How to Clean a Mousepad / Desk Mat Properly

By Michelle Ngo
July 7, 2022

Let's be real--no matter how hard you try, your desk pads will always end up being dirty. Even if you consider yourself to be a clean person, dust, dirt, and grime inevitably build up over time. Eventually, that can become a problem with mouse tracking which can affect your gaming performance.

Signs of When to Clean

There are two telltale signs of when to clean a mousepad:

  1. Do a scratch test. If you see white lines after scratching your desk mat, that means it needs cleaning. Those lines are an accumulation of not only dust but dirt, food debris, and dead skin cells. Gross!
  2. If you see visible stains or discoloration, that's also a sign to start cleaning.

Cleaning a Desk Mat or Mousepad with RGB

Unlike a normal, fabric mousepad, RGB mousepads are a bit trickier to clean due to their wiring. Nevertheless, you can still give it a good cleanse that will make it feel brand new again!

A few things to keep in mind when cleaning a mousepad with RGB:

  • Make sure the pad is properly disconnected
  • DO NOT machine-wash or submerge in water
  • Avoid getting water near the wiring or electronics box

Using a damp, soapy washcloth, wipe down all the dirt and debris from your desk mat. Scrub and clean until all problem spots are gone and the entire desk pad is damp. Once you're done, let it air dry completely.

Cleaning a Desk Mat or Mousepad in 4 Steps

You might not realize it, but your desk pad or mousepad is a crucial part of your setup. Most mice cannot properly track without it.

When it comes to gaming, your mousepad makes a difference. Speed is everything, and mousepads are there to support that by allowing a smooth glide for your mouse. However, you won't be able to hit those clean flicks if your mousepad has friction due to dust and debris.

Not only that, but your desk pad can also add to the aesthetic of your setup. If you bought a mousepad that features a unique design, you'd want to make sure it continues to look and feel its best by consistently cleaning it.

Finally, it's just unsanitary to leave it uncleaned. Your mousepad is one of the most touched components on your desk. That allows for dust, dead skin cells, oil from your skin, and food debris to accumulate and create a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. 

Here are four (4) easy steps to cleaning your mousepad:

1. Prepare a large bowl, sink, or bathtub with warm water

The temperature of the water is important here. Make sure you're using warm water because hot water could damage and warp the pad's material, such as the non-slip backing.

2. Soak your mousepad in the water

Allow for the warm water to lift and loosen up all the dirt from in-between the stitching and the pad.

3. Start scrubbing!

Using a soft bristle brush and dish soap, start scrubbing away. Lightly scrub through the entire pad while focusing on any problem spots such as coffee or oil stains.

4. Dry it off!

Afterwards, place the desk mat on top of a towel to dry. Make sure you have the cloth-side down and on top of the towel.

Once it's done drying, you'll be left with a desk pad that looks and feels almost brand new again!

Common FAQ For Cleaning Your Desk Pad and Mousepad

Can You Put Your Mouse Pad in the Washing Machine?

Yes, you can put your mouse pad in the washing machine. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to do so:

  • Make sure you're washing on delicate mode.
  • Set the temperature to either warm or cold. Again, the heat could damage the non-slip backing or any other heat-sensitive material in the desk pad.
  • You absolutely cannot do this with a RGB desk mat!
  • Don't put your desk pad through the dryer. Be sure to air dry after machine-washing it.

How Often Should You Clean Your Mousepad?

You should clean your mousepad several times throughout the year depending on how clean you keep it on a daily basis. It's better to clean up messes as it happens to avoid hard-to-remove stains.

How Long Will My Mousepad Take to Dry?

Typically, we would recommend letting the mousepad dry for 24 hours. If you don't want to wait, you can hang it up and point a fan at it for a few hours.

How do I clean my RGB desk mat?

You can clean your RGB desk mat by using a damp towel and hand soap. Make sure the desk mat is completely disconnected before scrubbing away at stains and problem spots.

How do I get rid of the mousepad smell?

Ah, yes. That new mousepad smell. It goes away with time, but if you're looking for a quick fix, you can easily get rid of this after one or two washes.

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