I love the Mighty Mouse so much. People complain that they can’t use a 1 button mouse, but they are stupid and don’t read tech specs. The Mighty Mouse is a 4 button mouse. I can scroll in 360 degrees, left and right click, launch Dashboard by pressing the scroll ball and launch Expose by squeezing the 2 side buttons.
But that damn scroll ball is forever getting gunked up with finger grime. Not that I’m gross. I wash my hands all the time. You can’t escape the fact that we humans have oily skin. And that oil, over time, finds its way under the scroll balls of our Mighty Mice no matter how many times we wash our hands. The oil sticks to dust that settles on your mouse and the next thing you know, you can no longer scroll.
There’s a million and one do-it-yourself fixes on the internet for this. Everything from rolling it upside down over a rubbing alcohol-soaked paper towel, to sticking strips of paper in there. None of them work as well as breaking the damn thing open and cleaning the scroll ball.
That’s right. I said “break”. The scroll ball assembly is not a user-serviceable part and removing it requires you to “break” your Mighty Mouse.
First, you have to take a “spludger” (those plastic tools that come with iPod battery kits) and break off the retaining ring under the mouse. It is held on with industrial glue. You will have to crazy glue it back on when you’re finished.
Once you’ve done that, the mouse comes apart very easily. Two clips, 2 ribbon cables and finally, the scroll ball assembly comes away from the to cover via 3 screws.
Once you pop the top cover off, you’ll see the ball and 4 magnetic rollers. Make sure you take note of their orientation before you remove them.
Take the 4 rollers out and remove all the dust bunnies.
Sorry about the lousy iPhone pic, but here you can see all the dust I pulled out from the scroll ball assembly. Pretty nasty.
OK, so here’s where I have a confession to make: I screwed up the rollers. I cleaned them too hard. As it turns out, they have a sort of tape/coating stuck to them to give them some ball-gripping-action (don’t laugh). If you clean that tape off, they don’t grip the ball correctly, and you can pretty much kiss your scrolling mojo goodbye. So don’t make the same mistake I made. Remove the dust, but don’t clean that tape/coating off the rollers.
Like I said before, I love the Mighty Mouse. This is my second one, but I’m not about to drop another $80 on a new one. Besides, rumor has it a new multi-touch mouse is in the works. So I’ll have to do without scrolling until then.
But wait, there’s still hope! We Love Macs sells used Apple parts. As luck would have it, they had a Mighty Mouse scroll ball assembly for $5. With that, my Mighty Mouse was back in the game. All I had to do was crazy glue the bottom retaining ring back on.
Until next time....