April 2nd, 2021

How to clean out your Android or iPhone charging port

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How to clean iPhone Android charging port Asurion

​Dust, lint, dirt, grime—we're used to cleaning these things off the floor, but they can also find their way into your phone's charging port. It can happen any time you put your device inside a bag or pocket with the port facing down, and that happens a lot. While a little debris won't affect your phone immediately, over time, it can become so dirty that your device stops working.

At Asurion, our experts help millions of customers get the most out of their favorite tech, diagnose device problems, and resolve them every day. Here are their tips for cleaning your phone's charging port safely.

Why you should clean your phone's charging port

The opening on the bottom of your phone might look small, but it can get dusty fast. And when you charge it, the connector can force this dust and dirt deeper into the charging port until the phone loses power completely.

The next time you plug in your phone, consider this: Does the connector fit snugly? Are you having trouble charging the battery? If so, your USB-C or Lightning cable may no longer be making a solid connection and it's time to clean out the port.

The first thing to do is inspect your device. Use a bright flashlight or lamp to take a closer look at the charging port. You'll want to check it regularly for dust and debris.

How to clean a phone's charging port safely

Once you determine that you have a dust problem inside the charging port, you'll want to be careful when cleaning it to avoid causing permanent damage to your device. Using sharp metal objects like safety pins, paper clips, or knives can scratch your phone's delicate components or even chip and break off inside the port.

What you can use to safely clean your charging port

Take a softer, but more effective approach, to cleaning out your phone's charging port with the tools Asurion Experts use:

  • A cotton swab or toothpick—these items are soft and can fit into small spaces, making them less likely to cause physical damage to the charging port.
  • Compressed air or bulb syringe—the air from these items can loosen and extract debris so you don't have to insert anything in the charging port.

What not to use when cleaning your charging port

When cleaning your charging port, using these tools can do more damage than good:

  • Toothbrush—the bristles on the brush can get stuck inside and make things worse.
  • Blowing on the port with your mouth—your breath contains water particles that can add moisture and damage your device.

How to clean an iPad or iPhone charging port

The Lightning port on Apple® devices contains slightly different charging pins than a standard USB-C port. However, the steps for how to clean an iPhone charging port or an iPad USB-C charging port are simple:

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  1. Turn off your device and use the can of compressed air or the bulb syringe to clean out the charging port. Blast a few short bursts and see if any dust falls out. If using compressed air, make sure you're holding the can upright to avoid getting water inside the port.
  2. Turn your device back on and try charging the battery. If it still won't charge, turn off the device again and use a toothpick to gently scrape or pull out any debris in the port. Be sure to do this under a bright light so you can see what you're doing, and work slowly so the toothpick doesn't break.
  3. Spray the compressed air or bulb syringe one more time to remove the dust particles you have loosened with the toothpick. Then turn your iPhone or iPad back on and see if it charges.

If these methods don't work, you may need to have your device checked for other battery issues.

How to clean the charging port on a Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel

The USB-C port on Android™ devices can be tough to keep clean, but there are steps you can take to rid your phone of unwanted dirt.

  1. Turn off your device and use the can of compressed air or the bulb syringe to clean out the charging port. Blast a few short bursts and see if any dust falls out. If using compressed air, make sure you're holding the can upright to avoid getting water inside the port.
  2. Turn your phone back on and try charging the battery. If your phone won't charge, turn it off again and use a toothpick to gently scrape or pull out any debris in the port. Be sure to do this under a bright light so you can see what you're doing, and work slowly so the toothpick doesn't break.
  3. Spray the compressed air or bulb syringe a few more times to remove the dust particles you have loosened with the toothpick. Then turn your phone back on and see if it charges.

How to get water out of a charging port

In addition to dust, lint, and dirt, your phone's charging port can also malfunction if it gets wet, whether you dropped your phone in water or moisture found its way inside from a spill, rain, or sweat.

Here’s how to dry out your phone charging port:

  • Don't grab the rice. Rice can potentially become lodged in your phone’s charging port or headphone jack, which can be extremely difficult to dislodge as it swells when exposed to liquid.
  • Leave your device in a dry area for at least an hour with the charging port facing down. This will allow airflow into the port and force excess water to drip out on its own.
  • If you suspect your USB-C or Lightning cable is also wet, store it in a dry place where air can reach it for an hour as well.

How to clean corrosion off an iPhone charging port

Corrosion can also affect your phone's charging port and cause it to stop working altogether. While it's more common with older phones that have experienced extended use, it can form along the walls of your iPhone's Lightning port if you power it up in wet conditions.

If you notice green build-up in or around your charging port, it's best to get professional help to clean your phone. But if you choose to do it yourself, you may be able to clear some of the crust with cotton swabs.

How to clean a phone's speaker

Another part of your phone that's likely caked with dirt and debris? Your speakers. Just like a charging port, this area is constantly exposed to dust, lint, food, and even dead skin cells (yuck!) that can clog the tiny speaker holes and reduce your phone's sound quality. Going too long without cleaning your speakers—both on the bottom of your phone and at the top—will make dust harder to remove and phone calls harder to hear.

To prevent more dirt from getting in, Asurion Experts recommend cleaning the speakers with a damp cloth, cotton swab, or soft-bristle keyboard brush. Skip the compressed air for this area, and never use liquids. Both can damage components inside your phone.


A clean charging port and crystal-clear speakers will help your phone perform at its best. While you're at it, you may want to give your device a full wipe-down to restore some of its old shine. To help you clean your screen and phone case, our experts created this guide on how to remove bacteria and germs from your phone.

Protect your phone

For more than 25 years, Asurion has helped 300 million customers protect, connect, and enjoy the tech they love most. And smartphones are no exception. Your life is on your device, make sure it’s protected. Learn more about Asurion phone insurance plans today.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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