How to clean a trackball mouse
Anything on your desk can get dirty, and a trackball mouse is no exception. Regular cleaning with a woolen duster or cloth will help keep it clean, but after a while, you may need to clean it thoroughly. Many trackball mouse manuals do not include instructions for cleaning, which is unfortunate. This article will describe how to clean different brands of trackball mice.
There are two types of trackball mice, finger and thumb trackball mice, but cleaning them is similar. Both types can attract dust and debris, which can negatively impact their performance. The following brands will be covered in this article:
- Kensington trackball mouse
- Logitech trackball mouse
- Microsoft trackball mouse
- Elecom trackball mouse
- Apple trackball mouse
Here are some signs that your trackball mouse needs cleaning:
- The ball is sticking when you move it.
- The pointer is jumping randomly on the screen.
- The pointer is not moving smoothly.
You will need the following tools to clean your trackball mouse:
- Cotton sticks (Q-tips)
- Compressed air
- Microfiber towel and alcohol wipes
- Dish detergent
- A pencil
- Screwdriver (optional)
Before cleaning the trackball mouse, make sure to disconnect the mouse from the computer. If it is wireless, remove the batteries from the battery compartment if possible. Make sure the mouse is powered off.
Procedure to clean a trackball mouse
Cleaning a regular computer mouse is easy, but cleaning a trackball requires extra care and attention.
Before cleaning the trackball mouse, it’s important to disconnect the wire from the computer or remove the batteries from the battery compartment (if removable) to ensure safety. Once this is done, make sure that the trackball mouse is powered off before beginning the cleaning process.
Cleaning the surface of a trackball mouse
The first step in cleaning a trackball mouse is to clean its body. Although you might dust it regularly, over time, stains or layers of grime can build up and not be removed by simple dusting.
To clean the body, take a lint-free cloth and dampen it slightly with water. Make sure the cloth doesn’t drip water into the mouse, as excess moisture is not good for it. If the grime and dust are harder to remove, you can use a mild detergent.
Wipe down the entire exterior of the trackball mouse, including its bottom side. Pay special attention to the edges of the buttons and gently rub the scroll wheel to remove any dust.
If there are hard-to-reach areas around the scroll wheel, you can use a cotton swab to clean them. Finally, look for any small gaps on the body of the mouse and use a brush to gently remove any dirt that may be present.
How to clean trackball, trackball cup, trackball bearing, and optical sensor
First, you must pop the ball from the trackball cup.
It’s easy to remove the trackball from its compartment in a trackball mouse. Most trackball pointing devices have an access hole under the mouse where you can insert your finger and press the ball to release it from its housing.
Some trackball mice have a trackball ejection button, while others may require a bit of force to remove the trackball due to tension.
For example, the Logitech Ergo or M570 trackball mouse has a small hole under the mouse to release the trackball. However, if you have thick fingers, you may not be able to insert your finger into the hole. In that case, you can use a pen or pencil with a piece of clean cloth in front of it to press the trackball and release it.
Alternatively, you can use a cotton swab to gently push the trackball out of its chamber or pull it out with force if you have strong finger grips.
To clean the trackball, obtain a piece of cloth and dampen it with rubbing alcohol. Ensure that the cloth is large enough to fully cover the trackball. Clean the ball with the cloth, set it aside, and allow it to dry completely. The advantage of using alcohol is that it can sanitize the trackball from harmful bacteria and germs.
Cleaning the trackball socket
Three small bearings can be found in the trackball compartment. These bearings can attract dirt, dust, and grime, which can affect the smooth navigation of the pointer.
To ensure smooth pointer navigation, it is important to clean these bearings. Some bearings may roll while others do not, but a toothbrush, toothpick, or tweezers can be used to remove any foreign particles.
Check the video for a practical demonstration.
Use a cotton swab, a small brush, and a microfiber towel to clean the trackball compartment. To clean the optical sensor window, use a cotton swab. It is recommended not to use any liquid on the cotton swab, unless it is necessary to clean the sensor lens.
Use compressed air to remove any particles that remain around the bearings. After cleaning, plug the trackball back into the trackball socket. Roll your fingers or thumb on the trackball, you may feel a bit of friction, but that’s normal. Over time, it will become fluid again.
Lubricating the trackball mouse ball
The best way to ensure smooth operation of the trackball mouse is to avoid applying any lubricant to the ball. The ball naturally receives enough lubrication from your finger tips.
However, if you must lubricate the trackball, use a minimal amount of hair oil. After lubricating, clean the ball with a soft cloth to remove any excess oil. Excess lubricant will quickly attract dirt and build up gunk.
Once you have completed the lubrication and cleaning, insert the ball back into its chamber.
You’re all set! Time to enjoy using your trackball mouse.
How not to clean a trackball mouse
- Avoid spraying water or any other cleaning liquids directly on the trackball mouse as this could potentially ruin it.
- Refrain from using sharp or pointed tools to remove the trackball from its socket, as this could damage the surface and result in incorrect pointer movements.
- Take care to catch the trackball when removing it from the mouse to prevent it from being damaged if dropped from a height, which could result in erratic mouse pointer movements.