Simple Tips and Tricks to Clean a Gaming Mouse

Your gaming mouse is one part of a gaming kit that you can’t do without. You can perform a series of tasks with it that will enhance your gaming experience. It allows you to adjust sensitivity and program buttons, among others. But do you know that this device is probably one of the dirtiest gadgets in your house? Throughout the day your hands come into contact with all sorts of objects and then you touch your mouse. In this article we discuss how to clean a gaming mouse. 

To clean a gaming mouse, first, unplug the mouse, then use a cloth and a light cleaning solution to clean the entire mouse. Use a q-tip to clean the edges and crevices of the mouse. Clean a gaming mouse pad by soaking it in a bath of water then gently scrub it with hand soap and a sponge. Prevent irregular cursor behavior by cleaning the sensitive parts of the mouse base. Prevent battery connectivity issues by cleaning the battery compartment.

The idea that your gaming mouse is dirty is not far-fetched. Apart from the gaming mouse being the most held device attached to your computer, followed by your keyboard, multiple people might also use it. Also, your gaming mouse has several crevices that can trap dirt and dust. It is therefore imperative to make cleaning your gaming mouse a priority when cleaning your computer gadgets. According to this article by Steelseries, cleaning your mouse pad can extend its useful lifespan.

This article discusses the steps to follow when you want to clean your gaming mouse, how to clean inside your gaming mouse, how to clean a wireless gaming mouse, and how to clean a gaming mouse pad.

It is imperative that you clean a gaming mouse often for it to work optimally.
Cleaning a gaming mouse regularly can extend its useful lifespan. Image source:

Summary of Tools Needed for Cleaning Your Gaming Mouse

Tools/Supplies Needed Why This Tool Is Needed Example from Amazon
Q-tip To clean inside crevices of the mouse base including the mouse skates Precision Tip Cotton Swabs/Double Pointed Cotton Buds
Micro Fiber Cloth To clean the outside of the mouse  MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Alcohol Solvent Removes oils and skin cells that are transferred to the mouse during regular use Clorox® Disinfecting Mist Spray Refill

You might also be interested in buying some gaming mouse accessories. If so, be sure to read our related article for more information. Furthermore, if you need to find the best gaming mouse for small hands, be sure to read that article as well.

How to Clean a Gaming Mouse - a Basic Step-by-Step Process

Your gaming mouse is an electronic component that can trap dirt which can affect its performance. It is important to be mindful of the tools used and the process followed to prevent damaging the mouse when cleaning it. 

To clean a gaming mouse, first, unplug the mouse, then use a cloth and a gentle solvent to clean the entire body of the mouse. Gently wipe the mouse body with the cloth. Then use a q-tip to clean the edges.

This section will discuss the step-by-step process of cleaning your gaming mouse and you can also check out this video tutorial by Clean 8-Bit to see how it is done.

Step 1. Unplug the Mouse, Use a Cloth and a Solvent To Clean the Entire Body of the Mouse

The first step is to unplug your mouse. Then apply some alcohol-based cleaning solvent to a cloth. Use the cloth to clean the entire body of the gaming mouse. Make sure to also wipe the underside of the mouse because dirt can get stuck on the mouse skates. 

Make sure that all dirt and grime are removed from the outside of your gaming mouse using a cloth and alcohol.
Apply alcohol to a microfiber cloth and use it to clean the mouse body and base. Image Source: YouTube.

Step 2. Use a Q-Tip To Clean the Edges

Next, apply some of this alcoholic substance to a q-tip like this. Then use the q-tip to clean inside and around the crevices and edges of the mouse to remove any trapped dirt. As our article about fixing a gaming mouse that is disconnected explains, a dirty mouse base can sometimes interfere with signal transmission and cause a mouse to randomly lose connection with the computer, so keeping your mouse clean is essential. 

In order to clean the edges of the mouse track pad, make sure to use something small, like a Q-tip.
Using a Q-tip to clean the edges and crevices of the mouse's track pad. Image Source: Clean 8-bit.

Summary of Tools Needed To Clean the Inside of the Mouse

Tools Needed Why This Tool Is Needed Example from Amazon
Precision Philip Screw Driver To unscrew the mouse 6PCS Mini Screwdriver Set
Compressed gas cleaning duster To blow out dust and dirt particles Falcon Compressed Gas (152a) Disposable Cleaning Duster 
Alcohol Wipes To clean the inside and outside of the mouse Whoosh! Electronic Wipes

How To Clean the Inside of a Gaming Mouse

All gaming mice have crevices and holes that could easily allow dirt to get in. 

To clean the inside of a gaming mouse, first unscrew or open the mouse base. Then carefully pull the mouse apart and use compressed air to clean each component. Then reassemble the mouse.  

This is especially true when they have a mesh or vented design like this one. These crevices often end up trapping dirt particles and food crumbs. This often leads to the buttons of your mouse sticking. Probably one of the most common dirt issues associated with computer equipment is the accidental spillage of liquids like coffee or soft drinks. Failing to clean the mouse thoroughly after a spill could result in it becoming clogged and sticky.

