Last Updated on November 6, 2020
If your laptop’s cursor has been acting up lately because your touchpad is dirty, then you’re probably here to find out how to clean a laptop touchpad.
The process depends on several factors and you may have to completely detach the touchpad to clean it completely. Detaching it will let you do a thorough cleaning on its edges and allow you to even clean the dust on the underside.
When cleaning your laptop’s touchpad, you should be careful so as not to damage it. This can make it perform poorly or even cause it to stop working altogether.
If all you’ll be doing is wiping the top surface then you won’t need to disassemble the computer. Otherwise, if a full cleaning is what you require, you may have to open up the bottom panel and detach the touchpad completely.
What You’ll Need
To clean the touchpad, you will need a little bit of water, rubbing alcohol, and a cloth depending on the extent of the dirt.
At the same time, you may also need a soft brush if you intend to completely remove the touchpad and do a thorough cleaning of its enclosure.
The cloth you use should not bee too fibrous to leave any residue behind and just to be on the safe side, do not use too much water either as if it seeps through the touchpad’s edges into the laptop’s case, it may damage the internals.
Before you get ahead with the cleaning process, there are a few things you will need to do. First, you should know the extent to which you want to clean out the touchpad.
For a simple wipe-down, you may not even need to switch off your computer. However, before handling the pad with fluids like rubbing alcohol or water, it is best to power down your laptop just to be on the safe side.
So, you should switch it off and disconnect it from any outlet if it’s connected.
Once all the tools you’ll need for the cleaning process are gathered, you can then proceed to clean the touchpad.
The best part about doing this yourself is it saves you time and money and you can do it with some easily available materials.
How to Clean A Laptop Touchpad
Now that the laptop is off and you have everything, you’ll need to clean it, it’s time to get to work.
To remove dust, you can use a dry cloth to wipe out some of the dust particles off the touchpad’s surface.
The cloth should be soft so as not to leave any micro-scratches on the surface that will affect the look of the touchpad afterward.
After this is done, you can proceed to dampen the cloth with some water for the next step.
Because a lot of the dust will be removed with the first wipe, this will be useful to remove any stubborn dust sediments that didn’t come off with the first wipe.
Using the damp cloth, you can wipe the surface of the touchpad making sure to reach each part. Do not force the cloth into the seams of the touchpad’s edges as this can dislocate the touchpad and consequently cause some serious damage.
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Removing Oils and Grease
Unlike dust, oils and grease are much harder to remove from a surface using just water and a cloth wipe.
You may not know this, but the skin does have some oils, and using the touchpad can result in a buildup of these substances on its surface over time. You may see this as an irregular sheen on the surface after some time of use.
You’ll need to use some rubbing alcohol like isopropyl for this. The alcohol is a great solvent for oils and grease and will help in removing these stubborn substances from the surface of the touchpad.
Dab a little of the alcohol in the cloth, just enough to make it damp and any excess can be rubbed off on a dry part of the cloth or another dry piece of cloth.
From here, you can proceed to wipe the surface of the trackpad generously and repeat if need be until the grease has been removed.
For a more thorough full cleaning, you will need to disassemble the computer a bit to get to the bottom part of the touchpad.
This is where things get a little tricky because not only can you void your warranty, you can cause serious damage to the laptop if you aren’t careful with what you’re doing.
Regardless, once disassembled, you can use some rubbing alcohol to clean the bottom side of the touch pad.
The area of the case enclosing the touchpad can be scrubbed by a soft brush to remove any debris as long as it doesn’t affect any electrical components.
After this, you can reassemble the computer and see if everything is working as expected.
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While switching off the computer is the first step, keep in mind that the touchpad is delicate when cleaning it.
Rubbing or pressing too hard on it can cause damages and defeat the purpose of cleaning it in the first place.
Also, the touchpad can exhibit some uneven shine that isn’t grease or oil residue. The surface may be worn over long use and hence cleaning it thoroughly may not improve it.
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The touchpad is prone to gathering a lot of dirt and residues over time. Luckily, as you now know how to clean a laptop touchpad, you can counter this by cleaning it regularly.
By keeping this clean, you can keep using the laptop’s touchpad normally for a long time without experiencing issues like poor responsiveness and other faults.
While there are some risks associated with the cleaning endeavor, exercising your due diligence will ensure that you don’t end up breaking a part that will cost you a good amount to replace.
All this can be done with basic supplies.