Among all the accessories used among gamers, the single one that’s often most neglected is the gaming mouse. Your mouse is a hugely important piece of equipment no matter which sorts of games you play most often, but ensuring that it’s in good working order — and is simply as clean as it should be — is extremely important for maximum gaming quality.
At Xidax, we’re here to offer a huge range of gaming laptops, gaming desktops and gaming workstations, plus expertise to all our clients on how to maintain and best use our equipment. Why is cleaning your gaming mouse important, how often should you be doing this, and what are the basic steps to follow? Here’s a primer.
Why Cleaning Your Gaming Mouse is Important
Your gaming mouse won’t often look dirty or otherwise unclean, so why is cleaning it important? The answer traces back to the internal components of your mouse and how dust can easily accumulate on them.
Dust can impact the optical sensor in a mouse, which is used to track movement; if it becomes too thick, your cursor will start jumping all over the screen or not moving at all. In addition, dust buildup on the mouse can cause it to overheat, potentially damaging the electronics inside.
In addition, even if the mouse doesn’t technically look dirty, there are many situations where it is. The mouse picks up any bacteria or other germs from your hand or general environment, so keeping it clean is of vital importance for many gamers.
For these reasons, it’s recommended to clean your mouse regularly, especially if you live or game regularly in a location where dust and debris are common.
Gaming Mouse Cleaning Frequency Recommendations
How often should you be cleaning your gaming mouse? The answer depends on a few factors:
- How often you play games
- How much dust and other debris is in your environment
- How often you clean your other computer equipment
If you play a few hours of games every day, then we’d recommend cleaning your mouse at least once a week. If you play for longer periods of time, or in an area with more dust, you may want to clean your mouse every few days, or even every day.
Our next several sections will go over the basic steps to follow when cleaning any gaming mouse.
Disconnect From CPU
Before taking any further steps here, you need to disconnect your gaming mouse from the computer itself. It’s recommended to use a USB extension cable so you can clean without having to be tethered to the CPU.
If you use a wireless mouse, simply turn it off. If there are batteries inside, we recommend removing them before you start cleaning.
Wipe Down Exterior/Remove Dirt and Dust
Inspect your mouse carefully for any dirt or other debris that’s visible, and remove it with a cloth or other soft materials. If there’s still some dust on it you can’t get off, we recommend using canned air to blow the dust away from the outside of the mouse, or a small vacuum cleaner if you have access to one.
Using Compressed Air
One of the key resources at your disposal for this process is the use of compressed air, which allows you to blow dust away from the inside of your mouse without having to take it apart. This is an ideal way to clear out any dust that’s been blocking your mouse from being effective.
You can buy cans of compressed air from most office supply stores, and it’s available for a low price online as well.
Spraying and Swabbing
Slowly and with great care to ensure you aren’t damaging any of its components, blow compressed air into various crevices or tight spaces on your mouse. After doing this, take a Q-tip or other small, soft swab and wipe around the same areas to pick up any remaining dust or debris. You might also use a small microfiber cloth for this purpose.
Be careful not to press too hard while wiping, as you could damage delicate components. If you need to, you might consider dabbing just a tiny amount of water or isopropyl alcohol onto the cloth or Q-tip that you’re using — just enough to pick up the dust. This is especially important if you’re dealing with a plexiglass mouse surface that could be damaged by too much friction or pressure against it. Some people will also use basic wet wipes that have disinfection properties.
One place many gamers neglect when cleaning their mouse are the buttons, which can also build up dust, dirt and other debris if not cleaned regularly. To clean behind and around any buttons on your mouse, you’ll need to take it apart piece by piece, and then reassemble everything when you’re done cleaning.
With most mice you simply rotate the button cover counterclockwise until it comes off. If there’s any dirt or dust inside, you can remove it with a cotton swab or other soft-bristled brush. Be very careful not to damage any internal components while cleaning in this way.
Cleaning the Sensor
The optical sensor on your mouse is one of the most important pieces, and also one of the most delicate. It’s essential that you clean the sensor with extreme care, because even something as minor as a fingerprint can cause problems.
To clean your mouse’s optical sensor, we recommend using only Q-tips and special cleaning products that are designed for this purpose. You want to be especially careful not to use too much force or pressure while cleaning around the sensitive areas of the sensor.
As you’re finishing up the cleaning process for your gaming mouse, it’s vital to make sure every piece is completely dry before you put it back together and reconnect it to your computer. You should allow for about 24 hours of drying time if possible, but even a few hours could help increase the longevity of your mouse’s performance.
For more expert tips on cleaning your gaming mouse, or to learn about any of our gaming computers or other solutions, speak to the pros at Xidax today.SHOP XIDAX