Mousepads tend to be a very important addition to the PC gamer’s desktop set, offering traction and comfortable mouse handling, but is often forgotten when it comes to general maintenance. Enduring constant use, occasional beverage spills, and being sprinkled in a variety of crumbs, your mousepad deserves just as much love as your PC, keyboard, and monitors.
It’s important to keep your gaming mousepad clean to ensure its long life and consistent mouse sensitivity. Depending on the material of the mousepad, there are many easy and simple ways to go about cleaning it. Below are a few things to take into consideration when cleaning your gaming mousepad.
Plastic and Rubber Mousepads
Many mousepads are made to be wipe-friendly. For plastic or rubber mouse pads, a wonderful way to spruce it up is to use baby wipes to tackle sticky or grimy areas and then dry it off with a cloth towel. Baby wipes are gentle enough to use on the surface of your mousepad to avoid damage but strong enough to remove most stains and general sticky messes.
If baby wipes aren’t readily available, a warm damp cloth is also a suitable option. Plastic and rubber mousepads are generally very easy to upkeep, so you can easily clean your mousepad once a month at the very least.
Gaming mousepads that are made of cloth tend to need a bit more love and care, but the cleaning process can still be relatively hassle-free. Simply fill your sink with warm water and a bit of soap and allow your mousepad to soak completely. Depending on the condition that your mousepad is in, some light manual scrubbing may be required to get out some of those heftier stains and grime.
It may also be possible to machine wash your cloth mousepad, but putting it through a hot wash cycle is not recommended. Many gaming mousepads are made with a plastic or rubber bottom layer for better grip to your table surface, but this means that cleaning your mousepad in higher temperatures could result in damage such as melting.
If you have a larger cloth mousepad, your sink may not be a suitable size to completely submerge and soak. If you would rather not wash your mousepad in a washing machine, your bathroom tub can also be a great option. If liquid soap isn’t readily available for you to use, another option that you could try is by substituting it with a bit of shampoo.
One of the biggest things to remember is to allow your mousepad to air dry in a warm place. Placing your mousepad in a dryer could result in irreparable damage. Consider pinning your mousepad up on a clothesline or where there’s plenty of sunlight to naturally air out without risk of melting its non-slip rubber base.
When it comes to metal mousepads, giving their surface a quick wipe with a damp cloth is the way to go. Metal mousepads are some of the easiest to maintain because they often repel liquids that could otherwise cause stains. It’s typically unnecessary to use chemicals to clean up a metal mousepad, but if you’re looking for a thorough cleaning, using an all-purpose cleaner is an acceptable way to get your metal mousepad back into tip-top shape.
Anti-Fray Cloth Surfaces
Gaming mousepads can come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, as well as varied materials and designs to give advantages to their use and longevity. Some mousepads are even made with anti-fray cloth surfaces to make cleaning easy, like the Corsair MM300 Mousepad. Designed with stitched edges, the Corsair MM300 protects against surface peeling. This also means that the mousepad is much more durable and can handle being put in the wash for a deeper clean.
Spills and crumbs are an inevitable part of any desktop user’s experience with their PC, resulting in potentially sticky and grimy situations. If you ever find yourself with a sugary soda seeping into your mousepad, don’t panic. Remain calm and grab the nearest paper towel or cloth to soak up as much of the liquid as possible.
You do best not to wipe but instead, dab away the extra moisture to avoid spreading the beverage around and potentially ruining other nearby equipment. Once the excess moisture has been dealt with, the remaining process depends again on what material your mousepad is made of. Refer to the sections above to see what the best course of action is for you.
It’s typically not recommended that you use chemical cleaners to help you with mousepad maintenance. In most cases, simply using mild soaps or shampoos does the trick. Some chemical cleaners may actually stain or deteriorate your mousepad’s material, and in many cases, leave strong cleaning chemical odors that take a long time to finally fade.
If you ever find that your mouse just isn’t controlling like it used to, the problem could be with your mousepad. Some mousepads can go months and sometimes even years without being cleaned, and that results in a great deal of buildup on the mousepad’s surface. As a result, mouse sensitivity can be drastically decreased because it isn’t able to pick up on pixel-precise tracking.
By knowing exactly how to take care of your mousepad, the need to replace it over time can be greatly reduced or even eliminated entirely. Many mousepads today are designed to be easy to take care of, so it’s just a matter of remembering to maintain it like you would any of your other equipment. With these tips in mind, good luck and happy gaming!