How to Correctly Clean and Wash Your Mouse Pad

If your mouse precision and responsivity are no longer as accurate, swift, and smooth as they used to be, the problem might not stem from your mouse. What you should do instead is check the status of your mousepad — if you use one.

The cleanliness of your mousepad greatly impacts the performance of your mouse. You might be oblivious to this but your mousepad picks up dirt, debris, crumbs (of your favorite gaming snack), oil and sweat deposits from your skin, etc. The accumulation of these materials on your mousepad will, over time, result in a deterioration of mouse performance.

Clean wash mousepad

So yes, you need to occasionally clean that mousepad. But how do you go about it? Most importantly, how do you get it done correctly without damaging the mousepad? We highlight some tips in this guide. But before then, let’s walk you through some factors to put into consideration before washing your mouse pad.

Pre-Cleaning Examinations

1. Mouse Pad Material

Mousepads are made of different materials ranging from leather to fabric, glass, aluminum, synthetic rubber, plastic, and foam-like materials. Being cognizant of the material your mousepad is made of will determine the cleaning methods and equipment to adopt. If you don’t know the material your mousepad is made of, you can check the packaging (if you haven’t tossed it in the bin already, that is). Alternatively, you can do a quick Google search of your mousepad specifications or check its Amazon product page.

2. Design and Aesthetics

Clean wash mousepad

There are decorative mousepads with personalized pictures and designs debossed on their surface. These mousepads might require special cleaning or washing technique. Hard brushes and harsh cleaning liquids can ruin the design (and the mousepad). With that in mind, you should only use a soft brush or thin microfiber cloth to get dirt and stains off a decorative mousepad.

3. Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Some manufacturers make it really easy for users to wash their mousepads. You’d find cleaning directions and tips in the instruction manual that ships with most mousepads. Go through your mousepad’s manual carefully and check the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. For example, this Fellowes Photo Gel Mouse Pad, according to the manufacturer, can be cleaned by simply wiping a damp cloth over the surface. You don’t need a brush, soap, or other cleaning agents.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

How to Clean Your Mousepad, Correctly

What You Need

  • Washcloth/Soft sponge
  • Cleaning agent/Handsoap/Laundry Detergent
  • Dry towel

The Process

Step 1: Dip the mousepad in a sink and run water through it. Let the mousepad sit in the water for about a minute.

Step 2: Add a little quantity of cleaning agent (soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc.) to the water-drenched mousepad.

Note: Be careful with the quantity of cleaning agent you use. Too much soap on the mousepad can make it harder to clean.

Step 3: Gently massage and scrub the surface of the mousepad with the washcloth or soft sponge. Depending on the size and material your mousepad is made

If the soap’s lather changes to brownish color, it is an indication of dirt being expelled from the mousepad.

Step 4: Clean the mousepad for about 5 minutes and rinse in water till there’s no trace of soap left.

Step 5: Dry the mousepad by pressing a dry towel against the surface. This will help to absorb excess water trapped in the mousepad.

Step 6: Finally, air-dry the mousepad for 12-24 hours until it is completely arid. You can dry your mousepad out in the open but you shouldn’t leave it in direct sunlight for too long. Excessive sunlight might fade the mousepad’s color or ruin any delicate design present on the surface.

Aluminum and Glass mousepads are way easier to clean. All you need to do is to wipe the surface with a thin microfiber cloth. For tough stains, you can use a damp cloth and dry with a towel.

Now, let’s walk you through some other things you shouldn’t do when cleaning or washing your mousepad.

The Don’ts

  1. Avoid washing your mousepad with hot water, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Tap water is enough to get the cleaning done.
  2. Do not squeeze your mousepad after washing. In a bid to get water out of the mousepad, you might be tempted to squeeze it the same way you squeeze cloths. Don’t do that; you might ruin the pad.
  3. Unless expressly stated by the manufacturer that the mousepad is washing machine-compatible, you should only handwash your mousepad.
  4. Likewise, do not dry a mousepad with an electric dryer or drying machine.
  5. Do not submerge mousepads with RGB lightning in water. Cleaning the surface with a damp cloth and drying with a towel would suffice.
Razer Firefly V2 RGB Mouse Pad | Available on Amazon ($52.88)

How Often Should You Wash Your Mouse Pad?

There’s no fixed timeframe within which you must wash your mousepad. However, it is ideal that you clean the mousepad when you notice too many debris or physical dirt/stain that won’t come off on its surface. If your mouse’s performance and responsiveness also begin to lag, it could be an indication of a dirty mousepad.

Different Strokes

Albeit the steps in this post aims to guide you to correctly wash your soft-top and hard-top mousepad, understand that some products have their specific washing and cleaning technique. And it might be entirely different from what you’ve read here.

