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Discussion Starter #1
I'd really like a engineer's and/or scientist's perspective on this.

What actually happens when cloth mouse pads 'wear out'?


Most cloth pads (if not all) lose their glide somewhat, and gain more friction on the areas where they have been subjected to the mouse a lot.

But what actually happens when they lose their glide?
Are the fibers getting worn down?

I just never totally bought the idea of PTFE material wearing down pads so easily.
One theory that I have is that the pads don't actually wear out. Instead, what happens is that the teflon from the feet of the mouse is continually moved from the mouse feet and ending up in the cloth material of the pad, over time. Thus increasing friction of the pad.

I got the idea for this theory when I noticed a white haze on my old Icemat (black edition) that I knew had to have come from my Corepad teflon mouse feet.
The friction had been increasing for some time on my Icemat. But once I rinsed off the teflon residue on the pad by use of turpentine and rubbing alcohol, the original glide of the Icemat was restored.

Yes, obviously, the Icemat (which is made of glass) is not subject to be worn down in the same way/time that a cloth pad would be.
But it still made me think that there was a small chance that cloth pads didn't get worn down - but, instead, were getting teflon residue and other forms of gunk (sweat, dirt etc) into the cloth material - thus losing glide.

Anyone here who is smart enough to understand what happens when cloth pads get 'worn out'?

I only have a 9th grade education, and am dumb as a brick.
But, surely, there has to be some users here that have a higher education that could shed some light on this?
 

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Mousepad quality reduction is based on 4 main things:

1. Dead skin build up
2. Coating wear (a lot of manufacturers spray a coating on the pad for glide)
3. Mouse skate residue
4. Friction eroding the threads and making them pop up

For me personally, "white haze" is usually dead skin cell build up.

I also want to add that washing the mousepad, especially with detergents is not necessarily smart, because this just accelerates the erosion on the pad.

The most durable would be non cloth hard pads, but the drawback is mouse feet get worn out faster and the glide is different.

I do not understand what kind of rocket science there is to substantiate pad erosion? It's simple +/- friction coefficients from external factors.
 

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...The most durable would be non cloth hard pads, but the drawback is mouse feet get worn out faster and the glide is different...
My experience with El Cheapo (actually, Allsop) hard plastic mouse pads is they are slicker and more durable than cloth pads (when they do wear out, they don't cost an arm and a leg to replace; I get mine from Fry's Electronics). Cloth pads wear out sooner, collect more dirt, etc. and are much harder to clean. I get around the mouse skate wear issue by using PTFE (Teflon) mouse tape (I actually use a wider and slightly thicker version) on the stock skates. It's fairly easy to apply and remove for replacing. The tape prevents wear on the skates and is often slicker than the skates.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000REJN48/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Something else I found that helps to really slick things up is to use a thin coat CRC Heavy Duty Silicone Spray on the mouse pad every now and then (note that not all silicone sprays are the same; some are better and others are garbage). The spray also works as a cleaner on the hard pads. Just don't over do it. I get my silicone spray from Ace Hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mousepad quality reduction is based on 4 main things:

The most durable would be non cloth hard pads, but the drawback is mouse feet get worn out faster and the glide is different.
Thank you.

What kind of material would you suggest is the most durable?
"Hard pad" can be many types of material.

Also, bonus question:
What are your thought on metal pads 'wearing down'?
Could teflon mouse feet really wear down iron in a few months?
Surely, with iron, loss of glide would only be due to teflon residue?
 

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Something else I found that helps to really slick things up is to use a thin coat CRC Heavy Duty Silicone Spray on the mouse pad every now and then (note that not all silicone sprays are the same; some are better and others are garbage). The spray also works as a cleaner on the hard pads. Just don't over do it. I get my silicone spray from Ace Hardware.
Don't you end up with red, runny, itchy eyes from the silicone residue on your fingers reaching your eyes?

I experimented with a silicone spray many years ago, combined with my fUnc mousepad.
The glide was, indeed, better. But I constantly suffered from itchy, burning eyes - even though I took care and washed my hands after a gaming session.

Maybe I used the wrong kind of silicone spray.
 

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Thank you.

What kind of material would you suggest is the most durable?
"Hard pad" can be many types of material.

Also, bonus question:
What are your thought on metal pads 'wearing down'?
Could teflon mouse feet really wear down iron in a few months?
Surely, with iron, loss of glide would only be due to teflon residue?
Glass, then aluminum.

