How to Clean a Mouse

To ensure better functioning and durability of your mouse, you must know how to clean a mouse.

You would be surprised to know that per square inch of your mouse can have as much as 1600 germs on it. No wonder, it is one of the dirtiest things on your computer table and it could be something really unhygienic.

Not just this, so much dirt in your mouse can also affect its performance and can lead to so many issues such as double-clicking, etc. The dust is more likely to reside between the tiny gaps of the mouse scroll wheel or the optical light beneath it.

However, you need not despair since you can actually clean your mouse and make it spanking clean, thereby improving its performance and increasing its life.

There are generally two types of mice, i.e. optical mice and mechanical mice.

Although, both of them are different in regards to their activity and functions the cleaning process is somewhat similar. However, I must say that cleaning a mechanical mouse might take more work than cleaning an optical model.

Mechanical Mouse: As far as a mechanical mouse, the dust penetrates inside the mouse as it has rotating parts. YES! Literally, inside the mouse. Hence it requires so much of an extra effort to clean it.

Optical Mouse: The good thing about an optical mouse is that you do not have to internally clean it. But optical mice become extremely unpleasant and sticky over time. Sadly the light emitter collects maximum dust around it and the mouse becomes sticky.

How to Clean a Mouse

Let’s see how to clean a mouse and keep it protected against all germs.


First and foremost, you have to unplug the mouse from the port for the simple reason that you don’t want to get an electric shock!

Disconnect the wire. In case it cannot be disconnected, switch off the system.

The Exterior of Mouse:

Whether it be an optical mouse or a mechanical mouse, the exterior part is the most commonly used part of the mouse and it also happens to have the most germs.

How to clean exterior of the mouse

Either you can use a soft cloth to apply some rubbing oil or you can use a wipe too. Gently clean the entire exterior. It will transform into a shiny-clean mouse.

If you have a mouse that has some unreachable parts like the edgy area around the scroll wheel, then you will need a cotton bud. Damp the cotton bud with rubbing oil or alcohol and gently clean it.

Mouse Buttons:

This is where things get a bit tricky!

But how!

Clean Mouse Buttons

Well, to be honest, if you don’t do this properly, you will end up damaging your mouse. Exercising great caution is important while doing so.

Now, the actual procedure…

Take a little and sharp object. I recommend a toothpick. Gently pass the sharp corner of the toothpick throughout the outer edge of the buttons. Once done, lightly dampen the cotton bud with alcohol or rubbing oil and pass it through the tiny spaces between the edge and the button.

I can’t overemphasize this but you have to be extremely careful.

You do not have to completely insert the cotton bud inside the button lest you would end up damaging the mouse.

The Trackball of Mouse:

In case a mouse has a trackball, you need to clean it as well since a dirty trackball can also affect the performance of the mouse and prevent it from lagging.

Cleaning the trackball also requires extreme care.

Very carefully, open the trackball compartment. Dampen a sponge with rubbing oil or alcohol and delicately clean the interior. Be extremely cautious about the quantity of the liquid you are using. Extra quantity can damage the functionality of the mouse.

How to Clean a Mouse with Trackball

If your sponge picks up any dirt or grime, sweep it off the sponge.

If you have a hairdryer, you can set it to low speed and blow away dust from it, if there’s any.

Another very helpful trick to clean the trackball is to gently; I REPEAT – Gently dampen your finger with rubbing oil or alcohol and roll it on the trackball. The trackball will automatically absorb oil and will become clean.

Cleaning the Vicinity:

It is not just cleaning the mouse that is important but also the vicinity or the place where you use the mouse that should be cleaned. This is because the germs from mice can be transferred to the surroundings.

Here are some of the things that you should clean along with the mouse:

Mouse pad: Cleaning the mouse pad is equally important because in all likelihood germs and dirt get absorbed from your mouse to the mouse pad. Take a little tub, pour in water, add some soapy liquid. Leave your mouse pad in it for a good 2 to 3 hours. Take a delicate or soft cloth, and clean it.

Once done, rinse it properly under fresh water. Rinse it a good 4 to 5 times in order to drain out all the soap from the mouse pad.

Cleaning the Vicinity

For the next 24-36 hours, you need to let it get dried completely. Once it is completely dry, you can use it again.

If you are wondering why not wash it in a washing machine, let me tell you that all mousepads are not machine washable. The best thing you can do is to check washing or manufacturer instructions and if they say machine wash, go ahead and wash it in your machine. Otherwise, you have to wash it manually.


The keyboard tray or the place where you keep your mouse pad and mouse should also be occasionally cleaned. Use a good quality cleaning liquid and clean the place where you keep your mouse. Cleaning the surroundings is important not just for keeping the mouse performance-optimized, but also for hygiene reasons.


Instead of hiring professionals, and paying them so much – doing it yourself is an easier option.

Cleaning is easy if you are careful. Do not mess up, and stay relaxed. Once you get the hang of it, things should get really easy for you and the next time, you’ll be able to clean it like a pro!

I have been cleaning my mouse this way for the past many years, and have never required any external help. With the help of the steps mentioned above, should be able to clean your mouse thoroughly and safely.