How to Clean a Mouse Pad

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Problems with your mouse? A poorly performing mouse can be the result of a dirty mouse pad. A mouse pad with dirt or debris on it prevents the mouse from rolling smoothly. Cleaning the mouse pad regularly is part of basic computer hygiene and ensures better ease of use.

Step 1

Get the mouse pad away from the desktop system. When you clean your mouse pad on the desktop, cleaning fluid can get on the keyboard or other hardware. Find a space where you can scrub the pad without concern for other equipment.

Step 2

Look at the mouse pad and determine what cleaner to use. Surface solvents are good for vinyl or non-fabric mouse pads. For mouse pads faced with fabric a less stringent cleaner is better, even just soap and water.

Step 3

Scrub the mouse pad vigorously making sure to get any hard clumps of material off of the surface.

Step 4

Rinse all cleaners off of the surface.

Step 5

Let the mouse pad dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • While you're waiting for the mouse pad to dry, you could take the opportunity to clean the actual mouse. The majority of mouse problems don't come from the mouse pad surface, but from the mouse roller. As new mice are more likely to be laser-operated than rollers, this may not apply. The old roller mice need to be cleaned out because any dirt in the roller causes the cursor to jump around due to erroneous signals.
  • Don't over clean your mouse pad. Putting it in the dishwasher or soaking it is not recommended. Stick with the minimal soap and water approach making sure there is no slick soap left on the pad.