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I've a Logitech Marble Mouse trackball and I'm very very happy with it (solved completely my RSI in conjunction with a typematrix keyboard/dvorak-like layout).

The only problem I have is that after a few hours of use, the ball start to become more difficult to roll. This is caused by a black grease becoming solid on the three contact points between the ball and the trackball structure.

The workaround is to regularly (once or twice a day) clean those point of contact with a needle.

But is there a way to slow that grease from forming? Like cleaning the ball with some chemical product? What are other trackball users doing to solve this problem?

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AFAIK it's to do with the grease from your fingers/skin. Certainly avoid using any kind of moisturiser or in a hot/damp environment. I have a user daily using an optical trackball for 8-9 hours and she doesn't have to clean it more than once a week? – HaydnWVN Jan 6 '12 at 13:39
We've (in our IT department) dubbed it 'user gravy' :) – HaydnWVN Jan 6 '12 at 13:39
i have 2 logitech trackballs, but i clean them once every 4 weeks. what are you doing to make it get dirty so fast ?! lol. – Sirex Jan 6 '12 at 15:06
Wash your hands regularly, problem solved. I use a Logitech tracball 8 hours a day, clean it once a month, unless I eat Cheetos, then its a disaster! – Moab Jan 7 '12 at 0:01

Wash your hands regularly, and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between. It's indeed skin grease. Your hands are naturally greasy because it's skin that has to be flexible and often comes in contact with other objects.

(The hand sanitizer won't remove the oils, but it will spread them to the back of your hands.)

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