How to Remove Deteriorating Rubber from a Mouse


The other day my mum called and asked if I had a spare mouse for her computer as her old one had kicked the bucket. I remembered I had an old Logitech MX Revolution wireless mouse sitting in a box somewhere so went searching. I finally found it but boy was it nasty! The rubber panels on it had started deteriorating and it was disgustingly sticky!

It turns out this is a pretty common issue. The rubber used on peripherals made by Microsoft, Logitech, Thermaltake and other companies tends to deteriorate with time, especially if they’re not actively being used. This was a pretty severe case given the rubber had become sticky and gross. More commonly, the rubber tends to develop a “skin” on it that is easily scratched with the fingernail and leaves a black residue. I have this happening with my Logitech G15 keyboard wrist rest.

Logitech Keyboard Rubber Deteriorating
Don’t worry, it looks like crap but at least it’s clean! (Dettol clean!)

Cleaning the Rubber off

The first thing I did was stupidly grab a paper towel and try to rub it off. Stupidly because the paper towel instantly stuck to the rubber and tore to bits leaving me with an even uglier situation than before. I actually considered giving the mouse to mum in this state. The paper towel had completely covered the sticky parts and the mouse was smooth again!

Common decency prevailed however and I continued searching for a way to remove the sticky gunk. Wet paper towels didn’t work. Nor did baby wet wipes or a damp cloth. A quick Google search also had me scouring the house for rubbing alcohol I knew we didn’t have. After cursing myself for not saving any KFC Wet Wipes, I searched under our bathroom sink and found the solution to my problems!

Nail Polish Remover!
Sometimes a bloke just has be himself!

Of course! Nail polish remover!*

I grabbed the paper towels, dabbed on some of the headache inducing, magical juice and rubbed at the side of the mouse. It came off!

After a few more dabs and 10 more minutes of thorough scrubbing, it was perfectly smooth. Here’s the end result. (Naturally I didn’t think to take a photo before doing all of this to show you a before and after..):

Logitech Mouse Rubber Clean
A bit streaky but totally good as new! No more grossness!

You can see some clear rubbing marks but it really does feel as good as new. The mouse is now enjoying a second, more subdued life at my parents house.

I’m glad I made the effort to find a solution because the next attempt would have been with vodka and I did not want to waste my stash! The other, more severe, option provided online was to actually cut away the rubber with a super sharp knife. Absolutely ridiculous in my opinion!

The craziest advice that I found online was from Microsoft themselves. Apparently if the rubber has deteriorated enough to get sticky, it’s time to buy a new mouse. Can you believe that? What a joke!

Next up I intend on giving my keyboard a makeover with the nail polish remover. I’d say it’s worth having a look at your own peripherals, including webcams, to see if they’re suffering the same fate as my old mouse. And definitely worth a look if you have any of this stuff in storage like I did!

*Disclaimer: Not my nail polish remover

4 thoughts on “How to Remove Deteriorating Rubber from a Mouse

  1. Rubber parts are done on purpose by manufacturers. They serve as a convenient and well-calculated way to age peripherals.
    Greedy bastards deserve class-action lawsuits for this anti-consumer conspiracy!

    1. You’re not wrong mate! I’m typing this on the Logitech keyboard I mentioned in the article. The keyboard itself is still going strong after over 11 years but the rubber lining it’s built into is getting worse every day.

      I refuse to replace it on principle!

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