How to clean a mouse pad

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The mouse pad is an essential item for most people, even if you use a laser mouse that can work on any surface, including glass, without the need for this element. However, it has become a complement that is present in most cases, and it is already part of the decoration of the desk or office, since these mouse pads increasingly have more attractive designs.

However, this mouse pad, which is usually made of fabric, stores a large amount of dirt during use. Not only that, for those who have some type of allergy to dust mites and other allergens, it can be a problematic focus. Additionally, if it is dirty, it can also be another important source of infections.

Therefore, in this tutorial, we will show you how you can safely clean your mouse pad without damaging it, and make the cleaning process as effective as possible. Not all methods are suitable for this task.

Should you clean your mouse pad?

A mouse pad is not an item that is usually replaced too frequently, and it is not necessary to do so. This is because over time it accumulates dirt, stains, etc. However, it can be cleaned and maintained to preserve this practical item.

In addition, as mentioned before, it is also a place where a large number of undesirable elements can accumulate:

  • Sweat from our hands
  • Bacteria that we may have if we have not washed our hands
  • Dust and dust mites, in short, allergens
  • Dirt and deposited particles
  • Pet hair

For these reasons, not only can you clean your mouse pad, but you should do it to avoid infections or other health problems such as allergies and discomfort while using your equipment.

In fact, it is important to do so at least once every few months to maintain good hygiene of this item. Moreover, if it is an expensive or limited edition mouse pad, there is all the more reason to clean and preserve it for a long time.

Types of mouse pads and their cleaning

As you know, there are several types of mouse pads available on the market. Some are rigid, which are fairly new, and others are the classic fabric ones. Both have their particularities and require specific cleaning methods.

How to clean a rigid mouse pad

Rigid mouse pads are made of a non-flexible material that does not allow dirt to be absorbed as much, but that does not mean that they do not get dirty and require cleaning. It’s just that cleaning will be easier in these cases.

To clean a rigid mouse pad, you should follow these steps:

  • First, I recommend using a cotton ball soaked in 70% or higher alcohol to disinfect the surface and eliminate any viruses or bacteria that may be present.
  • This will help to remove much of the dirt. But for a thorough cleaning, use a damp cloth with water and soap on the surface, rubbing vigorously on any areas with stains. It is best to use a microfiber cloth to avoid leaving any residue and a soap that is not too abrasive, such as shower gel.
  • After cleaning and rinsing, dry the surface well with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
  • Once finished, let the mouse pad air dry completely before using it to eliminate any remaining moisture.

How to clean a fabric mouse pad

Fabric mouse pads have evolved over the years, not only in terms of aesthetic designs but also in the fabrics used. They used to use conventional fabrics, but now they use microfiber and even waterproof surfaces to avoid stains if you spill liquids.

How to clean a mouse pad

However, these fabrics tend to accumulate more dirt than rigid ones because dust, small debris, and other types of dirt can penetrate them. For this reason, the frequency of cleaning these mouse pads should be higher than that of rigid ones.

In addition, it is important to note that fabric has certain characteristics that must be considered to avoid damaging or discoloring it. As you know, the fabric is also attached to a padded layer to prevent slipping, and you will need to be careful not to detach it.

The steps to follow to clean a fabric mouse pad are:

  • First, lay the mouse pad flat on a table or flat surface, and use a vacuum cleaner to remove most of the dirt from the fabric’s crevices. An anti-dust mite or steam vacuum cleaner could also be helpful.
  • Next, you can use an upholstery cleaner for sofas that you can find in many specialized stores or hardware stores. These products are quite suitable for fabric mouse pads, and some even come with a built-in brush.
  • With the product, gently brush the entire surface of the mouse pad to apply the cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product in any case. If it does not come with a brush, you can use a brush with soft bristles, such as a shoe brush or detailing brush, but make sure they are clean.
  • You should gently rub in circles until you see a white foam that indicates the cleaning product, and then continue until the foam disappears.
  • Now the mouse pad should be damp, so leave it flat for approximately 24 hours.

If you are concerned about the presence of viruses or bacteria and the product you have used is not a disinfectant, you can also use alcohol in many cases. However, do not use products such as bleach, as it can remove the color from the fabric.

Deep cleaning (only in the case of fabric)

If you have neglected your mouse pad for too long or spilled a drink or food on it, then a deep cleaning may be necessary, as the maintenance described in the previous sections may not be enough. To do this, follow these steps:

  • First, use the same upholstery cleaner recommended in the previous section. Spread it evenly to create a layer of foam over the entire surface of the mouse pad.
  • Next, put the mouse pad in the washing machine, without detergent or fabric softener. Program a quick wash cycle of 20-30 minutes with cold water, never exceeding 30ºC. Do not wash anything else with it, as it could cause the colors to bleed.
  • Once it finishes, you can hang the mouse pad on a clothesline to dry. It is recommended to let it dry for at least 24 hours to ensure that there is no remaining moisture.

Needless to say, this washing machine method is not recommended except in extreme cases, as it can damage the mouse pad.

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