Opening the mouse body will void any warranties so be sure to only perform at-home cleaning and maintenance if your warranty period has expired. This warranty article from Razer explains what the various warranties for their products cover, as well as what types of activities or uses will void the warranty. 

Step 1. Unscrew the Gaming Mouse

The first step is to locate the screws on the mouse and unscrew them using a Phillip’s screwdriver from a set like this. Ensure you keep the screws in a safe place to prevent losing them. For a mouse without screws, find the release clip located on the underside and use a small flat screwdriver to remove the base from the body.

Loosen the base of the mouse.
Unscrew the mouse base. Image Source: YouTube.  

Step 2. Pull the Mouse Apart

Next, gently pull the mouse apart to reveal the inside. Note that the inside of your gaming mouse is delicate. Take care not to pull on anything inside of it. If you accidentally damage the internal components of your mouse while cleaning it the mouse will probably not work correctly or at all when you put it back together. 

Open up the gaming mouse shell to get to the inner components.
Pull the mouse apart to reveal the inside. Image Source: YouTube.

Step 3. Carefully Dismantle the Inside Of the Gaming Mouse

Carefully dismantle the inner of the mouse, separating the PCB, scroll wheel, top shell, and bottom shell. Keep the pieces of the mouse side-by-side so that you know the order in which they need to go back together. 

Disassemble the parts inside the gaming mouse.
Dismantle the components of the mouse. Image Source: Cauchypotato.

Step 4. Use Compressed Air and an Alcohol Swab To Clean the Individual Components

Using an air compressor, clean the components of the mouse. Use a gentle setting so that the airflow is not too forceful. Finally, use an alcohol swab to clean the individual components.

Use a compressed air duster to clean all the dust and other loose dirt particles and then use an alcohol swab to clean the gaming mouse.
Use an air compressor and swab to clean the individual components Image Source: Cauchypotato.

Step 5. Reassemble the Mouse 

Allow the mouse to dry completely before reassembling it. Alcohol cleaners like this which are created to clean electronics, typically take a few seconds to dry and don't leave any residue behind. That being said, never apply a cleaning solution directly on the device, but rather spray a little on a microfiber cloth and wipe the device. 

Put the mouse back together and secure it using the screwdriver to attach the screws.
Reassemble the mouse using a Philips screwdriver. Image Source: Cauchypotato.

How To Clean a Wireless Gaming Mouse

A wireless gaming mouse gives gamers the flexibility needed to handle their mouse without worrying about it being attached to cables that connect it to the computer. 

Cleaning a wireless mouse is similar to cleaning a wired mouse, but when cleaning a wireless mouse, it is essential to first remove the battery from the mouse base. Then clean the battery chamber of the mouse, followed by the base, top, and crevices. 

In the absence of cables, a wireless gaming mouse like this is often powered by batteries. Apart from this, the wireless gaming mouse is similar to the wired gaming mouse and can be cleaned using the same methods.

Common Gaming Mouse Problems and How To Fix Them With Cleaning

Like every gadget, a gaming mouse can develop problems at any time. There are several reasons why your gaming mouse might not be working properly, and dirt can be a significant reason for some common problems related to a gaming mouse. 

To fix irregular cursor behavior, clean the mouse scroll wheel and infrared sensor, and clean the battery and the battery compartment. If the cursor continues to behave erratically, try replacing the battery. 

Our article about fixing a gaming mouse that isn’t working correctly explains ways to quickly troubleshoot common mouse problems. 

The most common problems that a dirty mouse will cause include mouse stuttering, a sudden cut in power from batteries in a wireless mouse, and stuck buttons. You can quickly resolve these problems by cleaning the mouse.

These gaming mouse problems can easily be fixed by cleaning the mouse: 

Problem 1. Irregular Cursor Behavior 

Irregular cursor behavior is often caused by the presence of dirt on the mouse scroll wheel or infrared sensor. Handling your mouse with a dirty and greasy hand usually ends up leaving your mouse dirty. Dirt on these areas means an obstruction between your fingers and the sensitive areas, which often ends up as irregular cursor behavior when you use the mouse.

How Can Cleaning Prevent Irregular Cursor Behavior?

Cleaning your gaming mouse is the best way to prevent irregular cursor behavior. Properly cleaning your mouse ensures grease and dirt build-up from your hands does not get stuck to the mouse scroll wheel or infrared sensor. 

Problem 2. Battery Problems

Battery problems in a gaming mouse often arise from either the battery being old or the presence of dirt inside the battery compartment. Often, this dirt can get lodged between the connecting points of the battery. When this happens, your mouse will falter intermittently while in use.

How Can Cleaning Prevent Battery Issues?

