If you are wondering how you could easily and effectively clean your keyboard and mouse wrist rest, you are at the right place. I have more than eleven different types of keyboards and mice at home and I use them a lot. To relieve the stress off my wrists, I always use a wrist pad.
However, I hate when my wrist pad becomes dirty, sticky, and greasy.
Unfortunately, most types of mouse and keyboard wrist rest pads get dirty pretty quickly. In the last few years, I’ve used all kinds of wrist rests and tried many methods to remove dirt, stains, and smudge marks.
In this article, I’ll show you some of the simplest and most effective ways you can clean your mouse and keyboard wrist rest, whether it’s made of fabric, memory foam, gel, wood, leather(ette), or plastic.
Let’s dive in:
1. How to Clean Memory Foam Mouse & Keyboard Wrist Rest Pads
Let’s start with memory foam wrist rest cushions as these are probably the most common ones.
First of all, it’s important to know that you mustn’t machine clean memory foam, as it can completely destroy the foam. Instead, clean it by hand.
The cover of memory foam keyboard (and mouse) wrist pads is usually made of some kind of fabric, therefore it can be easily cleaned by using some laundry detergent.
FYI – If the cover is made of leatherette, jump to the next section and apply the methods detailed there.
Let’s move on to the exact steps:
- Vacuum the cover. I suggest that you start by vacuuming your wrist pad. That will remove dust and small particles that are not visible to the naked eye. I recommend you use a handheld vacuum.
- Remove stains. First, dampen the stain and sprinkle some boric acid on it. Using a damp cloth blot the stain until it’s gone. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to remove stubborn stains, however, it may discolor the fabric cover, so use it with caution (it’s best to try it first on a small, out-of-the-way area).
- Use some laundry detergent. After vacuuming and removing stains, now you can move on to the final step which is actually cleaning the whole keyboard wrist rest pad. For this, mix one part washing detergent with two parts lukewarm water in a spray bottle. Shake gently and then spray sparingly the cover of the memory foam wrist pad. Make sure you don’t soak the memory foam! Just spray lightly. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then dampen the wrist pad with clean water to remove the chemicals (use a sponge) and let it dry.
- Remove odors. Most kinds of odors usually go away after you complete the above steps, however, sometimes an additional step is required to get rid of unpleasant smells (such as cigarette smoke). So to remove odors, all you have to do is sprinkle your keyboard wrist rest with some baking soda and let it sit overnight. Believe me, it is extremely effective (and you can also use it to unclog a drain).
Note: If your wrist pad is not that dirty, often it’s enough to wipe it using a wet cloth or sponge. For instance, I very rarely use laundry detergent to clean my Glorious keyboard wrist rest (it has a foam core and cloth surface), I usually clean it with a damp cloth.
2. Best Ways to Clean Gel Keyboard & Mouse Wrist Rests
Gel wrist rest pads are usually covered with leatherette (faux leather) or some kind of synthetic material made from plastic that is very easy to clean.
Cleaning methods (apply only to leatherette and plastic covers):
- Wipe with a damp cloth. Often it’s enough to simply wipe your gel wrist rest using clean water and a cloth or sponge. However, if the cover is sticky, greasy, or heavily contaminated, jump to the next steps.
- Use dish soap or liquid soap. Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap (or 2 teaspoons of liquid soap) with 8-10 fl oz lukewarm water. After stirring the mixture up, dampen a cloth and gently wipe the wrist pad. As a final step, wipe it with a cloth dampened with clean water.
- Disinfecting wipes. You can buy ready-to-use disinfecting wipes that you can also use to clean keyboard wrist rests. Many of these wipes also kill bacteria and viruses, so using them is an effective and simple way to make your wrist pad germ free. Make sure you don’t use any product that contains too much bleach because that might cause discoloration on faux leather.
- Use rubbing alcohol to sanitize and disinfect the wrist rest. Rubbing alcohol is extremely effective against bacteria and viruses, and it also helps you get rid of stains and built-up grease on your keyboard wrist rest. I also often use it to clean the keyboard itself as it’s really powerful against dirt and germs too.
Important: Sometimes gel wrist rests are wrapped in a special heat transfer fabric (for instance, some Razor wrist pads come with this feature). In this case, you should use pure clean water (dampen a cloth) to clean your wrist rest.
3. Simple Way to Clean Genuine Leather Wrist Rests
If you have a keyboard or mouse wrist rest pad made of genuine leather, you have to be careful while cleaning it. Leather is pretty delicate, so you should never use harsh chemicals. Basically, a leather wrist rest should be cleaned similarly to a leather purse or wallet.
The best way to clean genuine leather is to wipe it with a damp cloth (do not soak it!) or use some kind of leather cleaner.
To remove stubborn dirt (or to sanitize), dip the cloth in a mixture of lukewarm water and liquid soap (pour 2 teaspoons of liquid soap into 5-7 fl oz water) and gently wipe the wrist rest.
You can also use bleach-free disinfecting wipes, just make sure it does not contain too much alcohol either because that might cause discoloration.
4. How to Clean Keyboard Wrist Rest Pads Made of Fabric
Although it’s not very common, sometimes a wrist rest cushion is completely made of some kind of fabric (textile). I mean not only the cover but the inside as well.
In this case, to clean it, the best way is probably to either hand or machine wash it using normal laundry detergent. Different types of fabrics require different washing temperatures, so if you can find a label with laundry symbols, make sure you wash the pad accordingly.
As an alternative to washing, you can use some soapy water to wipe your fabric keyboard (or mouse) wrist rest pad.
5. Wooden Wrist Rests
If you have a keyboard wrist rest pad made of wood, cleaning is pretty easy and straightforward.
As a first step, fill a small bowl with lukewarm water. Then add a tiny amount of dish soap and stir it up. Moisten a cloth with the mixture and wipe your wood wrist rest.
If you prefer natural and green stuff, instead of dish soap you can also use a tablespoon of white vinegar (vinegar is also a great choice to disinfect your gym equipment). That’s all.
Keyboard and mouse wrist pads are essential accessories for many people who use their computers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, they get dirty pretty easily, even if you are careful.
Luckily, cleaning your wrist rest pad is neither difficult nor time-consuming. As you can see, you can easily get rid of dirt in a matter of minutes using some really basic methods that in most cases cost almost nothing.
Photo: Flickr (Robert Freiberger)