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One of the most predictable reasons why your iPhone won’t charge is because the charging port has accumulated too much dust, lint or other debris, causing a clog that’s preventing the charging connections from functioning properly.
Here are the steps to take to safely clean your iPhone charging port so you can get a better charge:
Step 1: Power off your iPhone
Turn off and unplug your phone before attempting to clean it.
Step 2: Find a flashlight or source of strong light
Grab a friend or your SO’s phone and turn on the flashlight or if you’re solo head to the bathroom where you’re more likely to find the level of bright light you need to properly inspect your phone. Have a good look at the outer and interior area of the charging port and see if you can spot any visible lint, crumbs or gunk.
Step 3: Clean the charging port with compressed air
With your iPhone in one hand, and the charging port pointed towards the source of light, grab a can of compressed air* – making sure to hold it upright! – and give the port a few strong but short blasts so you can vaporize the debris. This will work best for debris, like lint, which is more likely to stick to the outer surface of your iPhone’s charging port.
Avoid blowing on your phone’s charging port! The particles that may be flying out of your mouth when you’re blowing can cause moisture build-up in the charging port and you’ll have a whole new set of problems…
*While Apple doesn’t recommend the use of compressed air to clean an iPhone, this is the most tried-and-true method of cleaning a charging port that most professionals would recommend you use. Looking for any specific cleaning instructions related to your particular iPhone model? Head over to this handy Apple support page and look up your specific iPhone model’s cleaning advice.
Step 4: If unsuccessful, try a toothpick or bobby pin
If after a few short bursts of compressed air, you plug in your iPhone and notice it still doesn’t charge or it charges improperly, then consider upgrading to a toothpick or a bobby pin. You can also start with the toothpick – instead of the can of compressed air – but the reason why we prefer compressed air as the first charging port cleaning tool is because in the majority of cases, a few short bursts of air are enough to clear up any debris.
With a toothpick, or a bobby pin, you must be mindful to not go in the charging port too aggressively or quickly because you could damage the super sensitive connectors in your iPhone.
So, grab a toothpick, point your charging port towards the flashlight or bright bathroom light, and gently insert the toothpick inside the port and slowly move it around to see if it latches on to anything, like the crumbs from the croissant you devoured at your desk or perhaps you haven’t cleaned out your purse in eons and a bunch of lint has jammed itself into the back of the port.
If the toothpick dislodges any particles, just use the can of compressed air to blow it off the phone or simply wipe it off with a dry cloth.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4!
After using the compressed air and the toothpick, try charging your iPhone and seeing if that does the trick. If your iPhone still isn’t charging or is charging too slow, then repeat steps 3 and 4 one or two more times and then plug it again to see how your iPhone responds.
If you’re still unsuccessful after several attempts of self-cleaning, then it’s time to make an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar to get some professional help.
While you’re at it…use a wipe to sanitize your phone!
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has made us into the clean freaks our moms would’ve been proud of, our overzealous sanitization of surfaces and hands doesn’t preclude the possibility that your iPhone has collected bacteria and other icky things. However, scrubbing your phone too aggressively with a wet sanitizing wipe can cause you to inadvertently damage your charging port!
So, rather than pressing a wet wipe into any of the open ports, and potentially leaking fluids in there, you should try to wipe down your phone more gently and slowly, and perhaps even lay a wipe over a dry tissue so it can absorb some of the wetness of the wipe first. And make sure you avoid the charging port area when you’re sanitizing your phone. Stick to the outer surface areas.
And need to sanitize on the go? Stop by one of our UV-C charging kiosk locations inside your favorite retail stores and sanitize your phone while you charge it!