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How to Clean Any Type of Mousepad

Written by Thao Tran
Last updated Oct 11, 2021

Affiliate Disclosure: When you purchase products through our links, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

before and after cleaning mousepad

If your mousepad looks anything like the “before” picture, it definitely needs a cleanin’.

That buildup you see isn’t just dust. It’s a combination of sweat, oil, and dead skin. A dirty mousepad also creates unnecessary friction for your mouse which can impact gaming performance.

Luckily, learning how to clean a mousepad is easy and you likely already have all the supplies you need. Follow the instructions below for your type of mousepad and it’ll look brand new again in no time.

How to Clean a Cloth Mousepad

Cloth mousepads are notorious for getting dirty. A quick scratch test reveals just how filthy it is and the areas to focus on.

Step 1: Soak with warm water

Throw your mousepad into the shower or kitchen sink and run warm water over it until it’s completely soaked. Don’t use hot water though because it could warp the bottom rubber layer of your mousepad or cause it to separate.

Clean mousepad with warm water

Step 2: Drizzle with laundry detergent

Since your mousepad is made of fabric, regular laundry detergent will work great. Just make sure it doesn’t contain bleach or fabric softener. Pour on a generous amount.

Use laundry detergent to clean off oils and debris

Step 3: Scrub with a microfiber cloth

Using a clean microfiber cloth, scrub in circles and focus on those problem areas you identified earlier. You might be surprised how much dust and cloudiness comes out.

Scrub your mousepad clean with a microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Rinse

Turn the water back on and continue scrubbing until no more soapy bubbles come out. Rinse the entire thing front and back.

Step 5: Dry

Dry your mousepad with a towel

Dab your mousepad dry as best as you can with a towel. Then leave it on a flat surface (the floor works) for a couple of hours to dry.

How your mousepad will look after cleaning it

A few hours later…

Voila! Your mousepad should dry nicely and get its original color back.

Can you clean your mousepad in a washing machine?

Some mousepad manufacturers say you can machine wash your cloth mousepad but we wouldn’t recommend it. That violent spinning machine could fray the edges of your pad or damage it in other ways. Plus, we think we humans could do a more thorough job.

If you want to use a washing machine anyways, throw your cloth mousepad in with some towels and don’t set the water temperature too high. And whatever you do, don’t put it in the dryer afterward. Let it air dry.

How to Clean a Hard Mousepad

Over time, gunk builds up into little raised clumps on hard mousepads that add extra friction to your mouse movements.

dirty hard mousepad

Luckily, hard mousepads are fairly straightforward to clean.

Step 1: Dampen a Cloth with Warm Water

Warm water works better than cold water to loosen up those clumps of dirt and debris.

Step 2: Add a little rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol works especially well to break down oils and grease. Add a splash to a small area of your microfiber cloth.

Step 3: Wipe Away

Focus on the gunky spots with the area of your cloth with rubbing alcohol and they should melt away. Leave your mousepad air dry which shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, and that’s pretty much it!

how to clean a hard mousepad

How to Clean a Mousepad with a Design, Wrist Rest, or RGB Lights

You’ll want to take a more gentle approach than the “scrub in the shower” method above if your mousepad has a nicely printed design, gel wrist rest, or electronics embedded.

Step 1: Dampen a Cloth with a Bowl with Warm Water

You’ll be using the bowl to rewet your cloth throughout this process.

Step 2: Clean with Shampoo

Laundry detergent could fade the colors of your design and is hard to wash out without lots of water. So we recommend using a shampoo which will be much more gentle.

Apply a small amount to your damp microfiber cloth and scrub away. Reapply water and small amounts of shampoo as necessary.

Step 3: Rinse out the shampoo with a clean cloth

Run a new, clean cloth with warm water and use it to “rinse” your mousepad of the cleanser. Dab and scrub until it’s clean, being careful not to soak any electronics.

Step 4: Dab dry, then let sit

Dab your fancy mousepad dry with a towel then let it sit for a few hours, and you’re done!

Clean Mousepad, Clean Plays

With some elbow grease and a little bit of luck, your mousepad should look as good as new. You might even enjoy the added benefit of better mouse accuracy. At the very least, cleaning your mousepad will improve your hygiene and give your gaming setup a cleaner look. 

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1 Comment

  1. Mike Peterson

    Put it in the washing machine and on delicate and air dry.


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