Certified IT Support Professional Learning Resources Mouse Maintenance

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Mouse Maintenance

Mouse is the simplest peripheral available for your computer. While they are reasonably forgiving to wear and tear, mouse can easily be affected by dust, debris and other foreign material introduced from the ball. Contamination of this sort is almost never damaging, but it can cause some problems when using the mouse. A routine cleaning will help you to prevent contamination problem. You can use mouse¬cleaning kit to speed the cleaning process. The kit includes cleaning solvent, a dust free cotton towel and a can of compressed air.

1. Remove the ball - A ball is held in place by a retaining ring, which is present on the bottom of the mouse. Rotate the ring clockwise and remove it gently and the ball will fall out. Place the retaining ring in a safe place.

2. Clean the ball - Wash the ball in warm soap water and then dry it thoroughly with a clean dust free towel. Place the ball in a safe place with the retaining ring.

3. remove the dust - Use a can of compressed air to remove any dust or debris that has accumulated inside the mouse.

4. Clean the rollers - Notice that there are three rollers inside the mouse - X roller, Y roller and a small pressure roller that keeps the ball pressed against the X and Y rollers.

5. Reassemble and test - Allow everything to dry completely. Then place the ball inside the mouse and put the retaining ring at its place. Now move the ring clockwise again to close the mouse. Reconnect the mouse and test the mouse to be sure that it is performing well.

How to clean a ball mouse (mechanical mouse)
First, turn off your computer (unless you have a USB mouse) and then unplug your mouse. Get to hand a soft tissue, along with some suitable cleaning fluid (window cleaner is fine).

Notice the removable cover on the bottom of the mouse.

Turn the mouse cover anti-clockwise to release the ball, remove the cover and take the ball out.

Use the soft tissue to clean the mouse ball, be sure to remove all dust/hair/debris.

Next, notice the 3 rollers within the mouse casing, these are what we need to clean next.

You can improvise on how to clean the rollers, gently using your fingernail can get good results. Whichever way you choose to clean them, make sure you remove all traces of dust/debris, as the smallest piece can cause the mouse to behave erratically.

When you have removed all traces of dust/dirt from the rollers, and the ball is nice and clean, simply put the ball back in and replace the cover, turning clockwise to lock it in place.

Plug the mouse back into your computer and your mouse should be as good as new.

Steps to clean an optical mouse
Although optical mice usually require far less maintenance than their mechanical counterpart, they do need cleaning once in a while.

To clean an optical mouse should take less than 5 minutes, so giving it a quick clean every month should be achievable, which will help ensure it keeps working smoothly.

The first step is to unplug your mouse. Optical mice usually connect to the computer via the USB port, if you have a USB mouse then you can remove it without switching off the computer. If, however, your mouse connects using a different connector, then you should switch your computer off first.

Once unplugged, look at the bottom of the mouse to locate the area where the LED and the lens is located.

Dampen the end of a cotton bud with a few drops of suitable cleaning fluid, never put fluid directly onto the mouse. Take the damp cotton bud and gently wipe the area to remove any dust or residue, be very careful not to put any pressure on the LED or lens, and also, ensure that no excess fluid gets squeezed out of the cotton bud into the mouse. You may find turning the cotton bud between your fingers can be effective. Once done, use a dry cotton bud to gently wipe over the area to ensure it is dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent problems with the mouse by cleaning it regularly. Clean the outside and inside with a cotton swab and alcohol regularly.
  • If the mouse moves erratically, reduce the pointer speed and acceleration settings.
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