Dried sweat, spilled drinks, food residue, dust and crumbs: there are many reasons why you should clean your mousepad. But what are the best methods and how can you do it gently but quickly? We’ll show you here what’s important depending on the type of material and which cleaning method is suitable for your mousepad.
With these instructions, you can get rid of any dirt from your mousepad so that it’s really clean again and as good as new. Let’s take a look on how to clean a mousepad?
Before you Start: Determine the Material of your Mousepad
Unfortunately, cleaning a mousepad isn’t as simple as throwing it in the washing machine.
Since there are numerous types of mousepads, so you can’t just use the same cleaning method on all of them. Each type of mousepad needs to be approached in its own way so that everything gets clean and, most importantly, nothing gets damaged.
So what kind of mousepad do you have? The common types are:
- Hard plastic, glass mixture or carbon fiber surface
- RGB mousepad with built-in electronics
- Hybrid types with rubber part
Gaming mousepads are largely made of a cloth-like material. That said, there are a number of different varieties, ranging from cloth to plastic. And pretty much everything in between exists as well, including metal and glass. Once you know what type of material your mousepad is made of, you can choose the method that’s right for you. Let’s start with the easiest one.
Method 1: Clean Mousepads with Hard and Rubber-Based Surfaces
If you use a rubber-based mousepad or one with a hard surface, simply wiping the surface is usually enough. You can use different things for this purpose:
- Baby wipes
- Kitchen paper soaked in some cleaning alcohol or in combination with glass cleaner
- Damp microfiber cloths
- A wet sponge
For mousepads with smooth and hard surfaces, multiple thorough wipes should be sufficient. Afterwards, you should of course dry the whole thing properly or let it dry.
If you use this quick cleaning method regularly, you will avoid larger cleaning actions. It also works for cloth mousepads (don’t use glass cleaner and let it dry) and hard mousepads. However, if you’ve spilled something on your mousepad, or have an excessive amount of stains, dirt, or debris to remove, then you’ll want to look at the next two methods.
No matter what you use to wipe your hard mousepad, make sure your cloth is not too damp. The reason for this is that the hardtop layer can separate from the foam padding underneath. Of course, you want to prevent that.
Method 2: Clean Fabric-Based Mousepads
Most of you will have a fabric mousepad and want to know how to clean a mousepad properly. But before we get started, here are some things you should have on hand or organized:
- A bucket or even better a large sink with a plug or a bathtub
- Some shampoo, liquid detergent or hand soap of your choice
- Warm running water
- A soft brush, microfiber cloth, sponge or toothbrush
- a thick towel
Step 1: Pre-treat stubborn stains
- First, place the dirty mousepad in your bucket, sink or bathtub and apply some hair shampoo of your choice to very dirty areas. You don’t need much, small dabs are enough.
- Now moisten the mousepad with some lukewarm water.
- Then take your brush (please only use one with very soft bristles!) and spread the shampoo on the stains with circular movements. This will work it into the material and the mousepad will be cleaner later. You can also use a sponge for this, but a brush works better.
Step 2: Soaking
- Next, fill your container with lukewarm water. Please do not use water that is too hot!
- Then add some liquid detergent to the water bath, powder detergent or normal hand soap will also do.
- Let the mousepad soak in the water bath for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Gentle scrubbing
- Then take your brush or sponge again and scrub the entire surface of the mousepad lightly. Again, use circular motions and be thorough so that you cover all areas as well.
- The idea here is to loosen any dirt stuck in the pad’s fabric. Don’t hesitate to scrub several times if the mousepad is particularly dirty. It’s best to use a brush first and then a sponge or, like us here, a microfiber cloth.
- For stubborn stains, be sure to use a sponge and go over it several times. Otherwise the mousepad will not be clean.
- Of course, be very gentle with logos, lettering or anything else on the surface. You can also leave these areas out so that you don’t accidentally break anything.
Avoid scrubbing the underside of the mousepad, as this can wear away the grippy rubber pattern. This can cause the grip of the underside to go down. Nobody needs a moving mousepad when gaming.
