Skip to main content

How to properly clean and disinfect your mouse

Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless
Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

As a general rule, you should clean your mouse once a week. Computer peripherals like keyboards and mice are often teeming with bacteria, but they're easy to disinfect with products like rubbing alcohol. While you have to take special care when cleaning your phone, you can use Clorox or Lysol disinfectant wipes on your mouse. Here's how to thoroughly clean and disinfect your mouse.

Products used in this guide

How to properly clean and disinfect your mouse

Whether you're using a gaming mouse designed for MOBA titles or a portable wireless option, there are a few things that you can do for all mice. If you're using a wired mouse, unplug it from your computer. For a wireless mouse, switch it off and remove the batteries.

Pour some water on a microfiber cloth and run it over the mouse, ensuring to remove any dirt from the surface. Now do the same for the underside. Pay particular attention when you're cleaning the underside of the mouse because that's where the optical sensor is housed. Clean around the sensor, and if you see a lot of grime or dust on the sensor itself, you can remove it with a cotton bud. Also, be careful when cleaning around the rubber feet, as these are easy to dislodge.

Once the mouse is sufficiently dry, take a Clorox or Lysol alcohol disinfectant wipe and run it all over the surface of your mouse. Use the wipe only on the top portion of the mouse, and not the underside. Focus your attention on the left and right click buttons and the scroll wheel, because these are often the dirtiest parts of a mouse.

I wouldn't recommend isopropyl alcohol to clean a mouse because the alcohol solution often reacts with the plastic. If your mouse has a rubber coating, there's a good possibility that rubbing alcohol will dissolve the coating altogether.

I've found that cleaning my gaming mouse with a damp microfiber cloth is more than adequate, but if you're worried about germs and need to disinfect it, you can use Clorox or Lysol wipes. Before you do, test it out on a small area around your palm rest to make sure it doesn't dissolve the coating.

How to disinfect a laptop trackpad

If you use your laptop's trackpad instead of a mouse, you can use Clorox or Lysol wipes to disinfect that area. However, before you begin, make sure you power down the laptop, and unplug it from the wall socket if it is connected to an outlet. Disinfect the trackpad with the alcohol wipes, and if there's any grime lingering in the corners, use a cotton bud to clean it up.

You need these cleaning essentials

You don't need to disinfect your mouse, but if you must, a Clorox or Lysol wipe should get the job done. You're better off cleaning your mouse regularly with a damp microfiber cloth, as that ensures there's no undue buildup of dust and grime.

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor covering Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone manufacturers, and writes about the semiconductor industry, storage servers, and audio products. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.