Phone not charging? it could be a dusty charging port. Picture: Pikist.
Phone not charging? it could be a dusty charging port. Picture: Pikist.

How to clean out your phone's dusty charging port

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

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Phone not charging? Before sending it to a professional and spending money unnecessarily, try cleaning out your charging port first.

From all the debris that collects at the bottom of your bag, lint from your pockets and dust from - well - everywhere, cell phone charging ports can become clogged with dirt that prevents them from operating.

 Your first thought may be: “Why not just use something thin and pointed to clean it out?” Unfortunately, the port of cell phones contain delicate pieces of metal that your cable needs to lock with in order to make a secure connection. Therefore, simply jamming a needle or safety pin inside your device will most likely result in damaging it or forcing the dirt further into the device.

If you don’t want to wind up with more problems than you started off with, try following these easy fixes before resorting to the help of a professional.

How to clean your phone's charging port:

1. Compressed air

Delivering precise blasts of air with their plastic extension tubes, these cans rid the more sensitive parts of electronics in which moisture is not wanted. Because it’s a gas, you’ll also prevent any scratching of your device which often occurs when using cloths and sharp objects to dislodge debris. Plus, it’s far quicker and efficient. 

2. Putty

When devices ranging from camera lenses to keyboards need a thorough cleaning, electronics cleaning putty will get into those to reach places. The play-doh like substance moulds to fit into all the cracks and crevices, using its stickiness to pull out whatever has lodged itself inside of your device.

3. Phone cleaning kit

These kits include a set of specially designed tools made to fit in the tiny spaces of your phone and all the gadgets it comes with. Made in a variety of sizes, some might be suited for your earphones while others were made for charging ports. The tools range from looking like q-tips while others have soft bristles at the end of their slender wands, it just depends on the brand. Slot them inside our device, carefully moving it around.

4. Toothpick

If you’re looking for a quick and immediate fix, most people have toothpicks leftover somewhere in the kitchen from takeaways. Place a thin piece of cotton wool pad over the sharp tip and secure with tape. This will prevent it from scratching or damaging the port whilst using the pick to remove dirt build up. Use a gentle pressure and avoid pushing it further into the device than it is willing to go.

After trying any of the above methods, test out whether your device is able to charge. If not, it could be a faulty charger, charging port or anything ranging from your power source to software bugs.  


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