9 Ways To Flatten A Curled-Up Mousepad

Picture this: you were eager to unbox and set up that brand-new mousepad to transform your desk setup. But as you unwrap and install it, you have a mousepad with ugly curled-up edges staring back at you.

Manufacturers like to roll up these mousepads really tight to make shipping a bit cheaper, and a curled-up, rippled mousepad is usually the result.

Fear not! We’re going to give you 9 different ways you can flatten your mousepad and enjoy the boosted aesthetics these mats can bring.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are patient, curled mousepads will flatten over time with use and gravity.
  • Aggressively curled mousepads can be flattened with methods such as counter-rolling, adding some heat, soaking in water, and more which we talk about in detail below.
  • RGB mousepads require special care when flattening to avoid damaging the electronics. We talk about this method below as well.
mousepad desk mat curled up in packaging on desk
Flatten Curled Mousepads (5)

9 Different Ways To Flatten A Mouse Pad

Here are nine different methods to get your mousepad flat again. Choose a method that you are comfortable with and have the tools required.

1) Use An Iron To Flatten Your Mousepad

The first option here is to use a household iron. Irons are great for relaxing bent fibers in clothes, and they can help with mousepads too. Most people also have an iron around the house.

We’re going to set the iron to a low/medium temperature setting and place a towel over our mousepad for added protection.

Placing a towel on top of the mousepad will ensure the iron’s hottest surface won’t be in direct contact with our mousepad. It will apply the heat to your mousepad in a much more controlled manner.

  1. Place your mousepad on a flat and firm surface (ideally an ironing board)
  2. Place a towel on top. You can use a damp towel if you want a steaming effect too.
  3. Set the iron to low/medium temperature.
  4. Iron the entire mousepad evenly.

Done! This is one of the faster methods to flatten your dest mat/ mousepad.

Is it Safe To Iron A Mousepad?

Ironing a mousepad is safe as long as you follow these general rules:

  • Don’t let the iron come into direct contact with the mousepad (use a towel).
  • Don’t use the highest iron heat setting.
  • Don’t let the iron sit in one spot for too long.

Some manufacturers use adhesives in mousepads to attach the non-slip backing, so we don’t want to apply a ton of heat. Lots of heat could compromise some adhesives. 

That’s why in our article on how to clean a desk mat, we mention air drying is the desired method after a wash. 

2) Use A Steamer To Apply Heat To Mousepad

Steam is another method that is very effective at relaxing stubborn mousepads. Because steam is a vapor it can penetrate the full depth of your mousepad. 

Not everyone has a steamer though, so skip this section if you don’t have one laying around.

For those who have a steamer, still use a towel on top of your mousepad to reduce the intensity of the steam.

I had an old steamer that would occasionally shoot out droplets of hot water. A towel will help ensure that doesn’t damage your mousepad.

  1. Place your mousepad on a firm and flat surface
  2. Place a towel on top of the mousepad
  3. Slowly steam the entire mousepad evenly

The hot vapor should quickly relax the curled-up portions of your mousepad.

3) Use a Hair Dryer to Restore Flatness

If you don’t want to use an iron or a steamer for any reason, a hair dryer might just do the trick. 

As we mentioned in the iron and steamer section, we don’t want to blast our brand-new mousepad with high heat. Keeping the heat low and applying it for a little longer is better than using high heat for a short time.

A towel may not be as necessary, because you can keep the hair dryer further away from the mousepad to control the heat. 

  1. Keep your mousepad on a firm and flat surface
  2. Set the hair dryer to a low heat setting
  3. Start blow-drying your mousepad from far away and get closer as necessary
  4. Heat up the mousepad evenly and don’t focus on one spot for too long.

4) Use The Counter Roll Technique

The manufacturers made your mousepad curl up by rolling it one way. We can cancel this out by rolling it the opposite way. 

Counter-rolling is a popular method because it’s safer than applying heat to your mousepad. You don’t have to worry about accidentally applying too much heat.

One important note: do not counter-roll the mousepad tighter than it was in the packaging. Rolling your mousepad too tight can result in kinks and wrinkles in your brand-new desk accessory.

Sometimes all you need is a very brief counter roll, and your mousepad will be flat right away.  

For stiffer mousepads, have to keep the mousepad in the counter-rolled position for a while. You can put it back in the packaging or use rubber bands to keep it in place.

  1. Roll up the mousepad in the opposite direction.
  2. Keep it in place by putting it back in the packaging or using wide rubber bands.
  3. Unroll it from time to time to see whether it’s flat. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a whole day.

