug it and remove the battery to avoid any potential short of the system or shock to you.

Step 2

Dampen a cloth lightly with the distilled water. Dab off any excess onto the second cloth or dry part of the same cloth. Rub the touchpad with light pressure to remove the dirt. Dry with the second cloth.

Step 3

Mix one part distilled water to one part isopropyl alcohol in a bowl or cup for a stronger cleaning solution if necessary. Moisten the cloth with the solution and rub the touchpad with light pressure. Wipe dry with the second cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can substitute tap water for distilled water, but tap water may leave mineral residues.
  • If any liquid is spilled onto the touchpad or keyboard, shut down the laptop immediately, wipe it with a damp cloth, and turn the keyboard upside down to drain.
  • You can clean the keyboard in the same way as the touchpad.
  • Establish a cleaning schedule to maintain a clean, working laptop.
  • Avoid using any paper-based products, such as napkins or paper towels, because they can damage the touchpad.
  • Don't pour or spray cleaning solution directly onto the touchpad.