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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents Other Hardware
A good many mouse problems are directly caused by the accumulation of gunk (definition: dust, dirt, residue of spilt beer, all glued together by skin oils and associated fatty acids, wax esters, etc.). Certain kinds of gunk can actually create small voltage bridges on circuit boards in addition to mechanical problems. Humm, heavy metal music, nah.

So, what to do? Take 'em apart, sure. But that's not always a simple task, and who wants to pry off and then re-glue the retaining ring of a Mighty Mouse? Many suggest using alcohol which is right on (though it wont get the waxes) but cotton swabs and the like are not enough.

Try this. I've done it and it works wonders. Use ethanol with as high a proof as you can find (e.g., 190 -- the lower the proof the more water, and some of that water is free). Perhaps test the mouse shell to make sure its not coated with some funky alcohol soluble coating first. Now, if you have enough alcohol, simply submerge the mouse for a minute or so -- yup, the whole thing. Otherwise, pour the alcohol into any openings or seams and use a lot. Gently swirl the alcohol around in the mouse for a minute or so and then drain it, shake it a bit, whatever.

Compressed air, even an aquarium air source, helps dry out any remaining liquid. So does simply waving the mouse through the air for a while. Alcohol evaporates quickly. Isopropyl works too, and in fact attacks some oils a bit better, but make sure you find the 90+ percent stuff. Standard rubbing alcohol is 70%, so 30% is water. Better solvents exist, but many attack plastics.

[robg adds: I haven't tried this one, but it sounds intriguing. I've been using a toothbrush on my Mighty Mouse's roller ball, and that's been working quite well. What are your favorite mouse cleaning techniques? And if anyone else has used this method, please post your experiences.]
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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: rootryan on Apr 23, '07 08:52:41AM

I saw something some time ago that works for me. I take a thin piece of tape and run it under the ball. Then pull the tape back and forth. If it's bad, I do this a couple times. It works for me, and lasts a while.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: Anklosaur on Apr 23, '07 09:54:43AM

Ya know, I've seen this and many swear by it, but I'll be danged if I can figure out the correct technique for successfully getting tape under that ball.

I use a variation on this tip by using a soft bristle toothbrush doused liberally with 90% alcohol, then air drying.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: aegisdesign on Apr 23, '07 09:49:45AM

My favourite technique is going to the Apple store and asking for a new mouse. :)



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: JazzDude on Apr 23, '07 10:31:06AM
I found I couldn't get to all of the gunk inside the "nipple housing" from the outside so I open the mouse every six months or so and clean it properly. After you've done it for the first time, it's fairly easy and reasonably fast. You just need a small sharp knife (a scalpel will do), a small philips screwdriver and a couple of drops of superglue.
Found it here: http://web.mac.com/karelgil/iWeb/MacWebSite/MightyMEng.html

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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: tatilsever on Apr 23, '07 11:05:52AM

Rub the little ball with a Q-tip doused in some kind of alcohol solution to get the large pieces and, I guess, to break down the fat that holds all this gunk together. Then, turn Mighty Mouse upside down and rub it with an anti-static dryer sheet.

Turning upside down makes a big difference. That advice is courtesy of AppleCare phone support.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: neuralstatic on Apr 23, '07 11:35:54AM

isn't alcohol plus rubber a destructive thing?

besides the obvious jokes.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: kaw_in_stl. on Apr 23, '07 01:57:48PM

Wow, people still use trackballs? I went optical and I recommend it to everyone. No more cleaning hassles! I thought the mighty mouse was optical?



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: mm2270 on Apr 23, '07 02:32:53PM

They're talking about the little tracking ball on TOP of the mouse used for scrolling in documents, not a ball used to track movement of the mouse.

All these hints do for me is reinforce the fact that the Mighty Mouse is a poorly designed rodent yet again from Apple. Besides some of the usage gripes I have about it (try keeping fingers touching both sides of the mouse and do a alternate click- betcha can't do it without lifting one of your fingers), the little scroll ball gets gunked up and stops working so frequently, I've written off the mighty mouse until Apple comes to their senses and designs something better.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: arfore on Apr 24, '07 04:37:17AM

Yes, some of us still use trackballs. In fact I use a Logitech Marble Mouse USB, and have for several years. And not only is it a wonderfully performing trackball, it's also optical.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: edwardsx on Apr 23, '07 03:35:33PM

They are talking about the ball ON TOP of the mouse



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: dcoyle on Apr 23, '07 05:41:40PM

I've had very little trouble with the Mighty Mouse (I've got three). The one time I had a sticky ball, I had great success with getting a terry-cloth towel slightly damp with water (alcohol might be better, I don't know), putting it on my knee, turning the MM upside down and rubbing it on the towel with the ball being the main point of contact. Five seconds or so did the trick. I believe this is what Apple recommends, but they don't mention getting the towel wet. I feel that this not only aids cleaning the ball, but keeps any lint dust from getting into the mechanism



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: leamanc on Apr 23, '07 08:39:17PM

I agree. It amazes me that a company known for its incredible designs has failed so miserably with something basic like a mouse.

I can't think of a single Apple mouse that I've enjoyed using. Now, they've made some great keyboards in the past; I especially miss my Apple Extended ADB keyboard, and the keyboard on the Pismo I no longer own.

But I have nothing but bad memories of the classic Mac "square" mouse, their ergonomically painful later, rounder ADB mice, and the "hockey puck" that first shipped with the Bondi iMac.