Unless the metal pads you're talking about really are made of iron, which I doubt. At least, every metal pad I've ever seen was made of aluminum, which can wear, but it takes a while.
 

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Don't you end up with red, runny, itchy eyes from the silicone residue on your fingers reaching your eyes?...
No. I spray a small amount on the pad and spread it with folded tissue paper until the pad dries. I get very little on my fingers, keep my fingers away from my eyes, and wash my hands afterwards.

...Maybe I used the wrong kind of silicone spray.
Possibly. As I said earlier, not all silicone sprays are created equal. I've had no problems with CRC Heavy Duty Silicone Spray.
 

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Glass, then aluminum.

Unless the metal pads you're talking about really are made of iron, which I doubt. At least, every metal pad I've ever seen was made of aluminum, which can wear, but it takes a while.
I was thinking about getting a proper iron plate; from the local smithy or whatever. Not one of those over priced (and always too small in size) things that are sold as mouse pads.
 

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I was thinking about getting a proper iron plate; from the local smithy or whatever. Not one of those over priced (and always too small in size) things that are sold as mouse pads.
That won't work like you think. A "slick" mouse pad is not dead smooth. The pad surface has tiny high and low spots to decrease the surface area actually in contact with the mouse skates. In the case of cloth pads, the weave of the cloth provides the high and low spots. Plastic pads either have the low and high areas molded in or they are etched in (considering their cost, I suspect the former is the case most of the time). Metal and glass pads have them etched in, making them more expensive to make.

The reason why pads become less "slick" as they age is the high spots get worn down over time, increasing the amount of contact surface area, thus increasing friction. Glass is the most durable, followed by metal, plastic and cloth, in that order. Cloth is popular because it is the least inexpensive and doesn't wear down the skates as quickly. Glass and metal pads wear better but eventually need replacing due to wear and they also wear out mouse skates faster (good solution for skate wear is to use the PTFE tape I linked earlier).

I found the plastic pads I use to be an excellent compromise of cost, durability, and glide for my needs. I had been using the 8" x 9" pads due to desk space restrictions but my local Fry's recently started carrying 11 1/2" x 12 1/2" hard plastic pads that I now have room for. I'm not saying you should use the plastic pads--only you can determine what your needs are--but i can definitely tell you your idea of using a flat, smooth, iron plate will not work like you think. I suggest putting your mouse in your pocket (make sure the skates don't have any dirt embedded in them) and going someplace that sells plain, frosted glass (keep in mind not all frosted glass is created equally) and try the mouse on it to see how it works. That may cost less than buying a glass or metal pad and you can buy the glass cut to any size you want. Be sure to get the sharp edges ground down so you don't cut yourself on them.

Keep in mind you usually only get what you pay for. You want quality? Pony up.
 

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Cheers for your input, Jeannie.

I wanted to go for a frosted, tempered glass pad for a long time, until I realised tracking and LoD suffer too much when used on glass (for my taste, anyway).

So, was hoping that metal would be the better option.

Still have a hard time fathoming how teflon can wear down iron. But I guess you're right.

Maybe I should just bite the bullet and buy a new cloth pad every month.
I spend a fortune on mice already.
 

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Cheers for your input, Jeannie.

I wanted to go for a frosted, tempered glass pad for a long time, until I realised tracking and LoD suffer too much when used on glass (for my taste, anyway).

So, was hoping that metal would be the better option.

Still have a hard time fathoming how teflon can wear down iron. But I guess you're right.

Maybe I should just bite the bullet and buy a new cloth pad every month.
I spend a fortune on mice already.
Anything will wear down iron if it rubs it long enough.
 

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[...] But it still made me think that there was a small chance that cloth pads didn't get worn down - but, instead, were getting teflon residue and other forms of gunk (sweat, dirt etc) into the cloth material - thus losing glide.

Anyone here who is smart enough to understand what happens when cloth pads get 'worn out'? [...]
For me here, I'm convinced the cloth is never really wearing out. I think the cloth is just getting dirty from my hand's fat and old skin. After I wash my cloth pads, they go back to having the exact same glide in all areas of their surface, there's no "worn" area anywhere anymore.

The way I wash it is: I first put it face down into a water bath with detergent and let it soak for at least half an hour. Then I start washing it in that water by rubbing on the cloth with a sponge for a few minutes. Sometimes I have to repeat the whole procedure because the dirt was too deep inside the cloth. It's hard to see if the cloth is clean or not when the cloth is wet, so I sometimes only notice that it's still dirty after it has dried.

