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Not much is more annoying than a mouse that won’t mouse. You want it to go one place and it wants to go somewhere else. Or, it’ll mouse the right direction but stops long before it gets to the right destination!

You’ve tried shaking it. You’ve pounded it on your desktop. You’ve probably called it some not-so-nice names. You may even have thrown it at the wall. Nothing makes it work. Assuming you have not completely destroyed the poor critter with your temper, maybe a good cleaning will bring the darn thing back to life.

First, shut your computer down and disconnect the mouse. Don’t try doing this without at least shutting down the computer. You never know what you might accidentally mouse on if you don’t. I know of one person that deleted some very important documents while trying to clean her mouse. We don’t want that to happen!

Now that you have the mouse free off the computer, flip it on its back. Twist the cover for the roller ball and remove it. Drop out the rubber ball.

Looking inside the mouse, you’ll see two metal rollers and a plastic roller. Each one of these rollers needs cleaning. With a clean, dry cloth, work each roller around rubbing off any debris or streaks. Check the areas where the rollers connect to the body of the mouse. If any lint or debris is lodged there, clean it out. This may require tweezers.

Now, rub the mouse ball clean, too. Don’t use any solvents on the mouse ball, as these will destroy the rubber. Replace the mouse ball and cap and plug the mouse back into the computer. Never plug a PS/2 type mouse into a computer that’s already booted up.

To keep your mouse functioning at its best, clean it at least once a month. Make a habit of keeping your mousepad clean, too. Each day, pick it up and dust it off. Polyester type mousepads make for nice, smooth mousing but they also eventually begin to shed lint. This lint will get tangled up in the rollers of your mouse and may shorten its life.

Keeping your mousepad and mouse clean will lengthen the life of your mouse and save you money. It’s simple and fast to do, just make it habit and you’ll save yourself a good deal of frustration.