The modern gaming industry has propelled computer peripherals to a whole new level. A little over a decade ago, computer peripherals were simply a means to an end. However, now, they are so advanced, nuanced, and helpful that the right one can make a huge difference, especially if you are a competitive gamer.
Today, gamers around the world opt for feature-rich gaming mouse pads that improve their gaming performance. Paired with a preferred gaming mouse, these gaming mouse pads can improve speed, accuracy, stopping power, and many other gaming aspects.
Any gamer who uses a gaming mouse pad wants it to perform well and last as long as possible, which requires some maintenance like cleaning the mouse pad. This raises the question, "are gaming mouse pads machine washable"?
We will answer this question and clear any confusion regarding the cleaning of gaming mouse pads in this post. We will also explain how to machine wash your gaming mouse pad so you don't accidentally end up damaging it.
Are Gaming Mouse Pads Machine Washable?
Yes, but not all gaming mouse pads. There are many different types of gaming mouse pads and whether they can or should be machine washed depends on several factors, including:
All gaming mouse pads can be broadly categorized by their surface texture. There are two main types, hard plastic coated and soft fabric finish. Hard plastic-coated mouse pads have a smooth plastic surface, which is good for gamers who require speed over accuracy for their gaming performance.
These gaming mouse pads often have an edgeless design to prevent mouse cord abrasion and seamless mouse movements. Since hard plastic coated gaming mouse pads are rigid, they cannot be machine washed as this would damage your washing machine and the mouse pad.
On the other hand, soft fabric finish gaming mouse pads are typically machine washable. They are made from soft fabric materials and a stitched edge. These gaming mouse pads offer accuracy over speed and are the preferred choice for most gamers, especially those who play first-person shooter (FPS) games.
The Thasis from MouseOne is an excellent example of a precision, soft fabric gaming mouse pad for gamers who want accuracy for competitive gaming. Whether a soft fabric gaming mouse pad is machine washable or not will also depend on the materials used in its construction.
Most gaming mouse pads with a soft fabric surface texture are machine washable. However, to ensure this, you must check the materials used in the gaming mouse pad. Gaming mouse pads made from the following materials are machine washable.
If your gaming mouse pad is made from materials apart from the mentioned ones, it might not be machine washable. However, just because a gaming mouse pad is machine washable doesn't always mean you should wash it in the washing machine.
This is especially true for gaming mouse pads with prints on them.
Soft fabric gaming mouse pads often have brand logos, pictures, or elaborate designs printed on them. If you wash these mouse pads in a washing machine, these prints may crack, peel, or get discolored. If you want to retain the print of your gaming mouse pad for longer, it is always better to hand wash them.
Similarly, some low-quality soft fabric gaming mouse pads do not have stitched edges, and you should avoid washing them in the washing machine. This is because the unstitched edges will fray and damage your mouse pad's fabric finish at the edges.
How to Machine Wash Gaming Mouse Pads
Here is a simple guide to machine wash your gaming mouse pad with some important tips to avoid damaging your precious computer peripheral.
Only Use Mild Detergent
Always use a mild detergent for washing your gaming mouse pad because the harsh chemicals can damage the soft fabric, stitched edges, and surface texture. Likewise, you must avoid using fabric softeners and bleach solutions to wash your gaming mouse pad.
Only Use Cold Water
Warm or hot water can also damage the mouse pad, which is why you need to only use cold water for machine washing gaming mouse pads.
Switch to a Light Cycle
Soft fabric gaming mouse pads are thicker than your average t-shirt. They typically have a rubber base and a relatively thicker stitched edge. These elements make your gaming mouse pad bulky and heavy, especially if it is a long or extended variant.
Therefore, a long or hard washing cycle can excessively twist and turn the heavy mouse pad, causing damage to its fabric and stitching. Hence, you must always switch to a light cycle for machine washing gaming mouse pads.
Always Air Dry
The hot and heavy-cycle drying process of your washing machine can significantly damage your gaming mouse pad. To avoid this from happening, you should never dry it in the dryer. Instead, pull it out after the wash and let it air dry on its own.
You should also avoid drying it in the sun because this can also damage the materials and discolor your gaming mouse pad.
So, are gaming mouse pads machine washable? Yes, they are, depending on the mentioned factors.
As long as your gaming mouse pad has a soft fabric finish made from the right materials, stitched edges, and high-quality printing like the Thasis, it is okay to wash it in the machine. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is always better to hand wash such a valuable computer peripheral.
If you decide to wash it in the machine, remember to never use hot water, long cycles, harsh detergents, bleach, or the dryer, and you should be fine.