I only threw away old cloth pads because of other reasons, never because of the cloth getting worn out. I had an Allsop Raindrop XL that died when I tried putting it into the washing machine. The washing machine cleaned the cloth perfectly, but the cloth got separated from the rubber base and the mouse pad was completely destroyed. That Raindrop XL was perhaps eight years old at that time and its cloth looked like new after the washing machine had cleaned and murdered it.

I had to throw away QCK+ mouse pads because their rubber base got depressions in the areas where I was resting my hand and mouse on it. The mouse pad wasn't flat anymore. This problem took several years to develop. The cloth was still fine at that point.
 

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I've actually had great results with washing my DM1 pad with shampoo in the tub, then letting it dry on a flat surface with a towel under it. Feels like new after that. The only way I'd see it wear down is actual threads ripping or tearing somehow, but doing that by gliding a mouse with teflon feet over it should take ages. I have the same pad for almost 2(?) years now and after washing it's still like new.
Can't say the same for my coated cloth pads, those lose glide.
 

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I like having a slick mousing surface. I used a func for many years, but when it finally lost its consistency I found it difficult to find another hard plastic pad that was durable. So I switched to a perixx aluminium pad from amazon, and hyperglide or teflon tape for feet. The harder surface wears the feet down more, so you need to maintain your mouse more often. But the result is more slick mousing.
 

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I like having a slick mousing surface. I used a func for many years, but when it finally lost its consistency I found it difficult to find another hard plastic pad that was durable. So I switched to a perixx aluminium pad from amazon, and hyperglide or teflon tape for feet. The harder surface wears the feet down more, so you need to maintain your mouse more often. But the result is more slick mousing.
I agree. The combination of a hard pad and PTFE (Teflon) mouse tape is the "slickest". I use El Cheapo Allsop plastic pads. They last six months to a year before they wear down enough to start dragging. I replace the PTFE tape on my mouse feet around every other month. It takes all of 5-10 minutes to do. The roll I bought should rest the rest of my life (or ten years, if I live that long).
 

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This is probably the first time i've heard anyone claiming their plastic pads lasts longer than cloth.
I haven't found a single plastic pad with that "grainy" texture i so adore that wouldn't become smooth as silk after like, max 6 months. Usually 3 months is enough.
Similarly, the oldest cloth pad i have (i think it's atleast 3 years) have zero sign of wear.

Nice to see someone else coating their pads with silicone spray though. It's the bees knees :)
Works just fine on cloth pads as well!
 

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This is probably the first time i've heard anyone claiming their plastic pads lasts longer than cloth.
I haven't found a single plastic pad with that "grainy" texture i so adore that wouldn't become smooth as silk after like, max 6 months. Usually 3 months is enough.
Similarly, the oldest cloth pad i have (i think it's atleast 3 years) have zero sign of wear.

Nice to see someone else coating their pads with silicone spray though. It's the bees knees :)
Works just fine on cloth pads as well!
I've had bad luck with cloth pads. They just didn't hold up for me very well although they did last longer than plastic pads I had been using. They looked ratty pretty quickly, despite cleaning them frequently, and they simply were not as "slick" for me as the plastic hard pads are before they wear out.
 

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For me here, I'm convinced the cloth is never really wearing out. I think the cloth is just getting dirty from my hand's fat and old skin. After I wash my cloth pads, they go back to having the exact same glide in all areas of their surface, there's no "worn" area anywhere anymore.

The way I wash it is: I first put it face down into a water bath with detergent and let it soak for at least half an hour. Then I start washing it in that water by rubbing on the cloth with a sponge for a few minutes. Sometimes I have to repeat the whole procedure because the dirt was too deep inside the cloth. It's hard to see if the cloth is clean or not when the cloth is wet, so I sometimes only notice that it's still dirty after it has dried.

Do you think there's any significance to using detergent over soap/washing machine soap?

I've washed many cloth pads in the washing machine over the years. The only pad that seemed to regain it's glide has been the Puretrak Talent.
Just last week, I threw in a two month old QPAD FX that had lost some glide on the areas where I use the mouse a lot.
Even though the pad survived the wash fine, the friction was still higher in the areas where I use the mouse a lot.
Washing it in the washing machine didn't seem to 'fix' it.
 
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