Therefore, we advise that you carefully peruse your mousepad’s manual for cleaning instructions. If unavailable, you can visit the manufacturer’s website or directly reach out to them for cleaning instructions. Do let us know if you’ve got questions or need any help.

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How to use HardInfo to check Linux hardware information

Need to get a detailed readout on your Linux PC? Install Hardinfo. It’s a fantastic app that can tell you everything from your PC tech specs to CPU benchmarks, Linux kernel module info, and more! Here’s how to get it running on Linux!

Install Hardinfo on Linux

Hardinfo is an incredibly detailed app that helps you find out tons of information about your Linux PC. However, it does not come pre-installed on any Linux operating systems, so we must demonstrate how to install it on your computer before continuing with the guide.

The installation of Hardinfo is roughly similar for all mainstream Linux operating systems, as the app is very popular and available in almost all distro software repositories. To start installing the Hardinfo app on your computer, launch a terminal window, and follow along with the installation instructions outlined below that correspond with your distribution.

Ubuntu

In Ubuntu Linux, it is possible to install the Hardinfo application with a simple Apt command.

sudo apt install hardinfo

Debian

Those on Debian Linux can get the latest Hardinfo on their computer with the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install hardinfo

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, the Hardinfo application is in the “Community” software repository. Ensure that “Community” is enabled in your Pacman configuration file. After that, run the following Pacman command below to install the latest version of Hardinfo.

sudo pacman -S hardinfo

Fedora 

Fedora Linux is the only Linux operating system in the mainstream that does not have Hardinfo available for easy installation. If you want to get the latest release of Hardinfo, you will need to download it via a 3rd-party software repository.

To download the Hardinfo RPM package, run the commands below in a terminal window. Please note that the Hardinfo RPM package only works for Fedora 32. Future releases of Fedora will likely need to build from source.

wget https://github.com/rpmsphere/noarch/raw/master/r/rpmsphere-release-32-1.noarch.rpm

sudo rpm -Uvh rpmsphere-release*rpm

sudo dnf install hardinfo

OpenSUSE

Hardinfo is installable on OpenSUSE Linux for OpenSUSE Leap 15.1, 15.2, and Tumbleweed through the “OpenSUSE Oss” software repository. To start the installation process, ensure that you have the OpenSUSE Oss software repo enabled. Then, enter the Zypper command below.

sudo zypper install hardinfo

Source Code

If you’re using a Linux operating system that is not covered in this guide and still want to be able to use Hardinfo, source code is the only way to go. To get Hardinfo working via source code, head over to the Hardinfo project GitHub page. Once there, read the instructions on the page to learn how to download and compile the code.

Using Hardinfo to view hardware information

To use Hardinfo to check Linux hardware, launch the app. You can launch the app by searching for “Hardinfo” in your app menu. Or, press Alt + F2 on the keyboard to open up the quick launcher, then write hardinfo in the launch box.

Once the Hardinfo app is open, allow the app to scan your hardware. It won’t take too long. When the scan is complete, locate the “Generate Report” button, and click on it.

After selecting the “Generate Report” button, a pop-up window will appear on the screen. By default, “Computer”, “Devices”, “Network”, and “Benchmarks” are selected. Deselect any items you do not wish to include in the report. Then, click on the “Generate” button.

When the “Generate” button is selected, a pop-up window will appear. In the pop-up window, use the browser to save the report file to your computer. 

With the report saved, a notification will appear on the screen. In this notification, Hardinfo will ask you to open up the report in your browser. Select “Open” to view the report.

Check computer specs

Hardinfo can show you your computer’s technical specifications. Here’s how to do it. First, launch Hardinfo. Then, locate the “Computer” button on the left-hand side, and click on it.

In the “Computer” section, you will see a complete readout of your computer’s tech specs. From the CPU to the GPU and everything in between!

Device information

Want more detailed information on devices connected to your Linux PC? Find the “Devices” section in Hardinfo. After locating “Devices,” take a look at the items directly below it, like “Processor,” “Memory,” etc., to view your device information.

Network information

Are you looking to find out information related to your networking devices? Locate the “Network” section of the sidebar in Hardinfo. Directly under the “Hardinfo,” you’ll see “Interfaces,” “IP Connections,” “Routing Table,” and other network-related items that you can utilize to find Network information on your Linux PC.

Benchmarking 

Want to test the performance of your Linux PC? Go to the sidebar in Hardinfo and locate “Benchmarks.” Beneath “Benchmarks,” you’ll see several benchmarks you can run on your Linux PC to test its performance!

Not the kind of tool you’re looking for? Check out our list of the best tools for viewing hardware information on Linux.

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How to Overclock RAM and Make Your Computer Faster

RAM helps a system run faster, and more efficiently. Generally speaking, the more RAM you have, the better your system will run.

It stands to reason that if your system is performing poorly because there isn’t enough RAM, you will want to add more or upgrade to a system that has more RAM. Another solution that can’t hurt before you go shopping for more RAM is overclocking.

