How to: Cleaning your Apple Mighty Mouse

Cleaning your Mighty Mouse

Be sure to read Nu Tron’s excellent how-to update… it’s the 3rd comment.

If you’re an Apple nut like me, you’re probably an owner of the Mighty Mouse. Heck, I ran to the Apple store the day it was released, got myself one and did an early video review of it! So now after months of using it, is it still working great for the rest of you? Perhaps it’s time for a tune up… more specifically, a good cleaning.

Shirster wanted to do exactly that (she owns three Mighty Mice for the love of gawd!), but found that Apple’s support site simply said to use a wiping cloth to clean it. Google for help and you might get mightymousecleaning.com, which won’t help much either (just take a look). Not taking this well, she did what most of us geeks love to do: Crack it open. Note that compared to regular mice, the Mighty Mouse is a complex controller with multiple buttons, sensors and even a built-in speaker!

This is what she had to say:
I LOVE the mighty mouse. But that scroll ball gets stuck all the time (I use it alot) and it really annoys me. The article on Apple’s web site didn’t help either so I decided to perform a major clean up. On October 28th, with the help from doggie, I torn it apart and cleaned it inside out…

In a series of step-by-step photos, she and her friend shows us how they opened it and performed the cleansing process. While plenty of bloggers have shown us how to crack it open, Shirster shows us where the dirt accumulates (e.g. look around the scroll ball).

UPDATE: I submitted her article to Digg, so let’s see how popular she’ll get…

  • Mgeg76

    Hi guys,

    Read below if your third button doesn’t work after tipping in alcohol or other solution..

    I have had the same problems with my mighty mouse. I tried rolling it around on paper (works 50%) of the time, sticky tape (bad idea), alcohol solution as well as other techniques.

    After the alcohol solution, the trackball still didn’t work and only the third mouse button worked. So now I had two problems…grrrr!

    I decided that I had to crack it open and broke open the mouse as instructed above.

    I disconnected the two cables leading from the finger button sensor and the trackball. Unscrewed the three screws under the top of the mouse.

    I carefully removed the white cover covering the track ball and removed the trackball and associated roller magnets (4 x colored white and black). I cleaned the roller ball and the magnet rollers and then put it back together. I now found that the scroll ball worked perfectly but the third button was still having problems.

    I didn’t give up as I had nothing to lose. I again removed the trackball and this time carefully removed the components housed underneath the track ball by carefully prying against the edges of the housing until it popped up. I saw that there was a square of grey rubber covering the circuitry. I carefully removed the grey cover and found that the circuit board and grey rubber was wet on the underside. I then carefully dried the circuitry and the rubber insulation and put everything back together.

    Mouse now works perfectly…just like it did when it was new!!!

    Be careful with handling the circuitry otherwise you could end up with no mouse…

    Hope this helps those with the third mouse button problem!!!

    Cheers,

    Matt

  • http://www.linux-shells.co.uk Martin Sanders

    I was actually going to purchase a mighty mouse in a few days, but now i’m not so sure.

    Do I want to buy a product with such a design flaw that means every couple of months i’ll have to crack it open, or use an alcohol liquid to clean the ball?

    Why does Steve Jobs allow his company to sell something which is clearly not fit for purpose?

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

    • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

      The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

  • http://www.sekaiscaping.com/ Nanjenchan

    Nu Tron

    Thank you very much!! The isopropyl method worked!!!
    Unfortunately, now my scroll is working, but the third button stopped working… ¬¬ (but it happens sometimes, normally it works again magically….).
    I was almost buying another mouse in ebay, and it`s very expensive here.
    My tackball was completely stuck for months, I tried all the other methods, rubing vigorously, rubing vigorously upside down, rubing vigorously and pressing, I was almost using the desperate “crack open” method.

    I used SIX soaked cotton swaps.

    The isopropyl methor worked, I used six heavily soaked cotton swaps, it means, twelve sides! The tackball was outrageously dirty.

    From now on, I will clean my hand surgically before using the mouse. oO

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • myalbino

    My 3rd mouse button had seized as well after using isopropyl. I read here that isopropyl kills it so since I had nothing to loose, I decided to get drastic. I disconected the mouse then holding the mouse the right way up, not upside down, I poured enough isopropyl through the trackball openning so it actually dripped from below. I then moved the trackball around with my hand. A nice chunk of dirt came out. I then turned the mouse upside down and ran the trackball on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The bumps seem to help. To make sure is is dry, I would whack the mouse sideways several times to make sure all fluid moves out then leave for an hour or so to dry occasionally checking the trackball for fluid by spinning it.

    My 3rd button has been back for the last 24 hours so I guess it worked.

  • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

    The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

    The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

    The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

    The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

    The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • http://www.AuPairss.co.uk/ Bebelushu

    The easiest way so far is to change the mighty mouse with a normal mouse with a normal wheel scroll. It works perfectly. At least i'll use it until Apple is going to improve this stupid scroll ball.

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??

  • Will

    I had ball that didn't scroll in one direction. Didn't want to take mouse apart, or use liquid, so I used canned air, squirted through the mouse ball opening. Worked!
    But, what happens when the MM needs a new battery??