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Logitech Marble Mouse & other trackball devices

Last response: in Components
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September 24, 2009 4:45:35 PM

Hi all,

Maybe everyone but me already knows this, but I'm gonna to share my experience just in case it might help someone.

I've had a Logitech "Marble Mouse" at work for several years now. For those unfamiliar, it is actually a trackball rather than an actual mouse. Earlier today I cleaned the device, using some 409 sprayed onto a rag (not directly on the device).

I experienced problems with the Logitech Marble Mouse after cleaning. I found the "ball" no longer moved smoothly. I did notice the surface of the ball seemed a little sticky and I tried (for a second time) to polish it with a microfiber cloth with little success.

I then found a recommendation online (user comment from "Robomac" at applematters.com) that referenced my same exact problem. The advice is to NOT use solvent type cleaners (windex, 409, etc.), but rather furniture polish like "Pledge". The solvent type cleaners apparently do not harm the ball, but rather they leave a sticky residue that affects it's ability to move smoothly. I was fortunate enough to have access to some Pledge furniture polish here at work and am happy to report that it worked perfectly. Trackball movement went from a very unpleasant feeling with much resistance to perfectly smooth. Note that I cleaned not only the ball itself, but also the little (teflon?) "pegs" on which it rides with the Pledge. I also used my microfiber cloth to polish all surfaces after cleaning with the Pledge.

BTW, I DO NOT work for Johnson Wax Co. "Pledge" just happens to be what we have here at work. Were I doing this at home, I'd have used whatever generic brand that I buy from the Family Dollar! :) 

Hope this helps someone somewhere!

Peace,
Rob
Lynn Haven, FL
November 14, 2009 9:13:20 PM

THANK YOU! I was afraid had messed up my trackball forever.
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January 29, 2010 5:30:43 PM

Ok, while wiping down my monitor this morning, I removed and cleaned my marble mouse by removing the marble, air spraying the lint out of the base, wiping everything down and replacing the marble. Only now I feel like I've lost the traction on the marble and can't get it to work right. It feels like it has no traction and is sort of 'slipping'. It sound similar to what happened to you and I'm terrified that I killed it. While looking for solutions on the internet, I came across your post. It was extraordinarily thoughtful of you to put this out there for the rest of us because I have no doubt that it has helped many (including, I hope, me!). The whole point of my buying this mouse was to reduce the strain on my wrist and hand and I have to say that I love this thing and can't work without it. I'm wondering if the monitor cleaning wipes had something on them that removed the appropriate residue that should be on there for it to work correctly. I've tried cleaning it off with soap and water and hand sanitizer but neither of these things have really helped at all. Does this sound like what happened to you??? Thanks SO much for your help!! :sol: 
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February 1, 2010 10:17:23 PM

Hi Gohber,

Thank you for the kind words! I'm very pleased that my experience has helped others... that's the way the internet should work, eh?

Anyway, I imagine those screen cleaning wipes had the same effect on your Marble Mouse as the 409 did on mine. From my experience, the only thing that helped was the furniture polish (something like regular Pledge). I "cleaned" the parts with the polish (sprayed first onto a rag/cloth, not directly on the device), then buffed them with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

I had same problem and used same solution on two of these Marble Mouse devices and they are both still working perfectly to this day.

Hope you have the same success! :) 
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February 2, 2010 3:10:07 PM

Hi Bytor!

Thanks for your feedback and sound advice! I tried the furniture polish and it solved the problem exactly as you said it would! So, thanks ever so much! I would have been mighty put out if I couldn't get this thing to work again as I'm a big fan of my marble mouse. And, now that my kids are a little bigger, I'm happy to report that the marble has been staying with my mouse as opposed to being constantly removed and played with which made me crazy :pt1cable:  ! I could never find the thing when I needed it.

Anyway, thanks so much for the post as it really was helpful and I hope you have an awesome day!! :hello:  :hello: 

Kindest regards,

Gohber
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Anonymous
November 20, 2010 4:25:59 PM

Hi Bytor -

Thank you SO MUCH for this.

Same story for me - cleaned out the trackball (which I LOVE!) - thought I'd go the "extra mile" and clean both the ball and the inside with Windex - then the PANIC - no slide anymore - so into Google I punch the problem and find this thread.

Thanks a MILLION for sharing!

Jay (Boston)
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November 20, 2010 4:53:40 PM

So many things about this post scream fake! Besides the common sence info not to use a solvent cleaner. Nice funiture polish add though.
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May 26, 2011 3:01:01 PM

Not a fake at all!

I know because I just fixed the same problem using furniture polish.

I am also very thankful to the OP for posting this.

Instead of assuming that something is fake, one should be certain by first trying it.
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January 8, 2013 7:29:25 PM

For at least a year I have had a problem with my Logitech trackball mouse sticking (or being difficult to move properly). I have cleaned it probably 20 times with soap and water and by other methods. All methods seemed to work for maybe 30 minutes at most. And, never did the ball move like it did when new. Some times my cleaning the ball only lasted less than 5 minutes or less.

I went to the internet not really expecting an answer but found the one about using furniture polish. I immediately tried the polish and it really worked! The ball moves like it did when brand new. I have only used the "mouse" a little since applying the wax but I can tell there is a major difference in the way it "feels" when turning.

I followed the method recommended and sprayed the polish on a cloth and rubbed the cloth on the ball. There was an immediate improvement and, like I said, it feels like it was new.

Thanks very much for the recommendation. I really like the roller ball mouse and was about to return to the "regular" mouse that came with the HP computer.

I am very glad I found this recommendation.





