How to Clean a Computer Mouse

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How to Clean a Computer Mouse

A computer mouse, clogged by dust and gunk, is not a smooth operator. The cursor’s movement is choppy, even if you move it around forcibly. Your only logical recourse is to remove the dirt from the mouse ball or LED. Good thing the task is easy. You simply need rubbing alcohol, a cotton swab and a pair of tweezers.

Cleaning a Ball Mouse

This mouse’s movement is entirely dependent on the mouse ball and the movement rings. After long periods of use, dirt and gunk accumulate then eventually clog the mouse, restricting the cursor’s movement. You must do a little disassembly if you are to thoroughly clean the device.

Materials Used:

  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton swabs
  • tweezers
  • cloth
  • compressed air (optional)


    cleaning a mouse

  1. Disconnect the mouse from your computer.
  2. Locate the mouse ball cover beneath your mouse and twist it counter-clockwise to open.
  3. Apply some alcohol on a piece of cloth. Rub it on the mouse ball, ridding it of gunk.
  4. Once done, use the tweezers to remove dirt from the mouse rings.
  5. Put alcohol on both ends of a cotton swab.
  6. Swab the rings to remove tiny particles stuck on the rings. You can also spray compressed air to remove the gunk stuck in areas that are hard to reach.
  7. Return the mouse ball to its container.
  8. Close the mouse ball cover.
  9. Reconnect the mouse to your computer.

After successfully cleaning the mouse, it should function as if it were brand new. Just repeat the process whenever the cursor stops moving smoothly.

Cleaning an Optical Mouse

Optical mice are much easier to clean than ball mice. Disassembly is not required with this type of mouse. All you need to do is clear gunk off of the LED pointer.

Materials Used:

  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton swab
  • cloth


  1. Disconnect the mouse from the computer.
  2. Put alcohol on both ends of the cotton swab.
  3. Use the swab to remove the dirt from the pointer.
  4. Once done, dry the pointer with a piece of cloth.
  5. Reconnect the mouse to your computer.

The optical mouse, though slightly more expensive than a ball mouse, is easier to clean and maintain than its rather primitive counterpart. This device is clearly a good investment.

Maintain Cleaning Habits

Cleaning a computer mouse should only take you a few minutes. If you are using a ball mouse, you can check the ball and the rings occasionally to avoid clogs. Optical mice, on the other hand, will still function well until dirt has completely covered the LED.