Step 4: Rinse
- Take the mousepad out of the bucket and rinse it properly. Make sure that you wash off all foam and dirt – a shower head with a little more water pressure is best for this.
- Important: Don’t forget to rinse both the front and back of the mousepad to remove any soap residue.
Step 5: Drying
- Roughly drain the mousepad and place it in a thick towel.
- Fold the edges of the towel until the mousepad is completely covered. Now apply some pressure from above to get rid of excess wetness and speed up the drying process.
- Now you can take a ruler or triangle and drag it over the surface. This will squeeze out even more water.
- Finally, take the mousepad out of the towel and let it air dry for 3-4 hours. Put it on a clothes horse so that it gets air from all sides. This will help it dry faster. Avoid direct sunlight to protect and preserve the colors.
Do not put your mousepad in a dryer under any circumstances, otherwise you risk damaging the material or even making it unusable. In addition, you should not put it on heaters, because the same thing can happen here. The same applies to hair dryers.
Method 3: Washing the Mousepad in the Washing Machine
Yes, it is possible, but with limitations. And we generally advise against this method. Often, even with fabric mousepads, you’ll damage the fabric or the rubber base (which is on the underside of many fabric pads) will begin to disintegrate after a while.
If there is a particularly stubborn stain, you may be able to throw a fabric mousepad in the washing machine. However, the likelihood of damage to the mousepad is much higher than hand washing. So if it absolutely has to be the washing machine, follow these steps:
- Avoid a hot wash cycle at all costs. Set the washing machine to cold wash or max 80 °F.
- Avoid strong detergents and fabric softeners. It is best to use liquid detergent.
- Select a program with a low number of revolutions, gentle cycle or adjust the revolutions manually. It is best to turn off the spin completely.
Especially with cloth mousepads, you should avoid the washing machine for cleaning. In general, all mousepads with a rubber underside should only be washed by hand. Otherwise, you risk softening and liquefying the rubber underside. In addition, the glue between the rubber and the fabric top can liquefy, causing the top to peel off.
In addition, washing in the washing machine can often cause the edges of your mousepad to curl or roll up. Less nice and just unnecessary. Small spots are still visible. You can get them out with a sponge and soap. Just a little scrubbing afterwards.
Accordingly, your washing machine can clean the mousepad, just be careful and follow the instructions above. Nevertheless, it often gets cleaner with hand washing and proper scrubbing with a sponge than in the machine.
Special Case: How to Clean a RGB Mousepad?
If you want to clean an RGB mousepad, you can’t use the above soaking method, of course. But how can you clean your RGB mousepad properly anyway? That is also possible, just follow the steps below:
- Disconnect the RGB mousepad from the USB cable.
- Grab a lint roller and roll over it generously a few times.
- Put some odorless liquid detergent in a cleaning bucket and mix it with warm water. Hand soap also works, but it usually foams more, so gentle liquid detergent is a better choice.
- Dip a soft sponge or microfiber cloth into the water bath and wring it out well so that it is not too damp.
- Now start rubbing the mousepad with some pressure. Repeat the process until you have cleaned all the areas and dampen your cloth again as needed. Be especially careful around the edges so you don’t damage anything with water.
- Always make sure to towel dry the edges immediately to prevent water from getting in.
- Once you are satisfied with your scrubbing, take a damp towel or microfiber cloth and go over the entire pad again. This will remove any soap or detergent residue. You may have to wipe it a few times to make sure you absorb all the soap residue.
- Then take a dry towel and wipe the entire surface.
- Now let everything air dry again. Put the pad back on a drying rack out of direct sunlight.
- Before connecting the cable, make sure that everything is completely dry.
The most important thing when cleaning an RGB mousepad is to not get the light module wet. It doesn’t matter if the RGB light strip itself gets wet, since it’s just an optical fiber with no current flowing through it.
Conclusion: How to Clean a Mousepad
Whether you use the hand wash or machine to clean your mousepad, it’s not hard. And that little bit of work makes a big difference in the long run. If you follow the steps above, the surface texture of your mousepad will thank you and your mouse will glide better. This in turn should make small differences in your own performance and accuracy.
Clean your mousepad regularly and you won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon.