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How to clean a mouse pad: The ultimate guide

Mucky mouse pad? We can help with that

Updated: Mar 30, 2023 5:01 pm
How to clean a mouse pad: The ultimate guide

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Mouse pads are bound you get dirty, so it’s useful to know how to clean a mouse pad, and this is the ultimate guide to doing so. Even if you don’t realize it, your mouse pad is getting grimier and grimier with every day of use. Especially if you’re using it for regular gaming! If you treasure the rest of your gaming setup, then you have to take good care of your mouse mat too.

‘How to clean a mouse pad; might seem like a dull topic for an article, but honestly, the number of setup pictures we see with a grim mousepad is far too high. So, we thought that we’d put together a quick guide. After all, what good is having the best gaming mouse if your mousepad is encrusted with snack debris and beer stains?

So, how to clean a mouse pad? Let’s get to it. We’re going to be covering how to clean hard mouse pads in addition to soft ones. So, by the end of this guide, you’ll have no excuse and should have a tidy surface on which to game. We’ve prepared both a video demonstration and easy step-by-step guide below.

Types of mouse pad

Unfortunately, cleaning a mouse pad isn’t as simple as slinging it in the washing machine and forgetting about it.

As there are numerous types of mouse pads available, there isn’t one definitive way of cleaning them all. Each needs to be approached in a unique way in order to clean properly without damaging the material.

You should take care here, especially if you’re a competitive FPS player. your performance in high-skill games such as CS:GO, Valorant, and Overwatch can be badly affected if your mouse pad surface isn’t clean and uniform.

What type of mouse pad do I have?


Most gamers have a cloth mousepad, however, having said that, there are a number of different variants that range from fabric to plastic, and pretty much everything in between – including glass.

If you currently own one of the latter options, a simple damp cloth or wet wipes will be more than fit for the task. Having said that, cloth or fabric mousepads require a little more effort – especially if you want to remove every last bit of dirt.

How to clean a plastic mouse pad

If your dirty mousepad happens to be plastic, you’re in luck. These are considerably easier to clean. Simply wipe the mousepad surface with a soft cloth. If you’re particularly worried about the surface finish of your mouse pad, using a microfiber cloth will eliminate the chance of scratches during the cleaning process.

If the stain is stubborn, you can use a small amount of rubbing alcohol to help lift it free. After this excess water or any other leftover liquid can be dried up using a paper towel. If you have an RGB mouse pad be sure to unplug it before commencing this process to avoid destroying the lighting on your lovely newly clean mouse pad.

How to clean a mouse pad: Video tutorial

We’ve got all the steps below for you, but for a more visually easy-to-understand process, watch this video from Rocket Jump Ninja. His process is very similar to ours so you won’t be missing anything regardless of whether you read the steps or watch his video.

So, How Do I Clean A Mouse Pad?

We’ll get onto that in a second, for now, have the following items ready for cleaning:

  • Preferably a bath tub or large washing area
  • Warm running water
  • Some form of soap
  • A light-medium brush
  • Thick towel

If you plan to get or upgrade to a gaming mousepad, check our gaming mousepad reviews to make sure you get the best one for your gaming needs.



Place mousepad in a sink or a bathtub

Check the mouse pad in a bath tub, sink, or other suitable washing vessel and apply a generous amount of dish soap to the surfacehow to clean mouse pad 1



Apply warm water to the mousepad

Start spraying warm water over the surface of the mouse pad.

how to clean mouse pad 2

Don’t use overly hot water as it can warp your mouse pad.



Start scrubbing

Start scrubbing the mouse pad with a soft brush, soft scouring pad, or sponge. Scrub with medium vigor.

how to clean mouse pad 3

Be careful not to use an overly rough scrubbing implement as it can leave permanent scratches and sometime fray the stitching around the perimeter of the mousepad.



Use a circular motion to scrub the mouse pad

With a circular motion, continue scrubbing the surface of the mouse pad, making sure to cover the entirety of the mousepad surface

how to clean mouse pad 4



Rinse the mousepad

Rinse the dust, grime, debris, and any remaining dish soap from the mouse pad with more water, remembering to rinse the rubber underside too.

how to clean mouse pad 5



Wrap the mousepad inside a thick towel

Place your newly clean mousepad inside a thick, dry towel

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Wrap the mouse pad in the towel

Fold the edges of the towel inwards to completely ensconce the mouse pad.

how to clean mouse pad 7



Apply pressure to the towel

Applying as much pressure as possible to the towel will help speed up the drying process, allowing the towel to soak up more excess moisture. dabbing particularly wet spots with a paper towel can help accelerate the process further.

how to clean mouse pad 8



Allow the mouse pad to air dry

You won’t be able to get all the moisture out of the mouse pad with the towel, so unwrap it, and hang it up somewhere to totally air-dry.

how to clean mouse pad 9

How to clean mouse pad: the final word

It’s easy to clean a mousepad and the small efforts you put in actually make a huge difference in the long run. By following these steps, you are literally creating a better surface for your mouse to work on. This, in turn, should make small differences to your gaming performance – with accuracy being the main beneficiary.

Clean your mousepad regularly by following these simple steps (or when the need arises) and you won’t have to worry about replacing it any time soon!

Any questions regarding the cleaning of mouse pads, feel free to drop us a comment in the section below. Better still, why not head on over to our Community Hub where you can discuss everything peripheral-related with like-minded individuals.

Can You Use A Washing Machine To Clean Your Mouse Pad?

