I used turpentine and cotton cloth to remove the sticky coating. You have to rub pretty hard but you can get it down to the ABS material underneath which is smooth and not sticky. btw: the mouse pad has nothing to do with this problem, d'oh. ...also several people have noted that this product can be sticky - fresh out of the packaging - meaning it isn't necessarily caused by hand oils - more likely the coating Microsoft uses degrades over time and becomes sticky. Like all MS products best to avoid until revision 2.