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March 17, 2013 6:15:38 AM

YAY! LIFESAVER! Thanks Rob from Lynn Haven, FL

My trackball kept sticking, and no matter what I did the sticking got worse. I thought I had to buy a new one and bleeping Logitech has discontinued its banner product. So, with your advice, it's WORKING (used Pledge because I have it on-hand) ! Bravo!

Further, I just did the same to my two other Marbles. Couldn't imagine going to the index finger control now that's their direction. I've been using the thumb marble since the switch from DOS, and imagine a change would cause distress.

This removes my early crankiness and lets me bask in the joy of yet another sunny day here in St Petersburg.
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June 20, 2013 5:13:23 PM

bytor54 said:
Hi Gohber,

Thank you for the kind words! I'm very pleased that my experience has helped others... that's the way the internet should work, eh?

Anyway, I imagine those screen cleaning wipes had the same effect on your Marble Mouse as the 409 did on mine. From my experience, the only thing that helped was the furniture polish (something like regular Pledge). I "cleaned" the parts with the polish (sprayed first onto a rag/cloth, not directly on the device), then buffed them with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

I had same problem and used same solution on two of these Marble Mouse devices and they are both still working perfectly to this day.

Hope you have the same success! :) 


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June 20, 2013 5:17:55 PM

You are amazing. I have two Logitech T-BB18 mice. I brought two because I liked them so much and was worried they may not be made forever. My fears were realized when Logitech stopped making them. When I purchased mine several years ago they were about $35. Today I checked on Amazon and believe it or not they want $218 for one. I was shocked so I looked around for a solution to the sticky ball problem I was having. I tried your furniture polish tip and I can't believe it. Ball spins like it is brand new. Thanks so much. You saved me a bundle. :pt1cable: 
bytor54 said:
Hi all,

Maybe everyone but me already knows this, but I'm gonna to share my experience just in case it might help someone.

I've had a Logitech "Marble Mouse" at work for several years now. For those unfamiliar, it is actually a trackball rather than an actual mouse. Earlier today I cleaned the device, using some 409 sprayed onto a rag (not directly on the device).

I experienced problems with the Logitech Marble Mouse after cleaning. I found the "ball" no longer moved smoothly. I did notice the surface of the ball seemed a little sticky and I tried (for a second time) to polish it with a microfiber cloth with little success.

I then found a recommendation online (user comment from "Robomac" at applematters.com) that referenced my same exact problem. The advice is to NOT use solvent type cleaners (windex, 409, etc.), but rather furniture polish like "Pledge". The solvent type cleaners apparently do not harm the ball, but rather they leave a sticky residue that affects it's ability to move smoothly. I was fortunate enough to have access to some Pledge furniture polish here at work and am happy to report that it worked perfectly. Trackball movement went from a very unpleasant feeling with much resistance to perfectly smooth. Note that I cleaned not only the ball itself, but also the little (teflon?) "pegs" on which it rides with the Pledge. I also used my microfiber cloth to polish all surfaces after cleaning with the Pledge.

BTW, I DO NOT work for Johnson Wax Co. "Pledge" just happens to be what we have here at work. Were I doing this at home, I'd have used whatever generic brand that I buy from the Family Dollar! :) 

Hope this helps someone somewhere!

Peace,
Rob
Lynn Haven, FL


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July 3, 2013 8:04:56 AM

Pledge works for a good 5 minutes then you have a start-of-motion stickiness that makes sketchup hard to use.
So I bought PTFE paste from ebay Ultimox 226, it's a Dupont grade replacement PTFE containing synthetic fluorinated perfluoropolyether base + micronized PTFE + corrosion inhibitor. It's a substituent for Auto Krytox 205 206 226. Works marvel... and last... No more histerisis when first moving the ball.
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July 28, 2013 1:21:12 PM

I've been using car polish for years on all of my trackballs. (*note*-- car polish NOT car wax!)
I have tried Pledge in the past and while the results are great, they are short lived.
The car polish seems to last much longer. As a heavy gamer I only feel the need to polish my balls :lol:  2-3 times a year.
I'm not partial to any particular car polish, I just use whichever one I currently have on hand for my cars.

Here is how I do it and what you will need:
1 - bottle of car polish (not wax!).. non or light abbrasive, none of that "swirl remover" stuff
2 or 3 - dry washcloths (I find old socks work great, who doesn't have single socks in their drawer they can't pair up?)


- Make sure the ball is fairly clean. Just rubbing vigorously in a dry washcloth, sock, shirt etc is enough to remove most dirt and body oil.
- Hold the cloth in your cupped hand. (think of a homeless person asking for money)
- Put a few drops of car polish on the rag. Doesn't take much, just enough for a single light coat to end up on the ball.
- Now put the ball on the rag where you put the polish and close your hand around the rag/sock while working the ball around inside. Do this for 30 seconds or so.
- Now set the rag down with the ball inside and open up the rag to reveal the ball.
- If it doesn't look thoroughly coated do it again. If it does look coated WALK AWAY for 5-10 minutes while a thin haze appears. (If you simply wipe the polish off now you won't be polishing the ball, you MUST wait for the thin haze to appear.)
- Now put a new, clean, dry washcloth/sock in your hand and put the hazed ball in the cloth/sock, close your hand, and start working the ball again. No estimated time here, the goal is to remove all of the haze leaving behind a very smooth and slick surface.
- Odds are you haven't removed 100% of the polish haze, buff it some more with a clean portion of the sock/rag or a new one.
-DONE!

Anyone who has ever polished a car will know exactly what the outcome will be and exactly how long of a slick finish you will have. Car polish is made to help repel dirt, bugs, road grime etc.. So it's quite effective against body oil and household dust.

You can buff it throughout the coming months without the need to apply anymore polish.
Light users can get a year out of a single polish easily.


-Trackball user since '92
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!