Even if you have the best mousepad for gaming, chances are that it will get dirty over time - no matter what you do. A large majority of gamers don’t actually bother cleaning their cloth fabric mousepads properly. And that’s understandable.
On the surface level, cloth mousepads don’t exactly seem filthy (in most cases). Even if you tend to eat a lot of food at your desk, brushing the crumbs and gunk away seems like it does the trick.
But it doesn’t.
After being on your desk for an ungodly amount of time, it may be a good idea to clean your mousepad. In fact, freshening up your cloth mousepad may just be what you need to help improve your gaming experience. With all the deep dirt and grime gone, your mousepad is going to look much brighter.
But how do we clean a mousepad properly?
Why You Should Clean Your Mousepad
Before we get into the “how” let's look at the “why” we should clean our mousepads.
There are many reasons. For starters, if you’re at your desk for a significant amount of time, imagine all the bacteria that has built up right where you put your hands.
As mentioned before, it seems like most of us eat food at our desks as we play games. In fact, you’d be a little weird if you didn’t. So, try to imagine the tiny amount of food, hair, skin cells and so on that are all crammed up in the fabric of your mousepad.
If you haven’t washed your mousepad for a long time, or ever for that matter - try submerging it in some water, and simply watch the color of the water change to a dark color. How gross.
Convinced? It’s best to keep your setup clean. This is not only just for general hygiene and cleanliness but having a smooth and fresh mousepad is going to make using your mouse during gameplay a much more fluid and enjoyable experience.
How to Clean Your Mousepad
There are many ways to clean your mousepad, but the easiest (and probably the best) way to clean it involves simple dish soap and a bathtub.
If you don’t happen to have a bathtub, a large sink should be fine. (Typically something you’d find in a laundry.
Start by laying your mousepad down fully flat. Again, this is where having a bathtub is going to help greatly. Try your best to expand the mousepad fully, then add some lukewarm water and wait until the mousepad is just slightly submerged. You don’t want it to be fully under the water, but just enough where the water is starting to touch the surface.
Let this sit for a while and allow the water to fully enter the cloth fabric.
Now, get either some dish soap or some washing detergent. Either works well, although you may see some better results if you use some washing detergent. Sprinkle a small amount to cover the surface of the mouse, but remember not to overdo it. Again, you’d want the water level to be enough so that the powder/soap doesn’t instantly vanish.
Use your hands or a soft brush to start working the powder or soap into the fabric mousepad. If your mousepad is particularly dirty, this may take a few more cycles to get through. Simply drain the water, and repeat.
Thoroughly rinse off all the soap from the mousepad. You may also need to do this a couple of times depending on how hard it is to get everything out. Try to squeeze out all the excess water as best you can too.
Dry the mousepad by letting it hang and air outdoors, or put it on a drying rack inside your house. If you’re going to let it dry outside, it may be a good idea to avoid having it sit in direct sunlight for a long time.
Maintaining the Lifespan of Your Mousepad
Although you’ve just cleaned your mousepad, there are certain things that you can do in order to make sure that it lasts for as long as possible. By keeping your mousepad in good condition and protecting it, you can keep it for much longer and have no reason to replace it.
One of the best things that you can do is to not place any food or drink on your mousepad - especially hot drinks. A simple cup of coffee can damage the mousepad and leave those dreaded coffee stains on it. Food can also be just as troublesome.
Learning how to wash a mousepad shouldn’t be a problem, and should be done regularly in order to make sure you get the most out of it. This would be important especially if you have an expensive mousepad.
Remember, not only is cleaning your mousepad ideal for keeping a general sense of neatness, but it can make your gameplay and mouse movements much smoother.