How To Clean Your Mighty Mouse

mightymouse-20081120.jpg

Flickr user raneko had a mucky Mighty Mouse, and decided to take it to pieces and clean it. This wasn’t something Apple intended to happen, so it’s quite an involved process – you can follow raneko’s progress from this photo in his Apple set (which has a bunch of other great Apple pics in it).

(Photo used under Creative Commons license. Thanks to raneko.)

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  • Johnny Sousa

    YES! I had taken my mighty mouse into apple, cause the scroll ball wouldn’t work. The “Genius” had it turned up side down pressing hard on the scroll ball and rolling it around. He did get it working again.
    Over the next few months, I would have to do this every week or two. Then it just got to the point were the scroll ball wouldn’t work. Very frustrating!
    So I decided, I’m going to take this thing apart and fix it, or be buying a new one.
    If you look at the pics, it’s the magnetic wheels that get dirty. There was so much stuff on them. I got them cleaned and attempted to put it back together, which was not easy. Also there is a plastic frame around the bottom of the mouse, which is there to let Apple know if you took it apart or not. I opted not to put it back on assuming I may have to do this again, plus you’d have to super glue it.
    But I have to say it WORKS GREAT NOW! Almost better than when it was brand new. And it’s been a solid month with no problems, so try taking it apart and cleaning it before going to buy a new one. AT YOUR OWN RISK!

  • Julien

    nice photos, however I strongly discourage of doing this to clean the trackball…
    chances are you will break something in the process and you will void your guarantee…
    a better solution, in my opinion, is using a damp towel (NOT WET) and keeping the mighty mouse upside down and rubbing the trackball over that towel in a circular movement for a couple of swirls. After that you use the clean and dry portion of the towel to make sure no residual liquid is left on the trackball.
    so… no disassembling needed, and therefore much faster and safer!

    hope this helps!

    cya,
    Julien

  • Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira

    Maybe the BIGGEST Apple design flop!
    It is Difficult to clean and gets dirty easily!

    The second [because I was stupid enough in NOT cleaning both] FLOP is iMac combo-Drive.
    Bugger!

  • Joe

    Problem: scroll wheel/ball of the Mighty Mouse doesn’t scroll well. I’ve found that if I turn the mouse upside down on a piece of clean copy paper and orient it so that the scroll ball is pressed down, I can then swipe the mouse in all directions fast. Looks weird on the screen, but when I turn the mouse rightside up, scrolling works perfectly.

    Just my experience…however, I really like the Mighty Mouse.

  • angus Shangus

    The track ball on my mighty mouse gets gunked up too sometimes. A damp paper towel pressed firmly against the ball while rotating it has helped but not entirely. this is a major design flaw with an otherwise good product. Apple should have made it easier to clean this thing!

  • owen-b

    Good link but not really news, this. If you Google for cleaning a Mighty Mouse there are at least two other people with photos demonstrating how they prised their MM apart to clean it, that have been around for aaaaages.

    Julien: you’re right, that’s an easy way to solve an early build-up of gunk, but it’s not a solution that will work on the toughest build-ups. It’s solved my MM trackball problem several times but currently my trackball won’t go up and no amount of that cleaning method fixes it. Been like that for several months now. :(

  • willie

    I want to add a word of warning:
    STOP AND LOOK to see if your Mighty Mouse has a grey ring around the bottom edge of the cover, where it slopes down to meet the bottom piece. If it does, then your mouse will not go back together. If it doesn’t, it may or may not, I give no garuntees. Please put this in your original post, as I don’t want any other people to make the mistake I made a while back and end up using (gasp) a Dell mouse.

  • candy bowen

    TRY RUBBING ALCOHOL.
    Thanks for the pictures of the inside of this thing! I noticed that after I put hand lotion on, my trackball would stop working properly. I put a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, turned the mouse upside down and rolled the ball around in different directions to clean the ball off. Worked like a charm. Now I keep some rubbing alcohol handy and wipe my finger with it before I use the mouse. It helps it to stay cleaner longer. Now if anybody can give me any tips on how to extend the life of the mouse’s batteries, I would be even happier… I just LOVE this wireless mouse!!!!

