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How To Clean Laptop Touchpad Buttons (Step By Step Guide)

Your laptop’s touchpad plays a vital role in controlling your laptop day-to-day; with so much use, it is bound to get dirty and need cleaning at times. To learn how to clean laptop touchpads, follow our guide down below.

What You’ll Need 

  • A soft dry cloth 
  • A soft damp cloth 
  • Cotton swabs 
  • 50 percent Isopropyl alcohol solution (optional) 
  • Window or glass cleaner (optional) 
  • Water  

Step By Step Instructions

Need to know how to clean your laptop touchpad? Follow these easy steps to get it ready to go in no time. 

  1. 1
    Shut down your laptop and unplug it from the wall. Then, try removing the battery according to manual instructions if allowed in the product warranty. This will prevent you from getting shocked or hurt while cleaning.
  2. 2
    Using the damp cloth, wring it out away from your laptop and rub the touchpad lightly. If the dirty spot is small, you can use a cotton swab instead. Dry the touchpad with a cloth.
  3. 3
    If the above step is not adequate, dip the damp cloth or a cotton swab in a one-to-one solution of isopropyl alcohol and water. Before cleaning, confirm if your manufacturer allows chemicals to clean this part in case of damage or voiding the warranty. Next, rub the cloth or swab gently on the touchpad and wipe dry with the dry cloth. 
  4. 4
    A window or glass cleaner can work if you do not have the isopropyl alcohol. Gently dip the damp cloth or swab into the cleaner, rub it gently on the touchpad, and wipe with the dry cloth. 
  5. 5
    Once your touchpad is clean, replace your battery, plug in your machine, and turn it on to confirm everything works. 

You can use these methods as a guide on how to clean laptop touchpad buttons as well. 

person using laptop touchpad

4 Things To Avoid When Cleaning A Touchpad

Do Not Directly Pour Any Water or Cleaning Agents On Your Laptop

Electronics are not meant to encounter water, particularly the internal parts. Therefore, to avoid spilling and potentially damaging your laptop, we recommend not spilling or spraying any liquids over or onto it. This may cause internal water damage which is difficult to repair.

Do Not Wring The Damp Cloth Near Your Laptop 

Like above, wringing a wet cloth near your laptop could cause water to seep through the cracks. Make sure to keep a safe distance between your laptop and any liquids in open containers or wringing stations. 

Do Not Rub Your Touchpad Too Hard While You’re Cleaning 

A laptop touchpad is very sensitive and needs to be treated with care, even when cleaning. For example, rubbing or pushing down too hard on it could damage the touchpad and cause function issues. 

Do Not Use Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Materials  

Some manufacturers, such as Apple, do not recommend using anything other than water and a mild cleaning detergent to clean laptop touchpads.

This is because some materials that the touchpad can be made of, such as ABS plastic, may react poorly to the cleaner. We recommend only using soft cloths and checking the manual and warranty for cleaning details.

person using a laptop touchpad

How Often Should You Clean Your Laptop Touchpad?

Part of knowing how to clean touchpads of laptops is understanding how often to clean them. Keeping your touchpad clean regularly keeps it in top working condition and prevents you from getting oil or sticky substances on your fingers from a previous session.  

Aside from wiping up any spills or food debris as they happen, you do not want to clean a touchpad too often as it can erode over time. Instead, we recommend cleaning it using our tips above every few months to keep it disinfected. 

While you're cleaning the touchpad, you may want to clean the USB-C port, as well as clean any fingerprints off the screen.

Cleaning Laptop Touchpad FAQs

Why does my touchpad lag? 

If cleaning any dirt off using our above instructions does not work, you may have an issue with corrupted touchpad drivers. Try running a troubleshooter and following those instructions.

If that does not work, try updating your touchpad’s drivers to see if that helps. Should you still be unsuccessful, you may want to have it looked over by a local professional.

Why is my touchpad sticky? 

A touchpad is most often sticky thanks to a spill or some food film on our fingertips as we use it. Cleaning your touchpad using our handy guide above should get rid of the problem. 

Can you clean under a laptop touchpad? 

It may be possible to clean underneath your touchpad for some models, but it will require taking the laptop apart and using a can of compressed airCheck your product manual for details on taking your PC apart and knowing how to clean under your laptop touchpad. 

Related: Cleaning Inside A Laptop: Complete Guide


Knowing how to clean laptop keyboards and touchpads is the first step; next, it's time to get to work. We hope this guide has helped you keep your laptop touchpad clean and ready to use for years to come. If you are looking for more laptop maintenance tips, you can find them over on our website.

Related: Top Maintenance Tips For Gaming Laptops