You may never have thought about how to clean a wrist rest. After all, you like to think that you keep your wrists pretty clean. in fact, your wrists may be the cleanest wrists you've ever seen. But are they really? The reality is that a wrist rest, like a mouse mat or a desk mat, can accumulate dust, dirt and other detritus.
Your skin naturally produces oil which will also transfer onto a wrist rest. And then throw in the debris that accumulates if you eat and drink at your desk, and it's pretty easy to see how a wrist rest may be hosting a whole range of things that you probably don't want.
The good news is that cleaning a wrist rest isn't difficult. At least when you know how.
How To Clean A Wrist Rest
As we mentioned earlier, keeping your wrist rest clean is important. Your hands, and the hands of anyone else who might use it, will carry germs and dirt, no matter how thoroughly you try to stay clean. So making sure you clean it every once in a while is good practice.
Some wrist rests attach to your keyboard. We'd always recommend that you detach them before cleaning, as you don't want to damage your keyboard.
The process will vary slightly depending on what type of wrist rest you are using. We'll run you through some of the most common ones below. In many cases, using a wet wipe will be enough.
While it's fine to use an anti-bacterial wipe, try to avoid anything with harsh chemicals in it, such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These can cause discolouration.
But if you need something a bit more thorough, here's what you need to do.
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How to Clean a Foam or Gel Wrist Rest
Some of the most popular wrist rests contain gel or memory foam. With this sort of product, it isn't advised that you get these wet through, as they will struggle to dry properly. This can then lead to mould growth. Which is the opposite of what we're trying to achieve here.
- Start by running a vacuum over the wrist rest to remove as much dust and debris as possible.
- Next, get some warm soapy water (you can use dish soap or laundry detergent. Some people advise applying it using a spray bottle. If you don't have a spray bottle, use a damp cloth to gently wipe and scrub the surfaces of your wrist rest.
- If you want to be really thorough, leave the solution for a few minutes, then use a cloth with clean water to remove the soapy solution.
- Get a dry cloth or towel to remove as much moisture as possible, then allow it to dry.
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How to Clean a Leather, Wood or Plastic Wrist Rests
If you have a wrist rest made from genuine leather, you don't want to use anything too harsh or abrasive, as this can damage the grain.
Fortunately, this makes cleaning a leather wrist rest very straightforward. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. If you want, you can even use a dedicated leather cleaning.
It's a similar principle for wood or plastic wrist rests. As these are hard materials, they will absorb much less dirt and dust. So wiping them down with warm soapy water or an antibacterial wipe will usually suffice. You can then let it dry naturally, or wipe it down with a dry towel.
How to Clean a Fabric Wrist Rest
Fabric wrist rests that don't have any sort of memory foam or gel inside them are simple to clean as well. With these, you can wash them in a bowl of warm soapy water. Or if you prefer, many of these will cope with being put in a washing machine.
If you do want to use a washing machine, we'd recommend a cool wash with a mild detergent, and no bleach. But it's always advisable to check any care instructions from the manufacturer.
How Often Should I Clean My Wrist Rest?
As is so often the case, there is no specific guidance for this. If you feel like it's starting to look dirty, or feels a bit tacky, then that's usually a clear sign that it could do with a clean.
If you don't eat or drink at your desk, then there is less chance that you'll notice these sorts of cues. So as a rule of thumb, cleaning your wrist rest a few times a year (with some flexibility depending on how much use your wrist rest gets) will probably be enough for most people to keep things clean.