My current apple mouse works fine for moving, clicking and scrolling down. The scrolling functionality with the tiny ball on top is not working while going down. I had the same issue back in 2008 at a different company with a similar mouse. Does anyone know how I can clean the mouse?


I have also suffered with the "Dirty Mouse Ball" problem with the Mighty Mouse. To get it working again, I would hold it upside-down and spin the ball quickly in many directions.

This worked the first few times, but later, I found it was not doing the job. I then started using a barely damp microfiber cloth while holding it upside down and rolling the little ball around as much as possible. This seemed to work a little better.

Eventually, I found myself having to clean the thing multiple times a week and got tired of it. I replaced it with a Logitech mouse and then later the Magic Mouse and Track pad and I don't miss the little ball at all.

Ultimately, I suggest that you just replace the Might Mouse, even if you have to go with a non-Apple product. Otherwise, I think you will find yourself spending more time fighting the ball than using it.


My favorite movie on Apple’s support site is this gem on cleaning mouse balls! I also like using a clean white piece of paper to roll the mouse upside down on it. Do use the grey cloth if you'd rather not see what comes out.

The general cleaning info is nice too.

  • And I've never been refused or asked to pay for an exchange in warranty by Apple if light cleaning doesn't drastically make the action better. – bmike May 6 '11 at 16:06

I'm assuming this the Apple Mighty Mouse - a nice mouse to use until it gets dirty. I had several before I move them all to the Magic Mouse.

Anyway, easiest way I found to clean them was to turn it upside down and put a sheet of paper on the table. With a light pressure, move the mouse all around the paper sheet for about 30 seconds - this seems to shift some of the finer bits of dirt out of the ball area.

For more serious bits of dirt that may be lodged or a longer lasting solution, you'll have to open it up - it's a bit tricky but there are guides out there - google for them - personally - I'd just upgrade to a better mouse.

If you do have AppleCare with the Mac you got the mouse with - Apple should fix/replace it for you.

  • "Google It" is not an accepted answer on this network. It would be great if you could pick one you like (iFixIt perhaps?) and link explicitly to it. – Jason Salaz May 6 '11 at 21:31

Here's a video of the process.


It is not difficult to disassemble and clean the 'finger crud' from the mouse if you can deal with some small parts. If it's not working you can't make it much worse and the first time you do it could take from 30 to 60 minutes. Break the ring bezel (just below the side buttons) loose by wedging a knife blade between it and the top. Towards the rear of the mouse you will see the pivot pins on each side. Prying near one of these will separate the top from the bottom. The 2 ribbon cables can be freed by prying up both sides of the black locks. Remove the 3 screws that retain the ball cage. At this point you may want to take a picture of how the 4 magnet shafts are laid out in the cage to aid in reassembly. An old toothbrush and some rubbing alcohol will clean the crud from the ball cage and magnet shafts and ball. Getting the shafts and ball assembly put back together with tweezers is the worst part and is not too bad. Complete the reassembly and a small piece of tape at the front and rear to hold the ring bezel to the top should leave you in good shape and not $50 poorer for having bought a new one. Nice video from DitzlerPhoto on YouTube on how it goes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jet7488UoSE

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