Cleaning the battery compartments of your gaming mouse prevents specks of dirt from lodging between the contact points of the battery. Cleaning the battery itself is also a good idea. This article from IEEE Xplore explains, that recently batteries have become safer to use but there is still a risk of old and worn batteries leaking.  Regularly checking the battery compartment will enable you to pick up any leaks from faulty or old batteries before they damage your mouse. 

Summary of Tools Needed To Clean a Gaming Mouse Pad

Tools/Supplies Needed Why This Tool Is Needed Example Product 
Gentle Washing Detergent Helps to wash off grease and oil from the mouse pad Liquid Laundry Detergent
Soft Sponge  Your sponge is used to wash the mouse pad Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Sponges
Bowl/ Washing Tub To hold water  Dishpan for Washing Dishes

How To Clean a Gaming Mouse Pad

The gaming mouse pad enhances the use of your mouse as you move it around. It provides a more suitable flat surface than the surface of your desk. However, just as your mouse is prone to being dirty, so too is your mouse pad. Dust, liquids, food crumbs, and other forms of dirt often end up on the mouse pad. 

To clean a gaming mouse pad, first wipe the gaming mouse pad to get rid of larger dirt particles. Next, fill the basin or a bowl with warm water and a gentle washing detergent. Allow the mouse pad to soak in for a while. Then use a soft sponge, and gently rub the surface of the mouse pad to dislodge stubborn stains. Thoroughly rinse the mouse pad in clean water. Finally, take the mouse pad out and leave it to dry.

Step 1. Fill a Tub With Water 

Fill the tub with water warm water and a gentle liquid detergent and place the mouse pad inside to soak for a few minutes. A liquid detergent will prevent any residue from forming on the mouse pad when it dries.

Step 2. Clean With a Sponge and Soap

Clean the mouse pad with a sponge and hand soap (if you don't have liquid detergent) until you are satisfied that the mouse pad is clean. For stubborn stains, use a light stain removal spray and give the mouse pad a gentle rub.

Submerge the mousepad in soapy water and after letting it soak, clean it with a cloth or sponge.
Soak the mouse pad for a while before cleaning it with a sponge. Image Source: YouTube.

Step 3. Rinse the Mouse Pad

Rinse the mouse pad in a clean tub of water or use a hand-held shower to remove all the soap. Hang the mouse pad outside to dry (not in direct sunlight) or place it on a flat surface to dry out completely. 

Rinse the gaming mouse pad thoroughly in clean water.
Rinse all the soap off the mouse pad. Image Source: Quality Logo Products.

Can You Wash a Gaming Mouse Pad in the Washing Machine?

It is not advisable to wash your mouse pad with a washing machine. It is better to follow the directions of the manufacturer of your mouse pad. 

Do not wash a mouse pad in a washing machine because the swirling motion of the drum could damage the mouse pad. Always follow manufacturer instructions on washing a mouse pad, which generally advises users to use gentle handwashing techniques.

Based on this thread on Best Buy, most users do not advise washing the mouse pad in the washing machine. 

Handwashing a mouse pad ensures that it doesn’t get folded or scrunched up during the washing process. Washing machines have agitation cycles that can damage the materials used in mouse pads. 

Gaming Mouse Maintenance Tips and Tricks

Prevention is always better than cure. Taking care of your mouse by cleaning it regularly will ensure your mouse lasts longer. Adopting small changes, like not eating or drinking around your computer equipment, will prevent spills and other damage.   

Washing one's hands before touching the mouse will ensure it stays clean. This will also protect the mouse from sweat, dirt, skin oils, and germs. Don’t eat while using the mouse so food crumbs and liquid do not fall on the mouse. 

As our article about the cost of a gaming mouse explains, gaming mice are expensive, so they warrant taking extra care to ensure they last. 

Follow these tips to keep your mouse working for longer:

Tip 1. Wash Your Hands Before Touching the Mouse

As you go about your day, you come into contact with various surfaces that can transfer dirt to your hands. Regularly washing your hands or using hand wipes like these will ensure you don't deposit that dirt and grime onto your mouse. 

Tip 2. Don’t Eat While Using the Mouse

This might be a bit hard, but in the long run, it is a healthy habit. Try finishing your meals, and then wash your hands before handling the mouse. This single act can save your mouse from a lot of dirt. Most importantly, you have reduced the possibility of spilling liquid on your mouse. In this thread on overlock, gaming forum members agree that spilling liquid on a mouse is almost certainly going to damage it, and it will then need to be replaced.

Tip 3. Routinely Clean the Mouse

Create a timetable for cleaning your mouse. Leaving the cleaning to chance might result in a mouse that is less responsive. Accumulated dirt on the mouse base or in between the buttons can make dragging and clicking difficult and sluggish, so regular cleaning will ensure the mouse is working well. 

Tip 4. Get the Right Cleaning Equipment

Having the right cleaning equipment ready and easily reachable would help create a good maintenance habit. A clean rag should always be nearby. Having a mouse and keyboard cleaning kit like this is also advisable because it will ensure you use the right tools for these intricate devices. 


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