How to clean a mousepad

Eray Eliaçik
May 27, 2023
Updated • May 25, 2023

Mousepads are essential accessories for computer users, as they provide a smooth and comfortable surface for the mouse to glide on. However, over time, mousepads can accumulate dirt, dust, oil, and stains from your hands and the environment. This can affect the performance of your mouse and make your mousepad look unappealing.

Fortunately, cleaning a mousepad is not a difficult task, and you can do it with some simple household items.

How to clean a mousepad

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Check the material of your mousepad. Most mousepads are made of fabric or cloth with a rubber or foam base, but some may have a plastic or metal surface. You should avoid submerging these types of mousepads in water, as it can damage the electronics or cause rusting. Instead, you can wipe them with a damp cloth and some mild soap or detergent.
  • Fill a sink or a bucket with warm water and add some dish soap or shampoo. These are gentle cleaners that can remove dirt and grease from your mousepad without harming the fabric or the base. You can also use vinegar or baking soda as natural alternatives.
  • Soak your mousepad in soapy water for a few minutes, then scrub it gently with a sponge or a soft brush. You can use circular motions to loosen the dirt and stains from the surface of your mousepad. Be careful not to bend or twist your mousepad too much, especially if it has a foam base, as this can damage its shape and structure.
  • Rinse your mousepad thoroughly with clean water until no soap remains. You can squeeze out the excess water from your mousepad by pressing it between your hands or between two towels. Do not wring or twist your mousepad, as this can also damage it.
  • Let your mousepad air-dry completely before using it again. You can lay it flat on a towel or hang it on a clothesline. Avoid exposing your mousepad to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause fading or warping.

By following these steps, you can keep your mousepad clean and fresh and improve your mouse's performance and accuracy. You should clean your mousepad regularly, depending on how often you use it and how dirty it gets. A clean mousepad will also make your desk look more neat and professional.

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Here are a few tips for keeping your mousepad clean:

  • Vacuum your mousepad regularly. This will help to remove dust and dirt that can build up over time.
  • Avoid eating or drinking near your computer. This will help to prevent spills and crumbs from getting on your mousepad.
  • If your mousepad gets wet, dry it immediately. Moisture can cause the mousepad to warp or mildew.
  • If your mousepad has any stubborn stains, you can try using a stain remover. Be sure to test the stain remover in an inconspicuous area of the mousepad first to make sure it doesn't damage the material.
  • If your mousepad is made of a fabric that can be machine-washed, you can wash it in a gentle cycle with cold water. Be sure to air-dry the mousepad afterward.
  • If your mousepad is made of a delicate material, such as leather or suede, you may want to take it to a professional cleaner.

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  1. Divine Predecessor said on June 1, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Some mousemats are supposedly machine-washable albeit the article doesn’t really focus on the maintenance requirement of the different materials. Colours may fade with cloth type mats being washed or reduce their lifespan.

    The article actually contracts itself in the first paragraph. Then it talks about electronics and rust, presumably for a “wired mousemat”, rather than the mouse itself.

    My 15-year-old branded aluminium mat (see above) that I purchased brand-new for £1, isn’t going to rust using distilled water during cleaning. However, trying to use abrasive Baking soda could theoretically corrode or discolour the aluminium surface. Neither would you place my mat in the washing machine.

    For cleaning with vinegar it probably actually meant “white vinegar”, also known as “spirit vinegar”.

    Furthermore, I would suspect air-drying for most fabric type mousemats that had been thoroughly soaked could take around a whole day.

    Vacuuming my mat would also be pointless; it’s not going to clean its composite plastic base. Also the vacuum type used upon a mat, is important or you could potentially ruin your mat (depending on the material).

    As mentioned above, the advice given in the “article” is far too vague and generic. Using some of those cleaning methods would be counterproductive and damaging to the mat in some scenarios. Clean your hands.