Honestly, the above process is so easy, there is no real reason why you should want to use the washing machine to do this job.

If there is a particularly stubborn stain, you could theoretically throw a fabric/cloth mouse pad in the washing machine. Having said that, the chances of damaging the mouse pad are considerably higher than when hand washing. If you do decide to go with a washing machine, never use a dryer as it will no doubt wreck your precious gaming mouse pad and leave you a saddened individual.

Avoid using hot water and powerful detergents if you do plan on using the washing machine.

How to clean a mouse pad with RGB lighting

You might have noticed that PC gaming tech scene has experienced an explosion of RGB lighting in the last 5 years. Keyboards, mice, RAM, and yes, even mouse pads have fallen victim to the great red, green, and blue waves washing over the industry as a whole.

Anyway, the most common way of implementing RGB lighting into a mouse pad is to stitch a hollow plastic tube into the border. An LED housed in a module positioned somewhere on the mouse pad then fires light down the tube in a manner akin to a fiber optic cable.

The main considerations you need to keep in mind here are the USB cable and the fiber optic tube. The tube is typically quite fragile, so aggressive scrubbing near it could displace it.

It goes without saying, but keep the cable far away from any water. Annoyingly, these aren’t usually removable, so be careful.

How to clean a mouse pad FAQs

Can you put a mouse pad in the washing machine?

Yes, the vast majority of mouse pads can be placed in the washing machine. However, if they contain materials such as silicone, gel, or rubber you may want to avoid this.

For mouse pads that are made with material, there should be no issues popping them into the washing machine. We would recommend that you only place the mouse pad on a cold wash for a short period of time. You do not want the mouse pad to become damaged.

In addition to this, we would not recommend placing the mouse pad into the washing machine too often. This is something that you should probably opt to do if you cannot clean the mouse pad by hand.

Placing the mouse pad into the washing machine always has the potential to ruin the product. Given this, you should take caution when doing this.

When should I clean my mouse pad?

Ideally you will want to clean your mouse pad regularly. When you take into consideration how often you are using it, as you can imagine dirt, grime and bacteria can start to develop on it. This is why it is important to keep it clean and sanitized.

The amount of times that is recommended will vary. If you are using your PC and mouse pad a lot, it will need to be cleaned more often than if you only use it rarely.

In addition to this, you will need to take into consideration the materials the mouse pad is made from. If it is made using rubber or silicone, you can, in theory, wipe this down after every use.

The consensus is that you should clean your mouse pad thoroughly every few weeks if you are using it often. If you use it less often than this, once a month or once every few months should be sufficient.

It is largely down to initiative when it comes to cleaning mouse pads, rather than a set amount of times you should do this.

How do you clean a mouse pad without water?

There are ways in which you can clean your mouse pad without water. However, what you use to clean your mouse pad will be affected by the materials the mouse pad is made from.

You can choose to use antibacterial wipes to wipe down your mouse pad. These are useful as they will keep the mouse pad free of grime and dirt, and they will also kill any lingering bacteria too. They tend to have a pleasant fragrance to them which is another positive.

A damp fiber cloth towel is another great way to clean your mouse pad without water. It will help to remove dirt and debris and allow your mouse pad to be fresher.

How do you remove stains from a mouse pad?

The best way to remove stains from a mouse pad is to place a small amount of dish soap on the pad and lightly scrub it with a brush or cloth. Place some water on the pad and lather it up. This will help to lift the stains. Always remember to rinse the mouse pad and let it dry after doing this.

Depending on the materials the mouse is made from, you can choose to place it into the washing machine. You should always take caution doing this, and you will want to place it on a quick and cold wash.

In addition to this, you can choose to use cleaning wipes to remove the stains. However, the best way to remove stains is to soak and scrub the mouse pad.

How long does it take to dry a mouse pad?

The time it takes to dry a mouse pad will depend on the materials it is made from and how wet the mouse pad is. If the mouse pad is only slightly damp, this will dry far quicker than a mouse pad that is completely saturated.

However, on the whole, mouse pads do not take too long to dry, as they are relatively small and thin. On average, a mouse pad can take anywhere from around 5 to 10 minutes to dry, up to a few hours.

If you place the mouse pad in the sun or in a warmer room, it will dry a lot quicker than if it is in a cold or damp environment, for example.

Can you wash Corsair mouse pads?

If you own a Corsair mouse pad, you will need to take care when washing it. We would always recommend following the cleaning instructions and advice given by Corsair.

Corsair recommends that you wash the mouse pad in warm water with a small amount of dish soap. You will want to allow the mouse pad to soak for a short period of time. After this, you will want to gently scrub the surface of it to help lift any stains.

After you have done this, you should rinse the mouse pad under warm water and allow it to dry.

Can a dirty mouse pad affect gaming?

Yes, a dirty mouse pad can certainly affect gaming. While it does not affect gaming nowadays because trackball mice are less common, it will still affect newer mice.

If the mouse pad is dirty, this can affect your overall movement and may slow down your gameplay, especially if your mouse pad is sticky.

In addition to this, if your mouse pad is old or worn out, this can also have an effect on your gaming experience as the mouse can potentially get stuck and become slowed down by this.

In addition to this, if there is a lot of dirt of debris on your mouse pad, this could still get stuck in your mouse and potentially block the sensors from working as they should.

Given this, it is far better to ensure that your mouse pad is always clean and that you replace the mouse pad when it starts to become worn out.

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