5) Soak The Mousepad In Water

Similar to how a shower helps you revitalize your hair, soaking your mousepad in water is a great solution to restoring its flatness.

Do not use this method for RGB or any other type of electronic mousepad! (On a related note, check out our article on how to clean and dry RGB mousepads).

Here are the simple steps to flatten your mousepad by soaking it:

  1. Soak your mousepad in water for a few minutes
  2. Let it air dry (don’t put it in the dryer, and don’t put it in direct sunlight)
  3. Ensure it is drying in a flat position

Usually, one day of air drying will make your mousepad dry enough for use. The soak should relax all the curls and ripples.

6) Add Weight Across The Mousepad

Another method for those that don’t want to apply any heat to their brand-new mousepad is simply stacking weight on your mousepad while it’s on a flat surface. 

Adding weight to flatten your mousepad great option if you want an approach that doesn’t expose your mousepad to any type of water, heat, or bending.

This method can take some time depending on your mousepad. Some will only need a day, others will need a week. If you find it is taking too long for this method, combine it with one of the other methods we touched on.

I like to use textbooks for this option. They are heavy, flat, and pretty large so you only need a few to cover the full size of your mousepad or desk mat.

7) Be Patient And Let Gravity Do Its Thing

Most mousepads actually don’t need any special “flattening” instructions if you are patient. The truth is, a mousepad on a flat desk under normal use will flatten most if not all mousepads.

What’s great about this approach is that it’s the most hands-off method for flattening your mousepad. You pretty much don’t have to do anything here.

As you use the mousepad, over time you add weight and pressure to various areas all while gravity is pulling down on it. This all gradually contributes to your mousepad straightening itself out.

8) Use Double-Sided Tape

If you want a flat mousepad right away, you can use some double-sided tape.

Double-sided tape forces the curled areas of your mousepad to sit on your table so it’s a pretty quick solution. You also have the added benefit of your mousepad being fixed in place.

Over time you will be able to remove the tape and just enjoy a flattened mousepad.

  1. Turn your mat upside down
  2. Grab some thin and low strength double sided tape and apply it to the mousepad
  3. Position the mousepad in an ideal location and add pressure to fix it in place
  4. After a week or so you can remove the double-sided tape (unless you like your mousepad fixed in place).

9) Hang Your Mousepad To Straighten It Out

The last method here is to let your mousepad hang to get rid of the curls and let it straighten itself out.

By suspending your mousepad, you let gravity do its job in a different direction to flatten it. You can use a hanger or some clothesline pins to hang your mousepad.

This will also take a little bit of time. We have to be a bit patient with the gravity methods.

How To Flatten RGB Mouse Pads

For certain RGB mousepads and desk mats, the outer edge is what contributes to most of the curling.

The outer edge of these mousepads is usually an opaque light tunnel. It spreads the light from the LED source. Because it is a different material to the mousepad material, it behaves a little differently when curled up and flattened.

In the video below, the user slowly glides his fingers around the edge of the mat to straighten out this “light tunnel”, and his desk mat gets flatter with every pass. All the ripples slowly get smaller and smaller.

RGB or LED mousepads have electronics embedded in them, so you won’t be able to use all the other methods we talked about above.

If you have an RGB mousepad, focus on only the following methods:

  • Straightening out the light tunnel, like in the video above
  • Counter roll to reverse curls.
  • Stack weight across the mousepad to flatten ripples
  • Let it flatten naturally with long-term use

If you want to flatten your mousepad more quickly, you can use the ironing or the hair dryer method but use caution.

Ensure that your mousepad doesn’t get too hot. It should always be warm enough to touch comfortably. Limit the heat at much as you can for RGB mousepads.

Avoid The Following Methods

Some methods that get recommended elsewhere are actually not good for your mousepad or your experience. Here are some methods you should avoid!

Don’t Use Your Mousepad Upside Down

Some people recommend using your mousepad upside down to help flatten the curls, but this is not a good idea.

Most mousepads have a rubber anti-slip bottom surface. Using your mouse on an anti-slip surface is a recipe for disaster. You will have a hard time moving your mouse around which results in a dreadful working or gaming experience.

You can also eat away at the non-slip rubber surface. When the time comes to use the mousepad right side up again, you don’t have a consistent non-slip surface anymore.

Dont Use High Heat Directly On Mousepads

All materials have a temperate limit before the material starts getting damaged. Mousepads can typically withstand a decent amount of heat, but you don’t want to find the limit.

Avoid directly applying heat to your mousepad to avoid damage. This is why we use a towel as a buffer when using an iron or a steam cleaner.

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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!

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