Cleaning Your Computer, Part 4: Mice

Mice aren’t usually a big problem source in terms of getting dirty, simply because there aren’t many surfaces that stuff can stick to where it won’t immediately rub off. Still, when you’re writing a complete guide to cleaning your computer, it’s hard to ignore the mouse.

Materials:

  • Rubbing alcohol. Yes, it’s back yet again.
  • Q-tips. No surprises here.
  • A dust cloth or something similar. Some surfaces of mice just need some wiping down; a dust cloth or even a plain old sponge will do fine for this.

And that’s pretty much it. You could maybe find a use for some Cyber Clean, but it’s not really necessary.

Step 1: Unplug the mouse from the computer and/or turn it off or remove the batteries.
If you skip this step, you could look back at your monitor and find you’ve accidentally purchased something useless on eBay. Okay, most of the time it’s not quite that dramatic, but bad things can happen when you’re mousing without intending to go anywhere.

Step 2: Clean the eye.
Nearly all mice today are optical, which means they have a little camera on the bottom. To clean it, just put some rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip and wipe it off. It rarely gets dirty, but it can’t hurt to check.

If you find that your mouse is so old that it still has a ball, unscrew the ring by turning it in the direction of the arrows, pop out the ball, and clean the ball and the rollers (using Q-tips).

Step 3: Wipe down the mouse.
No tricks here, just good old elbow grease. Make sure you don’t drip a bunch of water into the mouse if you’re using water, but otherwise this is all common sense.

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