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Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Top Tips: How to clean Apple’s Mighty Mouse scroll ball

Apple's Mighty Mouse

This Mighty Mouse works fine (for the time being)

When it’s working, the Mighty Mouse is a clever, well designed and tidy desktop companion that through thick and thin seems to work with you… And then it all goes wrong. When it’s not working it’s the world’s worst designed and most frustrating computer peripheral out there and you’re more or less left thinking: “INSERT SWEAR WORDS HERE.”

Rest assured. I’ve been there and everyone else who uses the Mighty Mouse has been or will be in this situation very soon. There’s no quick-release logical way of opening the mouse so as far as I can see this as a massive design flaw. I wouldn’t advise you to try and open it because, trust me, I’ve sat here with a knife or flathead screwdriver ready to blow the thing wide open many times but then noticed how much a new Mighty Mouse would cost. It’s bound to go wrong, isn’t it?

Anyway, here are my Top 10 solutions of cleaning the blasted thing out without using a hammer:

One. With an alcohol cleanser and a soft, lint-free cloth: Turn the mouse upside-down and rub the lightly damp cloth against the track ball. Try doing this once a week as a bit of maintenance to avoid it ceasing up in the future.

Two. Turn the mouse upside-down and roll the ball on a piece of white paper. Press lightly but firmly to begin with rolling it in circles, up, down, left, right, zig-zags, recite the alphabet… whatever works. You should start see a trail of gunk or fluff fall out or smear on the paper (mine sometimes takes 2-3 minutes or up to Y if scrolling the alphabet). I don’t recommend it, but I gradually press harder and as I’m usually quite frustrated at this time I possibly tend to press harder that is actually good for it so please be careful. Repeat tip number 1 to keep it clean.

Three. Use a piece of paper and with the corner, slide in in-between the ball and inside the mouse. A slightly thicker paper seems to work best and slide any gunk or fluff from the edges of the track ball. Try tips number 2 and 1 after you do this as it may have dislodged anything that was stuck inside.

Four. Use a medium to hard toothbrush (not your partner’s!) and gently press it down the sides, rolling it around the sides and lifting any fluff out. This has been a revelation if the above tips don’t work. Try tips number 2 and 1 again because you may have moved flecks of dirt trapped inside.

That’s it! Thanks for reading.

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