How to Clean a Mousepad (Pro Gamer Method)

Recently I had to ask myself how can I clean my mousepad? I recognized dirt on my mousepad but did nothing about it. Some days later, my mouse felt sometimes sluggish, and randomly it jumped on fast movements. That’s when I realized that cleaning the mousepad should also get a high priority.

Dirt on your mousepad can negatively affect your mouse movement. You will ask yourself how to return your mousepad to its original condition. In this post, we show you how to clean your mousepad with five simple steps.

As a general rule, steel or hard plastic mousepads are cleaned with warm water and a microfiber cloth. Mousepads made of cloth need more intensive care with a warm foam bath, machine wash, or dry cleaning. Cleaning takes only 5 minutes. The drying time is at least 24 hours.

For a real gamer, a good mousepad is simply an essential part of the equipment.

Flashback and I use mouse pads for over 35 years. We had cloth mouse pads and also plastic ones from different manufacturers.

Suppose you own a good gaming mousepad from Steelseries, Glorious, Hyper X, Razer, or whatever they are called. In that case, you know what a difference these mouse pads make in terms of gliding characteristics compared to a standard mousepad.

Unfortunately, everything in life wears out. Mousepads get dirty over time. Unfortunately, this cannot be prevented. Maybe you even use an expensive gaming mousepad, and purchasing a new one is quite costly. At some point, the mousepad will not glide as well as it used to. But do I have to buy a new one, which can be pretty expensive depending on the mousepad, or can I do something to bring it back to life?


Note: This article was written in English. Translations into other languages may not provide the same linguistic quality. We apologize for grammatical and semantic errors.

how to clean a mousepad


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Methodology “How to Clean a Mousepad” at a Glance (Infographic)

Infographic: How to Clean a Mousepad

How to Clean a Steel or Hard Plastic Mousepad

The cloth mousepad has established itself predominantly with both casual and competitive gamers.

Are you using a mousepad made of hard plastic or even steel? In that case, you belong to a minority within the gaming community but a lucky one.

Hard surface mouse pads have enormous advantages when it comes to the procedure of cleaning. All you need is some warm water and microfiber fabric, and you can usually handle any dirt on your mousepad without any problems.

Afterward, you can rub it dry with a piece of fabric, and you are done.

If your mousepad is very dirty, you can also use some alcohol (benzine or similar).

These mousepads can also be disinfected with a disinfectant spray if you like them to be particularly germ-free.

Hard plastic mouse pads can also be sprayed with a silicone spray (a small drop, which is appropriately distributed, is enough) to protect the surface from scratches.


How to Clean a Cloth Mousepad

If you belong to the large group of cloth mousepad users, it will be a bit more complicated. Still, it is usually more than worth the effort.

Cloth is, unfortunately, more susceptible to dirt particles, and therefore, you usually have to deal with more stubborn stains quickly.

Therefore I recommend the following 5-step procedure:

1. Fill a sink, bathtub, bowl, or similar with warm water and add some hand soap or dish-washing liquid. It should not be too aggressive because we do not want to damage the materials of the mousepad.

2. Then you let your mousepad soak a little in it.

3. Now, you take a sponge and rub the mousepad. If your mousepad is printed, you should not rub too hard because otherwise, the print could be damaged.

4. Once you have carefully rubbed the entire mousepad, rinse the mousepad repeatedly under running water to remove any soap residue.

5. Then dry the mousepad with a clean fabric and let it air dry for at least 24 hours. It is crucial to make sure that the mousepad is completely dry before you use it again.

Bonus: At your own risk, you can, of course, also use a hairdryer on the lowest heat level for acceleration, but I would be cautious because most mouse pads do not tolerate heat well.


Why Should I Clean My Mousepad?

In general, dirt on the surface can negatively influence the position detection of the mouse sensor. Dirt can also reduce the sliding capability. The bacterial load on the surface after use is similar to that of a keyboard or mouse.

Therefore, you should plan for regular cleaning because the technology suffers, but on the other hand possibly also your health.

Maybe this shocking information will help: A study showed that a desktop has 400 times more bacteria on its surface than a toilet seat. (Source)

There were similar findings for the keyboards and mice used on them. This study showed that mouse pads have similarly high bacteria concentrations as keyboards, so you should probably clean your mousepad at least as often as your toilet. ;-P


Can I Put a Mousepad in the Washing Machine?

