How to clean your mouse mat
Using a mouse mat on a daily basis can lead to the surface becoming clogged with all sorts of particles, be it dust or food, which can interfere with mouse operation and reduce performance.
Like everything in the house or office, the trusty mouse mat needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Going through long periods of use without adequate care can result in performance hits when it comes to the mouse. This is due to the build up of dust, crumbs from food, or other particles that may fall and settle on the surface. Luckily, it doesn't take much time nor effort to clean the mat itself.
Here's what we'll need:
- Large bowl (sink, basin or even the bath will also do)
- Washing up liquid
- Hot water
Depending on the size of the mouse mat, you may want to select an appropriately-sized bowl or basin, which should aid in effectively washing through both sides of the mat without having too much of an overhang.
- Brush any particles off the surface.
- Fill the bowl or basin with fresh, hot water.
- Pour in some washing up liquid.
- Insert the dirty mouse mat.
- Rub the surface gently.
- Turn the mat over and do the same to the underlay.
After you've cleaned the mat and can no longer see or feel any particles along the surface of the mat, be sure to give it a good rinse and remove all the foamed soap. There are plenty of options to dry your mousepad, from patting it with a towel to letting it air dry to hitting it with a blast from a hair dryer. Regardless of which option you select, your mousepad will still retain some water, so you'll need to let it thoroughly dry before putting your mouse on it (remember: electronics and water don't mix). I recommend you leave it a solid 12 hours, or at least until it's dry to the touch.
Also, should your mat have advanced features like USB ports and LED lighting, be sure to check the manual and online documentation as to whether or not this method is suitable for that particular product. Alternatively, cleaning wipes can work wonders for removing stains and accumulated crud from the surface of the mat for maximum performance. Again, just be sure to let the surface dry thoroughly before use.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.