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How to safely clean your phone’s charging port 

Plugged in your smartphone and it just won’t charge? It might not always be down to a defective battery, cable, or the phone itself. If you often carry your smartphone in your pocket or handbag, dust will quickly get into its connection port and prevent it from charging.  

Read on to discover how you can clean your smartphone’s charging port, what tools you’ll need, and how to tune up your smartphone with Avira Antivirus Security for Android or Avira Mobile Security for iOS.   


Why isn’t my phone’s charging port working? 

It’s a no-brainer that dirt, dust, and other debris can get lodged in the connection port, clogging it up, and — in the worst case — even stopping you from plugging in a charging cable.  

But there are a whole host of other reasons why your phone’s charging port may not be working, preventing you from charging your phone: 

  • Damaged charging cables and adapters 
  • Charging port hardware error 
  • Software issues 
  • Moisture or water ingress 
  • Defective battery 

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If you have an Android device, a tried-and-tested cybersecurity solution for Android phones is an absolute must to keep even closer tabs on malware security, your online privacy, and device performance. 

Why it’s worth cleaning your phone’s charging port 

Can you ever imagine leaving home without your smartphone? We thought not! The first place we put it is in our jacket or trouser pocket, where its connection port acts like a dust magnet, quickly getting clogged up. And the longer you carry it around, the more likely it is that dust and other debris will accumulate and end up preventing you from being able to charge your phone.  

As such, it’s a good idea to clean it out regularly. 

How to clean your phone’s charging port  

It’s relatively quick and easy to clean your smartphone’s charging port, but you need to be careful to avoid damaging it. Let’s get going by following our step-by-step instructions: 

  • Step 1:
    Before you start, turn off your smartphone to minimize the risk of short circuiting. 
  • Step 2:
    Now use a soft brush, such as a dry, clean toothbrush, and brush lint and dirt out of the charging port as gently as possible. 
  • Step 3:
    Finally, take a can of compressed air (you can pick one up from an electronics retailer for next to nothing) and blow over the port to blow out dust particles. Never direct the compressed air into the charging port — rather, just blow over it. The air flow will then blow out the remaining particles.  

If necessary, repeat these three steps several times until the port looks clean. If you feel your phone has become slightly damp, allow it to dry thoroughly before turning it on again to ensure that no moisture remains in the phone charging port. 

After cleaning the charging port and, if necessary, waiting a little while for it to dry, you can turn on your smartphone again. You should now be able to charge it.  

However, if the issue persists or the charging port looks damaged in any way, consider getting help from a smartphone repair shop.  


What tools do I need to clean my phone’s charging port?  

You only need a couple of tools to safely clean your smartphone’s charging port. 

As mentioned, a can of compressed air is handy for removing dirt, dust, and debris from the charging port without making physical contact. Be sure to hold the can upright and only spray briefly to distribute the pressure evenly — and never point the nozzle directly into the charging port as this may push the dirt particles even deeper into the port.  

If you don’t have a can of compressed air to hand, you can use your vacuum cleaner. Set this to the lowest setting to vacuum any dust and other particles from the phone charging port. 

A soft toothbrush or a fine-tip painting brush, as mentioned, is helpful for gently dislodging dirt particles. Be sure not to use bristles that are too hard to avoid damaging the contacts in the charging port. 

In some cases a toothpick or a plastic pick may be helpful to VERY carefully remove larger dirt particles. However, never use sharp or metal objects. That way, you’ll avoid scratching the port and its electronics or causing any other damage. 

You can use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe the outer area of the phone charging port and remove any dust or fingerprints. 

Avoid these tools when cleaning the port 

Avoid using liquids of any kind, such as water, cleaning agents, or alcohol as these could potentially damage the port even further.  

If your smartphone’s charging port is very badly damaged or even encrusted, and cleaning it with the tools we’ve listed doesn’t get the job done, it’s best to have your device checked and repaired at a repair shop. 

Here’s how to clean your phone’s speaker ports  

Dust and other debris can make your phone’s speaker ports dirty, ruining the sound experience. Once again, a fine-tip painting brush or a soft toothbrush is perfect for getting carefully into all the nooks and crannies, often enabling you to get deep into the small holes in the casing.  

Sometimes it’s enough to simply gently press an adhesive film over the speaker ports and then peel it off again to remove the dust. 

How to remove water from your phone’s charging port 

Dust and other dirt particles in the charging port or speaker ports are one thing, but if water gets into your phone’s charging port you should act quickly to minimize more serious damage.  

If possible, switch off your smartphone as soon as you can if you notice that water has managed to get into it. This cuts off the power supply and reduces the risk of short circuiting. 

Here are our top tips on how to remove water from your charging port: 

  • Hold your device with the charging port facing down, then use a can of compressed air to gently spray air over the charging port. This will allow you to blow out the water. It’s best not to use a hairdryer as the (moist) heat could cause even more damage to your device. 
  • Instead, shake your phone with the charging port facing down or gently tap the back to remove excess water.  
  • A tried-and-tested trick is to use dry, uncooked rice. Place your mobile device with the charging port facing down in a bowl full of rice. The rice will absorb any moisture and help draw the water out of your phone. Leave your phone in the rice bowl for at least 24 hours. 

Keep calm and give your phone enough time to dry — never attempt to turn your smartphone back on or charge it too soon as it could spell game over for your device.  

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Avira, a company with over 100 million customers and more than 500 employees, is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than 25 years of experience, the company is a pioneer in its field.
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