#208 Cleaning all that gunk out of your mouse ball

Dirt is everywhere.

Just look around the house for a second here. What’s that in your phone receiver? What’s all over the bottom of your Tupperware cupboard? And what’s that coating your own … face?

If you said horribly sore bright red zits that’s only half the answer.

The other half is dirt.

Of course, when you think about it we’re all living on dirt our whole lives. Yes, a big crusty chunk of it miles and miles deep coats our entire planet. This crusty chunk is aptly named The Crust and it’s a pretty good equalizer. After all, young or old, rich or poor, Californian or Mongolian, you live on dirt. The only exception are Ewoks.

So it makes sense that our mouse balls would get clogged with thick piles of dirt regularly. Dust balls, flower pollen, and slowly disintegrating fingernails all eventually make their way to your mouse pad, where they are quickly swallowed up by your mouse ball cavity.

If that sounds disgusting it’s because it is.

Baby, that’s why it feels so great to finally twist open the bottom of your mouse and scrape out all the collected filth inside. Cat hair, dog hair, dust from the couch, it doesn’t matter. Nope, what matters is how great it feels to finally get that dirty out of your mouseball and get smooth-rolling again.

Unwind a paper clip and jam it in there if you really want to get it all out.

Or a really sharp pencil.

Or a toothpick.




Photos from: here, here, and here

36 thoughts on “#208 Cleaning all that gunk out of your mouse ball

  1. OMG! At the school where I teach, we have a computer lab with old, crappy, rejected technology. Among the beautiful gems of the computer lab, there are about 28 mice with rollerballs just begging to be cleaned. No laser mice ’round those parts. My kids all judged me for going around and cleaning the gunk out while they were trying to compute, but I didn’t care. I LOVE IT. It’s so disturbing, but I would go from computer to computer collecting it all and then show them my findings after I was finished. Again, they judged and didn’t really care, but whatevs. It was a personal victory. :)

    BTW … LOVE the vids!

  2. I feel the same way when I turn my keyboard upside down and shake it. So much crud comes out.

  3. I have a laser mouse. It doesn’t gather as must gunk as the mouse-ball, but that bright red light can certainly emphasise the small amount of fluff that IS there!

    (Love the picture subtitle!: “e-e-e-e-ewoooooks… live here.”)

  4. Take the ball out, scrape the gunk off the rollers and wipe them with a veerrry small amount of water using a cotton tip.
    It’s not just fluff around the ball.

  5. it’s been years since i cleaned a mouse with a ball. on my own computer, i mainly use the touchpad, or sometimes my laser mouse.
    i love shaking the dirt out of the keyboard, though.

  6. Ah, you fidget a lot…nervous? Or did you just really like your watch? Kidding… Love the video!

    My boss gave me an old joke about cleaning the ball on your mouse. It was hilarious!! If I can find it I’ll put it on here. I have a laser mouse, so I don’t get to enjoy this.

    1. Here it is…. its instructions on how to clean your mouse.
      This memo is from an unnamed computer company. It went to all field engineers about a computer peripheral problem. The author of this memo was quite serious. The engineers rolled on the floor.

      “Mouse balls are now available as FRU (Field Replacement Unit). Therefore, if a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a ball replacement. Because of the delicate nature of this procedure, properly trained personnel should only attempt replacement of mouse balls.

      Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the mouse. Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls. Ball removal procedures differ depending upon the manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign balls can be replaced using the pop-off method. Domestic balls are replaced by using the twist-off method.

      Mouse balls are not usually static sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge.

      Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately. It is recommended that each replacer have a pair of spare balls for maintaining optimum customer satisfaction. Any customer missing his balls should suspect local personnel of removing these necessary items.”

  7. I literally just did that this morning when I got to work (laser mouse but it still gets gunk on the pads) and started a debate about if there is a term for that stuff. Micropoo was my suggestion. Anyone?

  8. Dude, how OLD is your mouse?? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your equipment. I’m just sayin’…

    but yeah, I did use to enjoy that activity back in the dark ages of roller mice.

    1. Maybe he has been “blessed” with the same technology my school provides … you know, a room full of Windows ’98 clunkers. To be fair, there ARE a few Windows XP computers in the mix … which, as we are all aware, is on the cutting edge of technological advancements.

        1. I had a trusty old XP… Then there was a storm, and my computer got killed by a flash of lightning. Lost a lot of my data, too…

          Ah well. Now I have a trusty old ASUS laptop!

          (Aww. Doesn’t sound the same.)

  9. the mountain we live in is said to be a part of a sleeping volcano.
    there’s so much uranium here, there’s talk of mine!
    Uranium is not healthy eh!
    I think I am an eeeeeeeeeeeewooooooooooook and that is my back yard… so like Christopher Robin, in “When we were very young…
    “round and round and round and round and round and round I go…”

    *Awesome commercials, Neil:) Thanks for sharing the light of life=)

  10. The crust isn’t made of dirt…its made of rocks. Soil, or dirt, is made from the weathering of those rocks. But they’re different things.

  11. I ha the impression that this equipment vanished! Like floppy disks or something! And now i see this withbso many of you commenting!

  12. Neil, I Love the commercials!
    Great job and I was so excited to see you the first time I watched – I felt like I knew you ;)
    I just picked up your second book recently and it’s a really fun summer read. And I think I started overusing the word Awesome lately – only thanks to you. lol.
    I’ve connected with a few people from your blog and it’s really great to see that this big world isn’t really that big anymore. Awesome!
    Hugs to you my friend – and everyone here ;)

    ps. I have the laser mouse but it should also get a good wipe ;)

  13. I love the french version, as an american who has just returned after a year in France, it was nice to see two of my favorite things come together. :)

  14. I used to work in a computer lab when I was in college and we had this spreadsheet with all the computers listed and we were each supposed to clean at least 3 computers per shift worked (or maybe it was 3 computers a week – I can’t remember. Anyway, it worked out to all the computers getting cleaned weekly if everyone did theirs). I always took so much pride in making those mice and keyboards spotless. And really, there’s something kind of zen about the cleaning process.

  15. I’m using a laser mouse too so I can’t really relate.

    Although I do remember a ball mouse I had once, I think I still have it lying around somewhere…and it’s very dirty. D:

  16. What in the world, do they even make ball style mice anymore? Next I want to hear how to clean dirt clods out of my wagon wheel spokes. :P

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