  • Crolls

    They really should fix this. The only complaint I have with Apple is their lack of decent mice. I’d rather have no wheel at all than to have one that doesn’t work.

  • Jesse Suter

    Rubbing upside-down on paper worked great for me, thanks Julien!

  • Gordon Sapsed

    In ‘Radiospares’ shops such as Maplin (in the UK) or Radio Shack you can buy ‘Switch Cleaning Lubricant’ – it comes in a spray can a bit like WD40.
    I applied some to my Mighty Mouse which had stopped ‘scrolling’ :
    I held my Mighty Mouse upside down and squirted Switch Lubricant into it before ( still with the mouse upside down) rubbing the mouse firmly in all directions and then repeating the process with a dry wipe to remove the surplus lubricant. I waited five minutes before plugging it into the computer again.
    It now works perfectly again.
    ‘Switch Lubricant’ can be used on all kinds of switches , contacts, relays and so forth – which must have the power disconnected at the time. It evaporates in about 3-4 minutes in normal use.
    The brand I used is called ‘Servisol’ :
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/search

  • Gordon Sapsed

    I perhaps didn’t make clear that I sprayed the Switch Lubricant from underneath onto the ball and not into the electronics !
    The lubricant probably didn’t get near the electronics – although because it evaporates it really wouldn’t do much harm.

  • Robert Webster

    Running the mouse upside down very fast for 15-20 seconds work REALLY good for me too. Thanks.

  • Robert Webster

    What I meant to say is running the mouse upside down on a piece of white copy paper for 15-20 seconds worked REALLY good. Thanks

  • Andrew

    My trackball had been out of commission for months. I tried the rubbing alcohol and the damp towel to no avail, and I was THIS CLOSE to taking my mouse apart/wrecking it/buying a new one until I found this article. The paper thing works flawlessly! Thanks, man!

  • Umair

    Success!!!! Running the mouse upside down on white copy paper. Apple should really start listening to consumer issues.

  • John

    Cheers Andrew! Running the mouse upside down really does work – nice simple solution!

  • Alex Polillo

    copy paper trick worked like a charm! Thanks a lot! That trackball not working has been annoying me for days!

  • Tom

    I’m amazed… going along with comment, using paper really works… I don’t get it! I highly recommend using paper before taking it apart.

    (I really don’t get how that works?!)

  • MisterRon

    How do you like that…the paper trick worked for me too!

    Thanks!

  • Melissa

    I tried the paper trick but it really didn’t work too well. Perhaps some would gasp in horror but I use my Pond’s facial cleansing cloths. Better than breaking the poor thing apart me thinks!

  • Judd

    I clean my trackball every few weeks with damp cloth (which works fine) but recently I have noticed that the button sticks a bit….so, when I press down there is some initial resistance like it is stuck inside….no idea how this happened but it is really annoying after a while. Anyone else had this?

  • Jonas Le Malfra

    It works like a charm, it had the same effect on me as my first concert of Samantha Fox. But seriously there is something wrong with this mice…I have been using a cheap 12$ logitech for 7 glorious years, on my pc ,on my mac…I never had to clean the scroll ball, never failed on me not once…. and this mighty mouse is playing games with me. I can’t sleep at night….still I can roll the scroll ball very hard against a piece of paper…common apple I look so odd at work.

  • George

    Loving the paper trick! Thanks.

  • Joseph Krygier

    Copy paper worked for me after second try. Turned upside and moved briskly for 20-30 seconds. Looks like a tiny piece of dust/lint fell out. Plus gave it a good Lauren Bacall to Bogey-”you know how to whistle Steve, just put your lips together, pucker and blow.”

  • Jackie

    Very fast upside down on paper, in every direction, for 30 seconds. Then, blow on the scroll ball. This worked well.

  • Oscar

    Paper trick works great! I have tried Apple’s suggestion (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT… and it worked fine a couple of times. Months after I did it last time my MM was not scrolling well in one direction. I was seriously considering taking it apart, that’s how I got to this page. I found the paper trick and it just made my day. “Joe” rules!

  • besnik qemaj

    i hear a lot of good feedback but wheres the instructions as i cant see anything in here

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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