How to Clean a Mousepad

By: Alia Hoyt  | 
mousepad with mouse
Your mousepad is pretty dirty, but fortunately easy to clean. RapidEye/Getty Images

You probably already know that your computer keyboard is dirtier than the average toilet. The next time you get around to sanitizing this all-important workspace, don't forget to clean its equally nasty next-door neighbor, the mousepad.

Mousepads simply don't show a lot of grime, but that doesn't mean there aren't all kinds of germs hanging out on the surface. Whether used for work or gaming, mousepads take a lot of punishment, so they definitely need some TLC.


Fortunately, it's not a cumbersome chore to clean a mousepad. The following method (from gaming website Glorious) can be used for any fabric or plastic mousepad that doesn't include any sort of tech, like a USB port.

  1. First, soak the mousepad in a sink or bowl filled with water and a gentle soap. A nice, mild shampoo or even a squirt of hand soap will do the trick.
  2. Using a soft brush, sponge or washcloth, gently scrub the mousepad.
  3. Rinse the mousepad with cold water until all the soap is gone.
  4. Finally, pat the mousepad dry with a clean towel. Allow it to fully air-dry before using it again. This takes at least 24 hours.

Some fabric mousepads are even machine washable! If this is the case with yours, follow these steps:

  1. Place the mousepad in the washing machine and add a small amount of detergent.
  2. Using only cold water, run the machine on the gentle cycle.
  3. Remove from the washing machine, then air dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

Plastic mousepads can be quickly cleaned, no water required. Try this method from Real Simple:

  1. Using a cleaning spray, lightly spray the surface of the plastic mousepad.
  2. Wipe the cleaning spray away with a clean cloth. If any areas are obviously dirty, use a little extra elbow grease.
  3. Finish it up with a swipe of a disinfecting wipe.
  4. Allow it to air-dry before using the mousepad again.

There's no hard-and-fast rule as to how often you should clean the mousepad, but a minimum of once every three months, as well as after any illness, is a good start.