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How To Clean a Mousepad in Seven Easy Steps

You might be forgetting one critical cleaning task. Learn how to clean a mousepad in seven easy steps and why you should!

You don’t have to be a neat freak to appreciate a clean desk and office environment. Besides looking for the same piece of paper over and over, a clutter-free work area has aesthetic benefits that can help with productivity and stress levels. In fact, a cluttered, messy office space can make it difficult to focus and slow us down at work, according to research.

A clean desk is more than free from dozens of loose paperclips or pencil shavings. It’s also sanitary. However, one area that often gets overlooked is the mousepad. How clean is yours?

Keyboards, computer mice, and mousepads, also known as mouse mats, can harbor germs. One study showed that a computer keyboard had more germs than a toilet seat. If our hands carry germs to our keyboards, our computer mouse and mousepad are also at risk for harboring germs. We’ll cover the supplies you’ll need to clean your mousepad, the different types of mousepads available, and how to clean the most common types of mousepads in seven simple steps.


What’s a Mousepad’s Role?

Our mousepads have three main roles: to trap dirt so it doesn’t impede the function of the mouse, to aid in preventing injuries to the wrist from constant use, and to act as a buffer for the desk surface to not damage any surfaces.
Before you clean it, consider the material the mousepad is made of. There are various types of mousepads, including styles specifically made for gamers, ergonomic mousepads, and even textured mouse mats. Gaming mousepads, such as RGB mousepads, are instantly recognizable with their bright colors and association with gaming desk setups.

How To Clean a Mousepad: Step-by-Step Instructions


Let’s run through the step-by-step guide to cleaning your mousepad. The steps below pertain to soft mousepads rather than hard mousepads or RGB mouse mats. We’ll touch on those after covering the more common styles.

1. Gather Your Supplies

You’ll need a few supplies on hand to thoroughly clean your mousepad, but don’t worry, you won’t need anything too fancy. You’ll need some water: You may need to alternate with warm water, cold water, and hot water, and a sink or small bucket is recommended for rinsing in between getting the dirt and grime removed.

You’ll also need soap: Dish soap is preferred, but in a pinch, you can use hand soap or mild detergent. After that, grab a clean, soft cloth —several types can work for this purpose, but a microfiber cloth is often best.

Other supplies to have on hand include a toothbrush or other soft bristle brush, a dry and damp cloth, and disinfectant wipes.

2. Clean Your Mouse

Before you clean your mousepad, gently wipe down the mouse with disinfectant wipes. Let it air dry, and then give it a second wipe down with the same wipes that kill germs and let it sit until dry once again.

Our hands touch a wide variety of germs daily, and we inadvertently touch our eyes, nose, and mouth and spread germs further, so you can imagine how many germs can end up on a mouse, especially one that’s used daily.

3. Shampoo the Mousepad

The first part of the actual cleaning process involves giving your mousepad a nice rinse and a shampoo. With a mild soap, detergent, or hand soap, use suds and soapy water to remove most dirt and germs. You can use warm water for this.

4. Check for Stains and Debris

Once you’ve removed the surface dirt, check for any stains or other debris that are stubbornly clinging to your mousepad. Using a toothbrush or any soft brush can loosen dirt or debris.

Note: Some fabric or cloth mousepads tend to absorb stains faster and more easily than hard surface options (like plastic mousepads).

5. Rinse Again

Rinse the mousepad with hot water and repeat step #2.

6. Wipe Away Stains and Soak

Use disinfectant wipes to gently wipe stubborn stains, and let the mousepad soak in warm water for five to ten minutes. Rinse with cool water.

7. Air Dry

Allow the mousepad to air dry on a towel. If you air dry it outside, be sure not to have it in direct sunlight to prevent the colors from fading.

Precautions: Materials and Mousepads

A few things to review: With a hard mousepad, use a soft clean cloth, such as a microfiber cloth. Spritz some water mixed with rubbing alcohol and spray small amounts on your mouse mat and wipe it clean — no need to dunk it in a bath.
When it comes to RGB mousepads, be careful of the amount of water you use, and be sure to unplug your pad from all electronics. For these types of mousepads, less is more: Dab a bit of dish soap on a dry cloth and add a tiny amount of water. Clean thoroughly in sections without letting it oversaturate. Let the mousepad air dry fully before plugging back in.

What Not To Do With Your Mousepad


If you want your mousepad to last a long time, it’s important to note things you shouldn’t do with them. For example, can you launder a mousepad in a laundry washer or in a dishwasher?

Most people say never to run a mousepad of any type through the washer, but it’s at your own risk, and it depends on the material.

Most mousepad manufacturers recommend not using a washing machine to clean your mousepad, as it can break down components. Check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure, but the following materials are usually safe if you use the gentle cycle, cool water (never hot water). Here are a few reminders of what not to do with your mousepad and things you should never subject your mousepad to.


Here’s a list of what not to do to your mousepad:

Don’t run it through your washing machine.


Don’t pop it up in the dishwasher for a spin.

Don’t use abrasive fabric cleaners on it.

Don’t use cleaning brushes with harsh bristles.

Don’t soak it in bleach.

Don’t lay it in the sun outside.

A Better Alternative to the Mousepad: The Desk Mat

Mousepads are great, but sometimes they leave a little something to be desired — mainly, they can be too small, leaving office workers frustrated with the small real estate allotted for their mouse. They also tend to be one-dimensional, serving a single purpose.

For a multi-use, larger, and more aesthetically pleasing alternative, try the Desk Mat. Instead of roughly 7x9 inches of space, you can have up to 35.3’ L x 16.7” W of workspace. In black or stone, it serves as an attractive home for your keyboard, mouse, or other desk necessities.
Made from premium vegan leather and 100% recycled PET felt, this Desk Mat is environmentally-friendly and easy to clean. Simply wipe it down (it’s water-resistant!).Lastly, the Desk Mat offers secret storage compartments at the top and a magnetic cable holder to reduce clutter in a way the ordinary mousepad cannot.

Leveling Up Your Office Space


Once you’ve got a squeaky clean mouse mat, you may be inspired to create a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing office.

One pro tip is for everything in your office to have a place; this way, you’ll never need to search for items again. Consider some other desk accessories below to keep your office tidy, clean, and organized for a more enjoyable work day.

Smart Office Accessories:

Desktop Organizer: Stay organized with our sleek Desktop Organizer. Say goodbye to messy desks and store all of your pens, post-it notes, paper clips, and other small items in a brightly colored, sturdy, and stylish organizer.

Desk Caddy: Get creative with your desk organization with a handy caddy that you can throw chargers into and easily tidy your desk at the end of the day. With bright color choices, like terracotta and soft frosty blue, your desk will stay clean, organized, and stylish.

Desk Drawer: Clear off your desk with this handy desk drawer, the perfect companion for our standing desk. The desk drawer lets you keep a minimalist look to your office but still has a place to stash small items.


Cleaning your mousepad may be one of the last things you think about, but if you want to keep germs at bay, and have a mousepad that’s dirt-free, consider cleaning your mousepad periodically – every few months is a good rule of thumb.

If you’re inspired to add ergonomic furniture or desk accessories to keep your space clean and tidy, check out our thoughtful selection of office items today.


The Case for Finally Cleaning Your Desk | Harvard Business Review

Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands? | CDC

Your Keyboard: Dirtier Than a Toilet | ABC News

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