Cleaning Your Mouse
Published April 2002

If your mouse is sluggish and the cursor seems to be sticking, rather than having faulty hardware (equipment) or a problem with your software (the programs that run on your computer) you may just have a grease or fluff build-up inside your mouse, or spots on your mouse pad.

The standard mouse operates with a small ball which rolls when you move your mouse across the mouse pad. Check that the surface of your mouse pad is smooth and that there are no fly spots, or indentations, that may prevent your mouse from moving smoothly across the pad.

Once you are sure that your mouse pad is clean, check that your mouse is also clean and that the roller ball is able to run smoothly. To do this turn over your mouse where you'll be able to see the roller ball. The plastic circle around the roller ball usually unscrews allowing both the ball and the circle of plastic to fall out.

Once you have removed the ball you'll be able to see two little rollers and a wheel (often black in colour) set into the walls of the casing in which the ball sits. If you touch these gently with your finger you’ll see they move. It is the movement of these three mechanisms which dictate where the cursor moves on your screen. It is not uncommon for grease and/or fluff to build up on these three mechanisms which then interferes with the smooth movement of your mouse.

To clean your mouse you need to ensure that the ball, the two internal rollers and the tiny internal wheel are all smooth and free of grease or fluff. You can clean the ball with a cloth (making sure the cloth leaves no fluff on the ball) and the internal rollers and wheel by gently scraping a fingernail or narrow, blunt, instrument over the wheel and each roller as they turn.

Make sure that you don't have any programs active while you are cleaning your mouse as you the cleaning action may cause the mouse to click.

Once you have cleaned the ball, two rollers and wheel, place the ball back into the cavity and place the plastic circle over top and screw back into place. Ensure that it is securely done up so that when you lift or move the mouse the ball doesn’t fall out.

This page last updated on 22/04/2002 11:21

© Glynne MacLean 1999-2020




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