    1. Divine Predecessor said on June 1, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      I also forgot to mention; as general rule, wherever you find rubber, keep the vinegar away.

  2. Divine Predecessor said on May 29, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    I use an aluminium mousemat, it’s probably well over 15-years-old, it looks and functions nearly as good as new. I certainly wouldn’t recommend using some of the cleaning methods described in the article for maintenance of such a mat. For example, using Baking soda (alkali-based) for cleaning would not be the smartest idea to use upon a smooth, brushed aluminium finish surface.

  3. Clairvaux said on May 28, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Did you really try doing all you describe before writing that post ? It’s the first time I hear that a mouse pad can be cleaned, and I doubt very much this is the case.

    The foam on a mousepad is very dense. While I’m sure it will absorb soapy water, vinegar or whatnot, I really doubt that you could rinse it properly. This would require wringing or pressing the foam so much, that it would risk deformation. And even that would probably not be enough.

    I suppose it would take ages to dry, so much that it could become mouldy.

    You recommend putting the thing in a washing machine, but this completely contradicts your advice not to wring the mousepad.

    Copy-pasting the advice given by all manufacturers of cleaning products to “try it first on an inconspicuous part” makes no sense. There is no inconspicuous part on the top of a mousepad.

    Vinegar and baking soda are not “natural alternatives” to soap. All three are chemical products. Neither vinegar nor baking soda grow on trees. Enough with this silliness of “natural products”. Good cleaning products are highly artificial ones. That’s called civilisation.

    1. g. said on May 28, 2023 at 5:13 pm

      Have you ever used a proper mouse pad? What foam are you talking about? Most pads these days have a cloth surface (straight on a rubber base) that does get dirty and needs cleaning, unless you like it filthy.

      1. Clairvaux said on May 29, 2023 at 5:21 pm

        No, I have never used a proper mousepad. I’m just commenting on this poor article because I’m not interested in mousepads, at all. I don’t even know how one looks.

        The cloth surface is one thing, and as I said, contrary to what this article states, you cannot test a cleaning agent on an unconspicuous part of it, because what is unconspicuous on a bloody rectangle of cloth staring right at you, all day long ?

        The bulk of the mousepad is another thing, and that is made with a pad of foam, which will absorb water, soap, vinegar, baking soda or whatever you use, and dry very slowly because it’s not made to be washed, ever.

        Have you ever washed a mousepad ? If so, can you share your experience, instead of trolling ?

      2. g. said on May 31, 2023 at 7:54 pm

        I wasn’t trolling, when you said foam and implied they cannot be cleaned, the thing that came to my mind is those cheapo plastic laminated pads, usually with some ad on it. It literally sounded like you’ve never seen a modern mouse pad.

        No, when it comes to my experiences, I have used a Logitech G240 for about 5 years and cleaned it regularly before switching to a hard surface pad recently when I got the Logitech Powerplay charging pad. This one’s obviously even easier to clean because there’s no absorbent materials on it, just wiping it down with a damp cloth is all it takes. The G240 cloth pad I cleaned in the shower using regular laundry detergent once every few months.

      3. Clairvaux said on May 31, 2023 at 10:28 pm

        I don’t know what a modern mouse pad is, and I don’t care.

        I know what’s on my desk and what’s currently on sale. Not for rich kids who have money to waste over “modern” mouse pads. For ordinary people using ordinary computers.

        The article does not talk about whatever special mousepads may be on your mind. It talks about mousepads, period.

        Normal mousepads are made of foam. Common sense teaches that it would be reckless to try and wash those. The author does not say he tried successfully to wash one of them, and neither do you.

        Therefore I have every reason to think that this article is unverified, scammy content-filling drivel.

      4. Seeprime said on May 28, 2023 at 8:01 pm

        This is the way.

  4. 45 RPM said on May 28, 2023 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for clarifying the mystery of the “mouse” pad. All these years I thought they were promotional coasters I could place my beer can on whilst watching porn!

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