How to clean your iPhone charging port

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If you’re concerned that there’s gunk in there, this is how to get it out carefully.

If you’re having trouble getting your iPhone to charge via its lightning port, or if you’re simply able to see that its charging port is visibly a bit dirty or clogged up, you might be wondering about how to clean it.

Well, you’ve already done the smart thing by holding off to check – this is a delicate bit of kit, so you don’t want to accidentally cause it any damage. Here’s how to clean your iPhone’s lightning port.

How to clean iPhone charging port

The first thing to know is that you’re going to want one simple bit of kit to help you with this cleaning task, and it’s very low-tech. A humble toothpick is the ideal companion because any metal tools would be at risk of scratching or damaging the carefully-arranged tech in the lighting port.

Once you have this, there’s an optional extra in the form of a can of compressed air, which is an ideal way to blow loose any clingy dust.

Follow these steps once you’re ready.

  1. Turn off your iPhone before you start
  2. Use a flashlight to see into the charging port and help judge what you’re dealing with
  3. If you think it’s loose dirt then use very short bursts of compressed air into the port and see if it comes loose
  4. If required, use your toothpick to very carefully dislodge debris that you can see, taking care not to scratch the sides of the port at this stage
  5. If this doesn’t work, you can gently scrape the port’s inside sides with the toothpick, removing it often to check if it comes away dirty, and to wipe it off if so

These are the basic steps that you can do at home, and if you think you might have managed to clear the blockage at any point you can just plug your iPhone in to see if it charges.

Of course, it’s very possible that whatever is happening is ultimately either a more technical or a more precise job than you can fix at home without proper tools, so you might well find that you have to book in an appointment at an Apple Store to get your iPhone examined properly and sent for a repair if required.

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