How To Safely Clean a Trackball

Dear Computer Lady;

My trackball mouse was becoming unresponsive so I cleaned the ball with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. It works much better now. My question is, will that do damage to it in the long run?

If it will, is there a safer cleaner that I could use?

I love trackball mice but they aren’t made anymore, as far as I can tell. I want to keep this one going as long as I can.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Sincerely, Bruce

Dear Bruce,

Rubbing alcohol should be safe for your trackball. What you are really cleaning are the rollers that are under the trackball.

It is possible that over time, the alcohol could dry out the plastic rollers, so if you want to extend the life of your device even further, you could clean it with a mixture of half white vinegar and half distilled water.


It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
…. Share your experience in the comments box below.

Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
Connect with

Previous Post

How To Enlarge a Digital Picture

Next Post

Should I Use Google Chrome


    • rockytopp
    • November 11, 2012

    just like Bruce, I cannot do without my trackball mouse. I never have enough room on my desk to push the other kind all around. But I just wanted Bruce to know that he is mistaken about the availability. Just go to Google and type in Where can I buy a trackball mouse and he will find they are not at all scarce and not really expensive. Walmart carries them on line for around $25 with Free shipping for pickup at the store. They also have them on and Best Buy. just to name a few.

    • chrsshif
    • November 12, 2012

    I have cleaned regular mice and trackballs with both of these solutions and they work well. On newer mice a little windex on a paper towel can clean the window over the laser, Logitech still makes trackballs and they are optical but a dry q-tip will clean the buildup off of the standoffs that hold the ball in the right position.

Comments are closed.