While cool-looking, the original optical Pro Mouse was also ergonomically painful. I've only used other people's Mighty mice, but it seems like an updated version of the Pro Mouse, with finally more than one button. But even then, I believe the default on the Mighty Mouse's second button is a double-click, instead of the contextual menu, like you would expect. Easily fixed in the system pref pane, but come on Apple! Give us a real multi-button mouse that works like Windows and Linux switchers expect it too. Us long-time Mac users would like it too.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: Michael.Massing on Apr 23, '07 11:57:38PM
Mouse, shmouse, MultiTouch rules! http://www.fingerworks.com/gesture_guide_mouse.html (OK, I know this is a bit off topic. I wouldn't have bothered but for the enthusiasm for and frequent misunderstanding of Apple's having "patented" - but not invented - this very useful technology.) Best to all, M.

---
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. - Thomas Jefferson to Col. C. Yancey, 1816

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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: ianeiloart on Apr 24, '07 02:17:01AM

Just press hard on the ball, and roll it around a bit. Works nicely for me, requires no equipment, and takes almost no time. It's definitely the first thing you should try.

---
Ian Eiloart



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: strunx on Apr 24, '07 04:48:09AM

Instead of using Alcohol (that's for drinking I thought?) for cleaning any rubber part use a piece of adhesive tape and roll the mouses roller ball with slight pressure on it. It will take off most smear and debris. I also found this very useful with solid ink printers where taking off wax residue can be a real pain. Alcohol will not take off but rather spread things on rubber.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: bdkennedy1 on Apr 25, '07 08:51:15AM

I think it's absolutely rediculous to have to resort to something like that for a freakin' mouse. I went through 2 Mighty Mice and I couldn't stand it. I went back to an HP with a scroll wheel and haven't had to clean it once in 6 months.



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: wgscott on Apr 25, '07 07:03:12PM
I have a mightly mouse where none of the conventional tricks were helping. It could scroll up but not down, unless I really whaled on the thing, and then it only functioned marginally. So I figured I had nothing to lose, so I poured a bunch of 95% ethanol into the scroll ball hole and some more. It works great now. Thanks for the hint.

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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: Colonel on Apr 26, '07 01:15:54PM

I've had my share of problems with the 3 Mighty Mice I've had since they came out. I finally gave up on them altogether, but I did have some success in prolonging their lives by taking an eyedropper and putting a few teaspoons of methanol (wood alcohol; sold in auto parts stores as drygas or gas line antifreeze) into the mouse and then shaking it out and rubbing the roller ball on a clean towel. FWIW...



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: missmaris on Apr 27, '07 07:42:57AM

I've actually done something similar before!
I took a ziploc bag and poured about a 1/4 cup of alcohol in it and dumped the mouse in, give it a good shake/roll the ball, scratch at the gunky parts, and you're good after a few minutes-you can see all the crap floating around in the bag.

I once tried to use it too soon while it was sort of wet inside.. it freaked me out but now it works!



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: klok on May 22, '07 11:07:29AM

Hello, I found a very simple way to make my mighty mouse scroll ball run as smooth as a new one.

1. Use a piece of cloth soaked in alcohol to clean as much as you can.
2. Roll the mouse over a piece of glass for a minute or so.

Voila

Hope this helps



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: europizza on Jul 12, '07 06:01:09PM

I have found that if you use a baby wet wipe placed flat on your desk, unplug the mouse, turn it over and run the ball back and forth over the wet wipe a bunch of times, your mouse ball gets super clean and works like NEW. Try it!!!!!!!!



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: bcaloha on Oct 14, '07 10:13:27AM

I only had some Wet Ones around and this also works!



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: stillawake on Oct 10, '07 11:32:32AM
Hey,

I invented the tape technique. I'd recommend trying it before busting out the scalpel and operating on the little guy. Here's the link...

[link:]http://www.brendanfenn.com/cleanmouse.html

...show your appreciation by clicking on one of the ads on the page. I get about $0.50 per click. I plan on doubling up my earnings at the track once the first check comes in.
B.

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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: cubeman on Dec 29, '07 01:03:34PM

Reading these hints, I remembered a very easy to procure product. Just go to Radio Shack and pick up a can of Electronics Cleaner. It is an aerosol 5 oz. can of Isohexane, Carbon Dioxide and Ethanol. It dries very quickly. It is specially made for cleaning the gunk from electronics. Oldsters would call this TV Tuner Cleaner, recalling the days when television tuners were of metal discs on a shaft and needed dirt removed from the contacts. I squirted two shots of it into the roller ball and viola! it worked!

---
"Experience is something you gain shortly after you need it"



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: PizzaCake on Dec 07, '08 06:47:00AM

What worked for me
1. moisten scroll ball against baby wipe
2. rub scroll ball against wet and dry sandpaper (the black sandpaper)



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: DuffSurly on Dec 06, '09 10:56:58AM

So i finally found the most amazing way to clean the mighty mouse scroll wheel...."Isopropyl Alcohol" and a lint free cloth.
All you need to do is put a small amount on the lint free cloth and turn the mouse upside down and while scrolling up and down with the cloth apply some pressure and alas, it cleans it so much better than pressurized air.
Apple support told me this method over the phone with technical support.

-Duff



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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents
Authored by: kenjy on Sep 29, '12 08:28:48AM

The best solution I have found for cleaning the Mighty Mouse trackball is by putting a small amount of Windex on a paper towel and running the trackball around in the damp area for about 5 to 10 seconds. Works perfectly after this cleaning.



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