How To Clean An RGB Mousepad (Safely)

After long-term usage, all mousepads and desk pads will get dirty. Dust, food, and drinks, all start to show on your mousepad if you’ve owned it long enough. If your mousepad is no longer a nice and deep black, it could use a cleaning.

The thought of cleaning an RGB mousepad can be a bit daunting. You want your mousepad to look brand new, but you don’t want to damage any of the RGB greatness by accident.

How To Clean RGB Mousepads

The one major safety tip you need to follow for RGB mousepads is to never submerge them in water. This alone will make the cleaning process safer and give you some peace of mind.

Today we’re going to give you step-by-step instructions to get that RGB mousepad looking brand new again.

The best part is, you don’t have to do all the steps. Depending on how dirty your mousepad is, you might only need the surface cleaning step. Filthy mats should follow all the steps down to the scrubbing.

Key Takeaways

  • Clean surface-level debris with a vacuum cleaner or a lint remover.
  • Use a new sponge with a little soapy water and lightly scrub your entire mousepad.
  • Wipe away the soapy residue with a clean damp cloth.
  • Dab with a dry towel and let your mousepad completely air dry over a day or so.

Before Cleaning Your RGB Mousepad

First things first, remove your mouse from your mousepad & disconnect the mousepad from your computer. 

If you have any of the following available, keep them ready. You don’t need all of them, but they will be helpful!

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Lint roller
  • Compressed air or blower
  • Dish soap
  • New Sponge
  • Lint-free towels

Don’t use dishwasher machine liquid or laundry detergent. We need to use milder hand dish soap as this is less harsh on our hands.

Steps To Clean Your RGB Mousepad

Step 1: Surface Cleaning

The first step here is to remove any surface-level dirt and dust. We don’t want to scrub with soap right away, because we can smear certain debris deeper into the mousepad and make things worse. 

Use a vacuum cleaner if you have one. Slowly vacuum the entire surface of your mousepad. If you have different nozzle types for your vacuum hose, always use the narrow one. 

The narrow adapter gives you better suction for a smaller area, and will always result in better debris removal. This is a valuable pro tip from the world of auto interior detailing. It is worth the added time a narrow nozzle needs to cover the entire mousepad. 

After vacuuming, if you still see loose debris, take your mousepad outside and hit it with compressed air. A lot of dust comes out when I do this, and you don’t want that to land around your desk.  

If you see a ton of dirt loosened, it might be worth vacuuming one more time. 

For any stubborn debris that is lightly stuck on your RGB mousepad such as pet hair, a lint remover can stick to the debris and physically pull it off. 

If you don’t have a lint remover, you can use the sticky side of some packaging tape to try and grab that surface debris. 

Your mousepad should already be looking better at this point. 

Step 2: Scrub With Soap

If you have any stains or spills on your mousepad, the surface-level cleaning above won’t cut it. It’s time to get into some soapy scrubbing to actually break down those stains and bring back the original mousepad colors.

Here we’re going to grab a damp and soapy sponge to scrub our mousepad.

Remember, as long as we aren’t submerging the mousepad in water, we can more or less control where the water goes. And as long as you don’t use the mousepad until it is completely dry, you don’t damage the RGB functionality.

This washing step is where your clean mousepad becomes super clean, so it will be worth the effort.

To ensure the electronics stay safe, try to keep as much water away from the cable connection location. This will be the small box where the wire goes into the mousepad. 

RGB Gaming UtechSmart Large Extended Soft Led Mouse Pad with 14 Lighting Modes 2 Brightness Levels, Computer Keyboard Mousepads Mat 800 x 300mm / 31.5×11.8 inches

This is likely the most vulnerable place for water damage. Minimize the water contact here. 

Soapy Clean

Grab your mild dish soap and your brand-new sponge. Create a mixture of dish soap and water in a container.

Soak your sponge in the soapy water, and squeeze out most of the water so it is no longer dripping wet. This minimizes how much water we get on our mousepad. We don’t want water to go all the way through the mousepad.

Scrub down your entire mousepad with the soapy sponge. Use long strokes to ensure that the soapy water doesn’t sit in one place. If there are specific areas that have worse stains, focus on scrubbing those areas. Try not to scrub too hard, as this could damage and loosen the small fibers of your mousepad.

The mild dish soap will break up the tougher oils and dirt that we didn’t get while vacuuming. After a good scrub, your sponge has done its job!

Now, grab one of your lint-free towels and soak it in clean water. Wring it out so it just feels like a damp cloth. 

Rub this towel across the surface of your mousepad to remove all the soapy residue left over from the last step. Rinse this cloth and repeat this as necessary. One or two passes should work fine. 

We’re all done with washing! Now let’s get to drying. 

Step 3: Dry Your Mousepad

Drying will be the most important step with regard to mitigating water damage. 

If you think you might have got water somewhere it shouldn’t be, this process can make the difference between a working mousepad and a damaged one. 

An important thing to know about electronics is that water alone rarely damages devices. It is only when water is paired with a device that is turned on that water short circuits and kills your electronics. 

So if you fear you may have got water into the electronics box or similar, lengthen your drying process significantly. This ensures that minimal water (hopefully zero water) is left when you finally plug your mousepad back in. 

Cloth Wipe Down

Grab another dry lint-free towel. We want to absorb as much liquid as we can with this towel by dabbing your mousepad.

Wipe down your mousepad while using some firm pressure. Using more pressure will collect more water. This is a great way to get most of the water out of your mousepad.

Let The Rest Evaporate

The best way to dry an RGB mousepad is to air dry it. Keep it in a warm room, or in the shade outside if it’s not too dusty. 

Don’t turn it upside down. We mainly used water on the top side, and water evaporates upwards. Keep it right side up when air drying.

Don’t let the sunlight expose your mousepad for long periods of time. UV rays can ruin graphics and dull your mousepad colors. 

If you kept water away from the electronic sections of the mousepad, a few hours of air drying will be enough. If you think you may have got water in any risky places, let your mousepad air dry for a day or two. 

The longer you let it dry, the more likely all the trapped water in the electronics will evaporate and not be an issue. 

Done! Your mousepad should now be fully functional and look brand new! This is exactly the safe cleaning process manufacturers like Steelcase recommend using with their RGB mousepads.

If you find that your mousepad is curled up a bit after cleaning, check out our article on how to flatten curled RGB mousepads.

Keeping Your Mousepad Clean

Though we got our mousepad looking brand new again, it helps to not need to constantly clean our mousepad. Here are some tips for keeping your mousepad clean for longer periods.

  • Avoid or limit messy food and drinks at your desk.
  • Clean up any messes right after they happen.
  • Keep an air filter nearby to limit the dust.
  • Try your best to keep your pets off the desk (I know, it’s hard).

Find more tips for preventing a dusty desk here. Also, if you want to deep clean your desk pad next, we have a dedicated article on cleaning desk pads here.

Can you put an RGB mousepad in the washing machine?

No. Washing machines submerge your electronic mousepad in water. This results in water accessing all the small nooks and crannies of the electronics.

Once you do this, it’s hard to know if all the water has evaporated, or if it’s just hiding in a corner somewhere. That is exactly what we don’t want as this adds the highest risk of water damage when you go to power the mousepad up again. 

If you already put your RGB mousepad in the washing machine, you might want to submerge it in rice to evaporate all the trapped water from the electronics interface. 

At that point, your mousepad will just be dirty again. You’ll have to re-do all the cleaning steps we touched on above.

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!