The Proper Way to Wash a Mousepad Without Damaging It

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Accidentally knocked your cup of coffee on your desk while you’re typing away? If you’re lucky enough, your electronics are all safe and all you have is your mousepad soaked in hot coffee. So what do you do?

coffee on table

It’s time to wash your mousepad!

Mousepads are typically a low-maintenance piece of accessory. They require minimal attention and energy to clean and keep in top shape. But yes, they tend to get most of the brunt in your daily PC activities, having to contend with rough mouse handling, sweat from your palms and wrists, and the occasional spills from your mug of coffee or can of soda. Because of this, it’s advised to wash your mousepad when needed. 

How to wash a mousepad properly

Mousepads are rather small, so washing them shouldn’t take that much effort. However, it takes some care to ensure that the pads won’t be damaged in the process of washing.

mousepad setup

Check the type of mousepad that you have.

Different types of mousepads require different kinds of care, with some processes simpler than others. Below are the most common types and the kind of care they need:

Plastic mousepads. Perhaps the simplest of all, this only needs a simple wipe of a rag with water or mild cleaner.

Cloth or rubber mousepads (with rubber back). Most of these pads only require light dry brushing with a lint brush or even a toothbrush to remove dirt and dust. If you need to wash them with water, be gentle and follow the steps below. 

Mousepads with aluminum core. It is advised to be extra gentle with these pads and ensure that they’re not bent or crushed during washing.

Use warm water and hand/dishwashing soap.

Clean mousepads in warm running water and use mild soap that will not damage its surface. This is especially true for those with painted design (such as the pad logo). Sometimes, you may need to test with a damp cloth to check that the paint will not smear when wet.

Submerge in water with soap.

This is to allow any dirt that may have stuck on the pad to soften or for spills that may have soaked into the pad to be rinsed off. Make sure the pad is fully submerged.

Rub slightly.

After a few minutes of soak, rub the mousepad but only slightly. Most pads are thin, and some have no stitching at the edges. Make sure you don’t rub too hard to keep the pads intact.

Rinse with running hot water.

Once the cleaning is done, rinse by running it in hot water. Make sure not to squeeze the pad too hard or it might get deformed and damaged. 

Pat dry and air dry.

As much as possible, lay the pad flat when you dry it so that it will retain its smooth and flat surface upon drying.

machine washing

Can you use a washing machine to clean mousepads?

No. A washing machine will definitely damage the pads. It’s the same thing with a dishwasher. The best way to clean mousepads is by handwashing them.

How often should you wash your mousepad?

There’s no specific frequency – it depends on how much you use it and how much dirt it accumulates. Some people sweat a lot, so the mousepad gets easily dirty and may need more frequent washing. Others wash their mousepad only once a year for fear of it getting damaged. 

As a guide, wash your mousepad when it gets spilled on with fluid (don’t just dry it!), when it has accumulated dirt in certain spots that interfere with the accuracy of your mouse’s response, or when it already feels dirty to you.

Helpful tips in cleaning mousepads

As an additional guide, check out the tips below in cleaning your mousepad:

Do not scrub. Not only will it possibly damage surface paint, it can also damage the pad’s actual surface.

Do not squeeze. Squeezing the pad can deform it when it dries, so just press or pat lightly to remove water.

Do not hang under the sun. Too much heat can cause the material to get brittle over time, especially plastic or rubber.

Do not use hairdryer. Direct heat application is especially damaging, so a hairdryer is not advised.

workstation setup

Washing a mousepad may look easy, and it is, but the tricky part is keeping it from getting damaged in the process. Make sure you read the above guide to ensure that you can clean your mousepad properly while keeping it in optimal shape. And if you’re looking for a new pad, make sure you find a pad of high quality, one that will perform well and last long.

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