How to clean a mouse
If your mouse is a little grimy, a little greasy, or maybe even a little sticky, it’s time to clean it. Follow our guide to make it shiny clean and hygienic again without damaging it.
A computer mouse is probably the peripheral device that is often affected in normal use. Not only will a mouse be touched or tapped, but it will be held, sometimes for extended periods, and players’ palms may sweat as they move around in virtual worlds, survive atrocities, or blast indescribable enemies. Depending on your layout, you may not be the only one using a particular PC / mouse, which makes the issue of hygiene even more worrying.
So we have established that it is probably a very good idea to clean a mouse from time to time, depending on how often and thoroughly it is used. So how do you do that? Today we will guide you on how to clean a wired mouse with an optical sensor. Fortunately, mouse balls are history, since they sometimes needed cleaning every few hours …
- A wired optical mouse
- Alcohol wipes
- A microfiber cloth
- A soft toothbrush
- A toothpick
- A q-tip / earplug
- Wipe the top, bottom and tail of the mouse thoroughly with an alcohol swab
- Wipe with a microfiber cloth and check what needs further attention
- Use a toothbrush on ingrained dirt
- Use toothpicks on heavy dirt in cracks
How to clean a mouse
Disconnect and prepare
Disconnect the mouse from the computer, prepare the cleaning area, and collect cleaning supplies and equipment. Consider which parts of the mouse need special attention – it will look different when it is “wet” from the alcohol wipe.
Wipe all over
The first major cleaning task will be to wipe the top, bottom and tail of the mouse thoroughly with an alcohol swab. Then you will look around and see which areas need a little more rubbing. Then use your microfiber cloth to polish the mouse and see what things look like.
The first place we spent extra time and attention was the mouse wheel; rotate it and wipe it with an outward action. Then clean around the wheel area.
Measure the grooves and cracks
If your mouse is like ours, there will still be things that look uncomfortable in the grooves and cracks in the mouse design. We had two tools to deal with these hard-to-reach areas; a toothpick and a soft toothbrush. After some time and attention with these tools, it looked like all the dust and dirt was gone.
Last check and wipe over
Finally, wipe it all off with your cloth again, looking for dirt or grime. You’ve probably done enough by now and the mouse will look clean, even if it’s not very new and shows signs of wear. A new q-tip / earplug can now be used to make sure the optical sensor portal is ready, like a icing on the cake at work. Do not insert the sensor itself.
It is a bit dangerous to use water / detergent to clean the mouse in case some liquid gets into the shell and on the electronics. It is therefore best to stick to 99.9% alcohol wipes that we used. If there are any panels that come loose from your mouse and they do not have any electronics attached, feel free to clean them as you wish.
Everyone has different standards of cleanliness, but since you asked, prevention is better than cure – if you clean the mouse with a quick wipe often, it will remain untouched and do not need a deep cleaning as often.
The procedure will be the same, except be very careful with moisture when cleaning the battery compartment and power switch (and turn it off before cleaning).