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I have a filthy optical mouse. Its buttons are very sticky and I can barely right-click. Any suggestions for how to clean it?

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And since we are in "tips for a clean mouse": wash your hands before touching your mouse and keyboard. You have no idea how many germs are growing in most of them. –  Gnoupi Jan 3 '10 at 19:54
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Aww, come on. You want our immune system to become obsolete? :-) –  Joey Jan 3 '10 at 20:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First, unplug your mouse before putting anything on it just in case. Grab some rubbing alcohol, paper towels, Qtips, and a can of compressed air if you have it.

  • Put a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Make sure it isn't dripping wet, but a wee bit damp. Give the buttons a good, thorough wipe down. This should cut the stickyness and remove gunk that's on there.

  • Tilt your mouse sideways so you can see the crack where the button contacts the rest of the mouse. Spray compressed air into there while moving the mouse itself around so you can get all angles. Do this for both buttons, even if only right-clicking is causing problems. Blowing air under the right button may move the dirt beneath the left. If the right-clicking problem was from the stickyness on the button, I'd still clean underneath the buttons regardless.

  • Use a Qtip on the LED on the bottom of the mouse to remove any dust or hair.

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Great answer thanks. I did some more reading and Wikipedia recommends contact cleaner instead of rubbing alcohol, as it leaves no residue. ehow.com/how_2120548_use-contact-cleaner.html –  Iain Jan 4 '10 at 0:14

If there are screws on the bottom of the mouse you may have better luck with unplugging the mouse and remove them. Depending on the model of mouse you have the buttons may be attached to the upper section and the electronics and cord attached to the lower. This would allow you to place the upper section in the top rack of your dishwasher, or to perform a better manual cleaning. Be gentle when cleaning the pads on the bottom of the mouse that it glides on; don't use abrasive cleaners.

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