The Easiest and Simplest Way to Clean a Mouse Pad

updated Nov 27, 2023
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View of a mousepad being used on a white desk, against a beige wall.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Whether you work from home, log hours at an office, or play computer games, if you ever sit at a desk, it’s safe to say you might have a mouse pad — and it probably needs a bit of TLC. Just like your keyboard, mouse, and computer screen, your mouse pad needs regular cleaning to stay in working shape (and, of course, to keep it from looking worn out).

“Mouse pads can become a hub of germs and gunk if not cleaned regularly, so be sure to wipe down your workspace, including the mouse pad, weekly,” says Kathy Cohoon, a cleaning expert at Two Maids & A Mop. Of course, you can (and should) clean your mouse pad sooner if you spill something or notice visible dirt. Your mouse pad may also need a clean if you’re having tracking problems with your mouse, which can happen due to dirt, crumbs, and other debris on the pad. 

Is it that time already? Luckily, the process shouldn’t be too difficult or time-consuming. Here’s how to clean a mouse pad, according to Cohoon. 

How to clean a mouse pad 

Here’s how to clean a mouse pad in six steps.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Step 1: Remove debris.

First, remove dry debris from the mouse pad by shaking it over a trash can and, if needed, going over the surface with a lint roller. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Step 2: Make the cleaning solution.

Mix warm water and a drop or two of mild dish soap, such as Dawn, in a small bowl or cup. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Step 3: Clean the mouse pad.

Dip a small brush like a toothbrush or mini cleaning brush in the cleaning solution, then use the brush to scrub the mouse pad. This should remove stains, oils, and germs. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Step 4: Rinse the mouse pad.

Rinse the mouse pad well to remove excess soap. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Step 5: Pat dry with a towel.

After shaking off the excess water, dry the mouse pad on all sides with a towel. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Step 6: Air dry the mouse pad.

Lastly, simply leave your mouse pad to air dry. It may take several hours to dry thoroughly, so it’s best to clean your mouse pad when you don’t need to use it (like at the end of your workday). Or, consider investing in an extra mouse pad to use in the meantime! 

If you’re looking for a quick clean between deep-cleaning your mouse pad, or you don’t feel like whipping up a cleaning solution, a wet paper towel or microfiber cloth should do the trick. 

To go the extra mile, Cohoon suggests keeping germs at bay by spraying your mouse pad with an aerosol disinfectant at the end of each day (that’s especially important if you’re sick).