How to Overclock RAM

Overclocking RAM isn’t as popular a concept as overclocking a CPU or GPU because the benefits are often minimal. Overclocking the GPU will give you far better results than overclocking RAM but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying.

DRAM Frequency and timings

In order to overclock RAM, you need to know what its current DRAM frequency and timings values are.

  1. Download and install CPU-Z.
  2. Run the app and go to the Memory tab.
  3. Note down the DRAM Frequency. If you round it off and double it, you will get your RAM speed.
  4. Take note of the other timings as well. 

XMP – Extreme  Memory Profiles

XMP is a tool that is used via the system’s BIOS.

  1. Restart your system and boot into BIOS (how to access BIOS).
  2. Dig around and look for Extreme  Memory Profiles. Once/if you find it, enable it.
  3. Look for profiles that you can select. In some cases, all you can do to overclock RAM is enable XMP while in others, you can choose between different profiles.
  4. If you have multiple profiles available, try each one and see how well your system works.
  5. You can use a tool like MSI Afterburner to stress test your system and see how well the new settings are holding up.

No XMP in BIOS

A lot of users do not see XMP in BIOS. Unfortunately, if it isn’t there, you can’t do much about it. Your system may have blocked a feature so that it cannot be enabled or it may not be supported.

Dell systems don’t seem to have them, even on their more expensive line of systems.

Conclusion

It is important to mention that not all RAM chips can be overclocked. There will be some chips that are working as well as they ever will.

In other cases, you may need to add additional RAM sticks before they can be overclocked collectively. Remember that overclocking RAM only gives a minimal boost so if you’re unable to overclock it, you can always buy more RAM.

Many systems have unused RAM slots which means you can easily add more RAM.

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GPU Fans Not Spinning – How to Troubleshoot and Fix

The GPU on any system will heat up. There isn’t anything that can be done to keep the GPU from heating up but there is plenty you can do to keep your system and the GPU itself cool enough to prevent damage to your hardware. One of the cooling mechanisms that are built into a system are fans. As simple as they sound, they work really well.

The chassis of a laptop or desktop PC are designed such that the fans on a system can circulate hot air out and suck cool air in. For many users, these fans are the only cooling mechanism keeping their system from heating up.

If the fans fail to run when the system gets hot, your hardware will be damaged and your system will shut down when it overheats.

GPU Fans Not Spinning

If the fans on your GPU are not working, the cause may be hardware problems, or hardware problems, or a combination of both. Here’s what you can do to fix the problem.

1. Run system through its spaces

The fans on a system can be exceptionally loud, and they can be very quiet. It really depends on the hardware you have. Make sure the room your system is in is as quiet as it can be and run it through its paces e.g., play a game and check if you can hear the fans running.

It’s a good idea to install an app that can tell you what the temperature of the GPU is. We recommend using SpeedFan.

Your fans aren’t going to run unless the system is hot or beginning to heat up. Once it does, the fans should start but they won’t run at their full/highest speed. They will start running slowly and if the system’s temperature doesn’t drop, they will run faster. If they don’t start to spin up even after you’ve put your system under stress for thirty minutes, you need to check the hardware.

2. Basic GPU maintenance

If the fans aren’t running, some basic maintenance may fix the problem.

  1. Open the chassis/case of the system. Dust it well. Use a can of compressed air and a soft cloth to clean the GPU. It should not be covered in dust. The fan blades should not be jammed with anything and you should be able to spin them manually.
  2. Check if the fan’s bearings need to be oiled. This may require special expertise so if you’re not sure how to oil the bearings, have an expert take a look. You will need to remove the GPU and the fans from the system. It’s a complicated process and it differs based on the hardware.

3. Change power connectors

The GPU needs to draw power in order to work. If the power connector is loose or damaged, it may prevent the GPU and its fans from working. Replace the power connector and power up your computer. Play a game or do anything else that will force the OS to use the GPU and check if the fans start to spin.

4. Update drivers

In order for the GPU to work, it needs the right drivers installed. Outdated drivers may prevent the GPU from regulating its own temperature i.e., it might keep the fans from spinning.

  1. Find the name and model of your GPU. On Windows 10, you can go to the Performance tab in Task manager to look it up.
  2. Look for the latest driver that is available on the GPU manufacturer’s website and install it.
  3. Restart the system and run any task that will force it to use the GPU. Check to see if the fans start running.

5. Check fans via software

It’s possible the fans are no longer functional. If that’s the case, it doesn’t matter how hot the GPU is, they won’t run. To manually run the fans on your system, follow these steps.

