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How to Clean Your iPhone Charging Port Easily


Key Takeaways
  • iPhone charging port can get dirty over time, leading to charging issues
  • Ways to clean iPhone charging port include using a dry cotton ball, compressed air can, plastic toothpick, and makeup brush
  • Cleaning the port at home can save repair costs and prevent damage to the internals, but caution is advised and seeking professional help is also an option.

My iPhone was not charging, and I figured that it needs a routine cleaning. Of course, I’m not Mr. Repair guy, but I wanted to find ways to clean the iPhone charging port at home without damaging the internals. I’m going to share my experience and solutions to clean charging port when it’s not charging at all. Turn off the iPhone and iPad before applying the suggested solutions.

How do I Know if My iPhone Charger Port Is Damaged?

It’s a question that everyone has in mind, but you are too afraid to ask anyone. I want to leave a word of caution out here because it’s important, and I don’t want you to end up regretting it later. iPhone’s extensive repair cost is expensive when compared to routine cleaning tasks.

That shouldn’t be your argument to avoid reaching Apple Service Center.

Your iPhone is a luxury device, and Apple treats it that way.

How to Clean iPhone Charging Port

The service center management will charge you a hefty amount for extensive repairs, but I want you to reach out for a second opinion. The engineers won’t start working on the repair until they have a confirmation from your end.

Contact Apple repair engineers and find out if the lighting port is damaged and requires replacement or not. I had an iPhone that required routine cleaning due to debris accumulated in the port.

Yes, I’m dead serious about reaching out to Apple authorized service engineers.

  • Research about the lighting port repair costs and cleaning costs online.
  • Turn off iPhone.

Ways To Clean your iPhone 12/13 Charging Port

You don’t have to break the bank vault to clean the iPhone charging port. All solutions that I have mentioned below minimize damage to the device and are cost-effective.

Clean Lighting Cable 

Don’t jump out and start working on cleaning the iPhone lighting port. Your charging cable suffers heavy wear & tear from years of usage. The lighting port in iPhone and iPad is covered from three sides, but the charging cable is always open and doesn’t have any sort of protection. One side of my charging cable is not working. So I cleaned it for a minute, and it worked right after it.

How to Clean iPhone Charging Port

  1. Pick up the cable and place it in a dry space.
  2. Get dry cotton balls from the grocery store and take a small piece of them.
  3. Now rinse the charging cable using the dry cotton ball.
  4. You have to do it for a minute only.
  5. Do not apply brute force on it and rinse it gently.

The dry cotton ball should make contact with the gold pins and clean its surrounding area. Do not let the rough dust particles escape from your sight, and try to remove whatever you can without applying excessive force.

I cleaned the lighting cable a few minutes earlier to find out its effectiveness, and it was fruitful. The cotton balls shouldn’t cost you more than a few cents per pack, so it’s a nominal solution.

Clean iPhone 13 Charging Port  using Compressed Air Can

How to Clean iPhone Charging Port

I normally suggest someone put the air blowers to work, and they release high-pressured air that forces out the dust particles. You can use an air blower to clean the iPhone lighting port if you can control the pressure in the machine.

Readers must learn how to use air blowers properly, so they can avoid damaging the internal components. The safest option is a compressed air can that doesn’t release high-pressure air and gets the job done at nominal cost.

I want to teach you a technique that minimizes any potential damage and gives us satisfactory results. Compressed air cans have liquid contained in it. The liquid converts into the air when sprayed, so you have to be careful here.

  1. Lift the can and maintain an upright position to prevent the liquid particles from leaving the compressed air can.
  2. Use the compressed air can in burst mode.
  3. Blow the air from one side of the lighting port.
  4. Do not stick the pipe inside the lighting port and maintain a 5 CM distance.

You have to leave another side for the dust particles to exit.

Burst mode will force the sticky dust particles to move from their position and force them out. You should be careful while using compressed air can since it contains liquid inside the container. Handle the can in the upright position, which keeps the liquid in the position and minimizes the chances of leakage.

Clean iPhone 12 Charging Port using Plastic Toothpick (Risky)

I’m asking you to purchase a plastic toothpick and avoid using a wooden toothpick for the task. The chances are higher to find wooden toothpicks in a nearby store compared to plastic ones. You have to do hunting out there in repair stores and spend time looking for plastic variants.

Plastic toothpicks don’t have rigid construction and have frail edges, which minimizes the damage possibilities. You have to explore repair stores for a spare plastic pick, but it’s worth your time. Let me tell you how to clean the lighting port using a plastic toothpick.

  • Take a clear look inside the lighting port and where the suspected region is located.

Note: Use a flashlight for in-depth inspection.

How to Clean iPhone Charging Port

  • Try to remove the debris gently.

Do not apply force because the lighting port connector pins are fragile.

  • Take up to five minutes to clean the port using the plastic toothpick.

Remember, you should focus on taking out large pieces of debris from the port and avoid cleaning the sticky mess.

Makeup Brush for Cleaning an iPhone Charging Port 

The toothbrush is a basic commodity that we have in our household, and there are always old brushes lying around in the wash area.

On the other hand, makeup brushes are suitable for the job for two reasons.

How to Clean iPhone Charging Port

The bristles are soft on the makeup brushes since they are designed to apply foundation to the face. Makeup brushes are specifically designed to ease up the process, so they don’t irritate the face.

I would recommend you buy a cheap makeup brush instead of a toothbrush because they may cause minor damage to the connectors inside the lighting port. However, if you handle the entire cleaning process with care, and then you won’t have to deal with damages.

  1. Clean the brush using recommended method.
  2. Let it dry off for an hour or so.
  3. Use the brush to clean the debris inside the lighting port.

Do not apply force while cleaning the iPhone charging port, and do not use worn-off brushes. A new brush costs cheap compared to the charging port repair, so do not cheapskate here.


Bottom Line 

Do not hesitate to seek assistance from the nearby Apple Service Center and get the iPhone X/11/12/13 charging port repaired. I had an iPhone that was having trouble charging the device, and all it took was regular cleaning to resolve it. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on getting the iOS device repaired and cleaning it yourself at a dirt-cheap price. You should take the necessary precautions that I have suggested above to avoid damaging the iPhone charging port.

A passionate technical writer.


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