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How To Clean a PC Mouse

If your mouse is not scrolling smoothly. If the cursor does not move or moves jerkily, the problem may be a dirty mouse.

A mouse measures movement through the rotation of a ball under the mouse or an optical mouse uses light reflected off the desktop. In either case the mouse can function poorly if it is dirty.

Cleaning an optical mouse can be done with a cotton swab, moistened with rubbing alcohol. Rub the swab over the lens in the middle of the underside of the mouse. Another problem that can cause the optical mouse to malfunction is the quality of the reflective surface. You don't have to use a mouse pad, but the surface mouse reflect the light adequately for the mouse to measure movement. If the mouse isn't working well, try a different surface or use a mouse pad.

To clean a mouse that uses a ball is fairly easily. You have to open it up, but it is very easy to open and to put back together. Disconnect it from the PC before proceeding. If it is a PS2 style connector, turn off the PC before disconnecting the mouse.

Look at the bottom of the mouse. You should see a circular access hatch with arrow embossed on it. Place you thumbs on the hatch and twist in the direction of the arrows. Remove the hatch and take out the ball.

Looking inside you should see two wheels or rods. The wheels or rods pick up skin oil and moisture along with dirt, hair and debris. This mixture can harden around the wheels.

Use a cotton swab moistened rubbing alcohol to wipe the wheels clean. Turn the wheels as you clean to get the entire surface clean. If the grime is too tough, switch to an unfolded paper clip to scratch the debris away. Turn the mouse right side up and shake out any debris. Make sure the wheels are completely clean before reassembling the mouse. Also inspect the ball itself to make sure it is clean.

Put the ball back into the mouse. Place the hatch in place, with the tabs aligned with the slots and twist it back to the closed position.

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