Mighty Mouse

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The Apple Mighty Mouse is pretty good as far as I am concerned, but it has one fatal flaw, the "nipple ball" collects gunk over time and despite all cleaning attempts, eventually it becomes unusable.
The Mighty Mouse does not support non-destructive dismantling, so when it gets to this state, you are stuffed. You can put it off a little by using cleaning technique 1:

Hold mouse firmly upside down and vigorously run the nipple on a lint free cloth, like your trouser leg.

Eventually this will be insufficient to budge the accumulated detritus* and you have to move to cleaning technique 2:

Drip IPA (not the beer) round the mouse, allow to soak and then apply technique 1.

Ultimately the gunk gets to the point where the small mechanism for the nipple ball is so choked up that these techniques will not shift it. I have read that there is a technique 3:

Acquire then flexible plastic band and insert round the ball and "floss" the mechanism.

Frankly, at the point that I have to floss my mouse's nipple I am giving up. 

So I am really pleased to see that a new mouse has been announced. It does away with the nipple and uses touch sensitive techniques to provide the scroll ball facility. Ever since I got to the limits of technique 2 I have been waiting for touch techniques to be applied, it seems so obvious. 

Watch the video to see how it works, contrary to some peoples' reports, you do not move the whole mouse for in-page scrolling, you just stroke the top surface.

On the Christmas list.

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David -

yep - we've had this problem, of course ... and surfed & found a 'site that explains how to dis-assemble & sort it from the inside ... which we tried, only to step-back when damage seemed inevitable ... after which we tried a few things ourselves & found that depressing the body down (with a click) & holding it there, then fairly agressively running a finger across the ball, in all directions, soon got it clear & working again ... since when it has worked several times, at intervals ...

hmm, bottom line seems to beApple do things thoughtfully, so it's likely there's a simple way to sort most things - only they're not likely to feel the need to spell out !


I did take mine apart and the ball mechanism was absolutely choked with crud. The very fine spines on the rollers get gunked up with grease from whatever and I don't think anything will shift that - then they don't grip on the ball and it just slips. The taking apart process is fraught and you cannot fully reassemble them afterwards since you have to snap off a glued/heat welded part.

Apple themselves only offer the lint free cloth method in the user support area. I think in this case perhaps long term user testing did not throw up the problem, or perhaps they think that we should buy new mice every year!

If it wasn't for the new Magic Mouse I think my next mouse would have been a rechargeable Logitech laser mouse, I got a good few years life out of my last one and I could manage without the squeeze buttons.

interesting ... we find the squeeze buttons a nuisance, far too sensitive - on ours, at least !

Hi David -

our technique for cleaning the Mighty Mouse continues to work, though we're doing it more often. Still, in-store the other day (to collect the iMac from repair & buy a Mac mini server), we bought a MagicMouse ... quite like it, too - only hitch was I assumed scrolling would be two-fingered, as per touchpads on the laptops, but it's one-fingered - ie:it's worth a quick look at their help screens before dashing on !

'makes a change, Apple's mice & keyboards have been a weak-point since before I can remember, IMO !


PS: actually, two-finger scrolling seems to work today, now - odd !

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This page contains a single entry by David published on October 20, 2009 9:51 PM.

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