  1. Download a free app called MSI Afterburner. Install and run it.
  2. Click the setting button.
  3. Go to the Fans tab.
  4. Enable the ‘Enable user defined software automatic fan control’ option.
  5. Apply the change.
  6. Return to the main interface of the app, and use the fan slider to set the fan speed to maximum.
  7. If the fan starts to spin, it is working. If it doesn’t spin, the fan is likely damaged beyond repair. You may need to replace it or the entire GPU.

6. Laptop vs Desktop

Laptops come with powerful hardware but because of their size, they do have to cut corners somewhere. A laptop generally does not have a GPU fan. There will only be one or two fans in it and they will be CPU fans. If you’re using a laptop then you need to look for apps that will allow you to manually change the fan speed, or start them when the GPU or the core system heats up. We have a guide on how to do just that.

Conclusion

GPUs generally have a long lifespan. They’re less likely to be damaged and more likely to become outdated over time as newer models come out. That said, they can still be damaged, and often it’s because users aren’t careful with their system. If your system has been experiencing crashes and random shutdowns anytime you run an app that uses the GPU, it is possible the hardware is damaged. It may not have anything to do with the fan at all and everything to do with the chip. Have it checked by a professional and consider investing in new hardware.

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How to overclock monitor [TUTORIAL]

Monitors are not all created equal. A monitor may seem like simple hardware and it mostly is but some monitors are more capable than others. An obvious example of this is 4K monitors that support higher resolutions than a normal HD monitor.

Some aspects of a monitor cannot be changed e.g., you cannot upscale the resolution of a monitor using software. The resolution is decided by the number of pixels that the screen has and you cannot increase or decrease it. At the most, you can scale the resolution but nothing else.

Monitor Refresh rate

The resolution of a monitor isn’t the only factor that decides its quality and its capabilities. There are other things too such as how many nits of brightness it supports, and its refresh rate.

The refresh rate of a monitor is the number of times a monitor will refresh the image you see. The higher the rate, the more often the monitor will refresh the screen. This rate matters when you’re dealing with media that has a high FPS (frames-per-second0 value. If the refresh rate of a monitor is low and you’re trying to watch (or play) media that has a high FPS, you will not get the benefit of the high FPS since the monitor will not be able to load it fast enough.

How to overclock monitor

Unlike the resolution and nit value of a monitor, the refresh rate of a monitor can be increased in some cases. The process is known as overclocking. By default, Windows 10 sets the highest/maximum refresh rate that a monitor supports but you can force the monitor to use a higher refresh rate. The process for overclocking a monitor depends on which GPU you have i.e., an AMD GPU or an Nvidia GPU.

1. Overclock Monitor – Nvidia Control Panel

This method works for only Nvidia GPUs.

  1. Go to the desktop and right-click on an empty area. Select Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Expand Display in the column on the left, and select Change Resolution.
  3. Click Customize under the listed resolutions.
  4. In the window that opens, enable the ‘Enable Resolutions Not Exposed by the Display’ option and click the ‘Create custom resolution’ button.
  5. On the next window, click inside the Refresh Rate field and enter a number higher than what’s currently set.
  6. Click ‘Test’. If you see the Out of Range message, that means you’ve gone too high. Select a lower value and try again. If the value is supported, you will see a message telling you the same. Apply the change.

2. Overclock Monitor – AMD Catalyst Control

This method only works if you have an AMD GPU.

  1. Go to the desktop and right-click on an empty area. Select AMD Radeon or AMD Catalyst Control.
  2. In the app that opens, go to the Display tab.
  3. Click ‘Create’ under the Custom Resolution section.
  4. In the window that opens, enter a new refresh rate.
  5. Click Save.

3. Overclock Monitor with Custom Resolution Utility – AMD + Nvidia

If you’re looking for a method that lets you overclock the monitor regardless of which GPU you have, use Custom Resolution Utility.

  1. Download and run Custom Resolution Utility. 
  2. Under ‘Detailed resolutions’ select the monitor you want to overclock and click the Edit button.
  3. On the new window that opens, enter a higher value in the Refresh Rate field, and click OK, and then click OK again to close the window.
  4. Open the folder that you extracted the Custom Resolution Utility to. Run the restart.exe file if you have 32-bit Windows, and run the restart64.exe file if you have 64-bit Windows.

Limitations

A monitor can be overclocked but you can’t expect to double the refresh rate of a monitor. The overclocking must lie within a reasonable range of the highest refresh rate a monitor supports out of the box.

If you change the refresh rate of your monitor, and it goes black for too long, it means the rate that you’ve set is not within the monitor’s range. You will need to select a lower value.

Overclocking a monitor isn’t dangerous but you should still exercise some caution when doing so.

Conclusion

The benefit of overclocking a monitor may be minimal. You can, at the most, set the refresh rate to be +15Hz of the highest value supported by the monitor. It is rare for users to be able to overclock it to +20Hz or +40Hz. If you’re looking for significantly higher refresh rates, you might need to buy a monitor that supports them.

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