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FAQ: How Do You Clean Your TrackBall?

blackberrytrackball Since the first trackball BlackBerry it has been a constant struggle to keep the darn thing clean and functioning. It got so bad on my 8310 before I got my Bold that I had to purchase a replacement. I tried everything from rubbing it against a towel to putting soap on a paper towel with a tad of water…

Andy sent me over a tip of his own. As a carpenter he is pretty handy with his tools but found that the easiest way for him to clean it was to lick his thumb before using the trackball and then the dirt and dust sticks to his thumb. I tried that on my Bold and the problem is that there is also finger oil on the trackball…

So how do you clean your trackball? Or better yet how do you keep it clean?

15 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. A small amount of rubbing alcohol on a Qtip/cotton swab, use it to spin the ball a few times, dry it with the other end.

  2. Thank you for this threat ..
    This question is disturbing me for few weeks …

  3. It’s like RIM decided not to learn the 10 year lesson of mouse trackballs computer users have dealt with.

    That being said, I really prefer trackball navigation over 5-way D-pad and the Blackberry wheel from earlier versions.

  4. So far… whenever the ball on my Bold doesn’t operate properly I just roll it rapidly against some plain paper (phone face down) in all directions with about half the pressure required to make it click. So far it’s restored perfect operation every time. Seems to take any grease/oil off it.

  5. Wal-Mart sells these individually wrapped, pre-moistened lens cleaner cloths (kind of like the hand cleaner packages you get at some restaurants).
    Anyway, they’re called Zeiss Lens Cloths and they sell them in the Optical Section, up front where they sell eye glasses. They clean the BB from top to bottom extremely well and help brighten and clean the trackball. Package of 50 is like 2 bucks.
    I find with the q-tip method the cotton sticks to the trackball. my 2c

    • xavier – thanks for your post, i tried your suggestion for the Zeiss Lens Cloth premoistened wipes and it worked perfectly and I did not have to open the Blackberry Bold to solve the problem. I keep these wipes around for numerous uses in dealing with eye glasses, lens, or other similar uses. Thanks again.

  6. No way you gonna clean it properly unless you dismantle it. When it got stuck, I took the whole ball unit out and found a big chunk of lynt gather up inside. The best way is to put it away from the dust and lynt ie jean pocket etc. And once you fell the ball rolling rough that’s a sign and until it doesn’t move then you need to do a major clean up.

  7. Just spray it evenly with WD40. It does the trick all the time.

  8. I pop off the support ring, pull the scroll ball and mount out and drop it into a cap of finger nail polish remover for a few minutes. Clean as a whistle.

  9. So how does one safely remove a trackball and resinstall it after cleaning- on an 8830 for example? Someone said ‘ just pop the ring’ is that pry it loose like with a tiny screwdrriver? Or does it unscrew somehow? Thanks!

  10. So how does one safely remove a trackball and resinstall it after cleaning- on an 8830 for example? Someone said ‘ just pop the ring’ is that pry it loose like with a tiny screwdriver? Or does it unscrew somehow? Thanks!

  11. Yep, it pops off with my finger nail. Not hard to do at all. The pearl is then held in a container. The whole container falls out. drop the pearl container in finger nail polish remover cap and let it eat away the grime.

  12. “…the easiest way for him to clean it was to lick his thumb before using the trackball and then the dirt and dust sticks to his thumb”

    Eeeewwww!!!

    Get a new one, for crissakes!
    http://www.berryreview.com/2008/04/11/dirty-trackball-get-a-new-one/

  13. When my trackball got stuck, I just put a little spit on my finger and ran it over the trackball, and that did the trick.

  14. I just use alcohol & a Q-tip, or some eyeglass cleaner. Or I just blow on it really hard & roll it around really fast.

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