We touch our mice and keyboards daily for work and personal use. Imagine all the dirt, oils, and sweat deposited on them.
The desk mat can get as dirty as our arms as we lay our associates on the desk mats all day to type. So, how to clean the desk mat?
Should you scrub it away with soap and water? Or does it require a more delicate approach?
Generally to clean desk mats, wash using hands or washing machine. Equipment like microfiber cloth, gentle brushes, and products like a mild cleaner, dish soap, and detergent can also clean the desk mat.
This article will provide a complete guide on cleaning different types of desk mats with the correct products.
Table of Contents Show
- Why Should you Clean a Desk Mat?
- Can You Wash a Desk Mat?
- Types of Desk Mats
- How to Clean a Desk Mat Properly?
- How Often to Clean a Desk Mat?
- Tips to Keep Desk Mats Clean
- FAQs About Cleaning Desk Mat
- Final Verdict
Why Should you Clean a Desk Mat?
Desk mats suffer wear and tear due to the frequent movement of mice and our arms over them.
Over time, it collects dirt, dust, sweat, and germs from our hands. Some of us also have a habit of eating and drinking as we work.
We place our coffee mugs and drinks on our desks and desk mats. So, over time the desk mat also stains and collects food crumbs and liquid spillage stains.
Your desk mat might look clean but try this on your desk mat to see how dirty it is.
Scratch your desk mat lightly with your nails; if you see a discolored stain where you scratched, your desk mat has collected dirt and dust over time.
A dirty desk mat can make it difficult to move your mouse smoothly across the desk pad, reducing mouse speed and accuracy.
You might also notice some friction in your hands when you type, keeping your hands over the desk mat.
Our hands can transfer germs and bacteria to the desk mat, dirt, and oils.
According to Dr. Charles P. Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, a desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Therefore, you should always keep your desk mat clean for a better typing experience and sanitation.
Related article: How to Clean White Office Chairs?
Can You Wash a Desk Mat?
You can clean desk mats by washing them using water. However, you cannot pass all desk mats as usual. For instance, RGB desk mats contain electric components, and water can damage them.
Also, you cannot wash leather and suede desk mats. You can only wipe them out. Leather can crack and wrap if the moisture remains on the leather for a long time.
Types of Desk Mats
Before you determine how to clean your desk mat, you should know its types.
Read the table below to differentiate between the two and determine the best one.
|Hard desk mat||Soft desk mat|
|Hard mats can be plastic or metal and have no cushioning||Soft desk mats have a softer feel with fabric cushioned by rubber.|
|They are mainly used for their look and durability.||They are mainly used for the ergonomic benefits; of wrist and hand support.|
|They are easier to clean||They are difficult to clean|
|Gamers prefer hard desk mats due to the smoothness of the surface||Due to their softness, soft desk pads can cause friction and slow down the gameplay.|
|Materials: Plastic, metal, vinyl, glass||Materials: Leather, Suede, Fabric|
How to Clean a Desk Mat Properly?
Desk mats have different materials and features, so additional equipment and cleaning methods are required for different types of desk mats.
1. Cleaning Soft Desk Mats (Except Leather and Suede)
You can wash soft desk mats like cloth and felt desk mats by hand or with a washing machine.
Cleaning Soft Desk Mats by Hand Using a Detergent
You can wash soft desk mats except for leather and suede by hand, like washing rugs or clothes.
However, they do require a gentle to mild detergent or cleaner.
Follow the steps below to clean the desk mat using detergent.
- Fill a tub or sink with cold or warm water.
- Be careful not to add hot water as it damages the fibers of the desk mat.
- Add mild detergent to the water.
- Dip the mat in the water and gently scrub the dirt with a soft brush.
- If your desk mat is stained, you might need to soak it before scrubbing.
- Rinse well and leave to dry. The desk mat will dry in about 24 hours.
Note: Make sure you use gentle scrubbing while cleaning.
Cleaning Soft Desk Mats by Hand Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can scrub the dirt off the desk mat.
According to the research, baking soda works comparable to a commercial cleaner for polyester and works well on cotton for cleaning and stain removal.
Follow the steps below to clean the desk mat using baking soda.
- Use the lint roller to roll off any loose fabric.
- Fill a tub or sink with warm water.
- Add one to two tablespoons of baking soda and soak the desk mat.
- Let it soak for about 20 minutes. Change the water a few times.
- Rinse the desk mat. Use a clean towel to wipe the desk mat.
- Use the lint brush again.
Cleaning Soft Desk Mats by Hand Using Dish Soap
Dish soaps work great in removing the layer of dirt and grime accumulated within the fiber strands.
Follow the steps below to clean a desk mat using dish soap.
- Wet the desk mat and the sponge with warm water.
- Put a little dish soap on the sponge and wipe the desk mat.
- Rinse away until the soap is gone.
- Repeat if there are spots. Place the desk mat on a dry cloth to dry.
Cleaning Soft Desk Mats by Machine
You can clean your soft desk mats in a washing machine. However, make sure to use cold water as the heat and friction can harm the rubber backing of the carpet.
You can clean all cloth desk mats in a washing machine. The washing machine is incredibly safe for desk mats with stitched edges as the stitch won’t lose quickly.