The breadth and depth of tips and secrets shared online by owners of Blackberries is virtually unlimited. Community hubs such as Crackberry.com and BlackberryForums.com are the new User’s Manuals, offering constant, self-updating streams of information (often with photos or video) about which models of Blackberries have trackballs that are the easiest to clean, what particular challenges may be found in taking apart and re-assembling the trackball mechanism, and so on.
The general consensus is that while one form of cleaning involving the application of rubbing alcohol with a Q-Tip to a trackball that remains encased in the Blackberry can be effective, the best way to periodically clean this crucial roller device is to pop it out of the Blackberry altogether. Removing the trackball makes it easier to clean and helps to clear out any residue dust or other material from the trackball chamber.
Still, for those who are reluctant to get into the business of removing components such as a trackball from a Blackberry, there are several other options. One is to consider using a product such as CRC’s QD Electronic Cleaner. It comes in a red and white aerosol can and requires that the battery be first removed from the Blackberry. Then, after pressing down the trackball to create more of an opening, the solution is squirted directly into the chamber and allowed to dry.
Before Blackberry users get into the business of in-device or removal cleaning, they may first want to consider the possibility that the problems with their trackball have nothing to do with the sphere’s physical configuration. Software glitches can sometimes cause a trackball to perform erratically. Device manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) recommends in those cases a complete re-install of the product software.