Typically, you can also wash cloth mousepads in the washing machine. Most mouse pads allow automatic cleaning. The manufacturer’s washing instructions must be followed to achieve the best result and avoid damage.

Additionally, it would be best if you considered a few things.

First things first, please use a cold wash program.

As already explained, many mouse pads do not tolerate heat, and if you machine wash such a mousepad at 60°C, then most likely it will be the first and only time. 😁

Otherwise, you can use regular detergent. If you have some in your household, you can put the mousepad in a separate net or laundry bag to protect it even more during the washing process.

After washing, the mousepad has to air dry for at least 24 hours.

Hopefully, you have not asked yourself if you can put the mousepad into the dryer…heat!!!…so NO!!! 😉

The manufacturers do not recommend washing mouse pads in the washing machine, and therefore I would recommend the hand method.

Better safe than sorry.

At least the company Glorious, which distributes my mousepad, the Glorious 3XL, writes on their homepage that you can wash the Glorious mouse pads in the washing machine without any problems, as long as you follow the instructions mentioned above. I’m pleased with the mousepad because I need a little more room for a full rotation as a low-sens gamer. Here you can get more details about the mousepad on Amazon:


How to Clean an RGB Mousepad

RGB mousepads with lights are nice to look at, but electronics and water are not the best combinations, so we must be careful when cleaning them so that everything still glows and blinks nicely afterward.

We should start by unplugging the mousepad because electricity and water are the mother of all bad ideas. 😉

Unfortunately, we cannot soak an RGB mousepad in water, so this time we dip a fabric or sponge into our warm water with hand soap or dishwasher and rub the mousepad carefully.

Wring out the fabric or sponge well to prevent uncontrolled water from flowing over the mousepad.

In any case, you should take care that no moisture gets near the electronics, especially in the area where the cable comes out of the mousepad. You have to be very careful.

When you have cleaned everything so far, take your fabric or sponge and wash it out well so that there is no soap left on it. Then you can wipe the mousepad with it and wash the soap that is still on the mousepad bit by bit. In between, you can wash out the fabric or sponge and wring it out.

Repeat the process until there is no soap left on the mousepad. Then let the mousepad dry for a few hours.

Of course, this cleaning is not that thorough, but we have to cut back a bit due to the electronics, but the drying phase does not take that long.


Should I Use Bleach on a White Mousepad?

Bleach can damage the surface of the mousepad. If the surface is damaged, the glide of the mouse suffers, and the mouse sensor could pick up incorrect position information. The use of bleach is therefore not recommended in any case.


How Often Should I Clean My Mousepad?

In general, the place of use of the mousepad determines how often cleaning should be performed. Scientific studies recommend daily cleaning in hospitals, for example. In private domestic use, quarterly cleaning is sufficient. In case of acute contamination by food or drinks, immediate cleaning is necessary.  

Shockingly, mousepads (much like keyboards and mice) typically have a higher load of bacteria on their surface than a toilet seat. For our immune system, the amount of bacteria is usually not a threat. People with a weaker immune system should better clean the mousepad more often.


How to Clean a Mousepad with Wrist Rest

Typically, Wrist Rests consist of a fabric-covered silicone pad. Manual cleaning works the same way as with a mousepad without Wrist Rest. In the case of automatic cleaning, the manufacturer’s washing instructions must be followed.


Final Thoughts

You can clean your mousepad depending on the material, location, and personal understanding of hygiene. Still, any mousepad can be cleaned, and you will notice a significant improvement in its gliding properties.

Besides technical reasons, you should also think about your health. Dirty mousepads are disgusting and have a negative impact on your performance as a gamer. Cleaning is quick, and the drying process of cloth mousepads can be done overnight.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a second mousepad in your drawer if it gets completely damaged in an accident.

Also, it will simply look better again. 😀


Okay, now you have a clean mousepad again. But isn’t it just as important which mouse flits around on it?

If you’ve ever asked yourself whether vertical (ergonomic) mice are suitable for gaming, you’ll get the answer here.

If you’re still using a cabled mouse, you might be interested in whether a wireless mouse would be a better alternative, right? You can find the answer here.


If you have a question about the post or pro gaming in general, write to us: contact@raiseyourskillz.com.

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Masakari – moep, moep and out!

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