Question about the Home Button and Isopropyl Alcohol ...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sounds Good, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys,

    The home button on my iPhone 4 is getting worse and worse. I now need to press it 4 or 5 times (each time) to get it to work. It's driving me nuts! I've heard that a couple drops of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol might do the trick, but here's my question:

    Does it HAVE TO BE 99.9% isopropyl alcohol? Or can it be 91% isopropyl alcohol?

    I can find the 91% stuff in local stores for fairly cheap, but I'd have to order the 99.9% stuff online -- and frankly I'd rather not spend around $10 for literally 2 drops of this stuff.

    Anyone know? Thanks!

    :)
     
  2. macrumors regular

    iRepairParts

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #2
    99.9% Isopropyl alcohol would be a very quick and effective fix if you just needed to clean the flex cable area of dirt or other debris. If you have to push the home button down several times before it works, you may need to replace the home button flex cable. What happens is, over time the metal disc on the home button flex cable loses its "bounce" and needs to be replaced.

    I would first try the isopropyl alcohol first; but I would recommend 99.9% over the 91%. The higher percentage means a higher concentration of alcohol which results in less water, and a much faster evaporation of the alcohol. Water is our iPhones 2nd greatest enemy after hard surfaces, :)
     
  3. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    91% should be just fine. Many home buttons have been repaired that way. Your phone is out of warranty anyway. Just a drop or two. :cool:
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Bugeyeblue

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #4
    I know this isn't really the answer you're looking for, but if that doesn't work for you, you can always turn on assistive touch through settings, general, accessibility, assistive touch. It gives you a small software button to simulate a home button umong other things. Just an option if the alcohol doesn't help.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #5
    Never mind, sorry.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #6
    Yikes. I hope that's not the case.

    Yeah, I understand. Tough call. $10 for 2 drops. But I know it's the safest way to go.

    I read about that too. I might have to do it.

    I'm kinda thinkin' the same thing. Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)
     
  7. macrumors regular

    iRepairParts

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #7
    Here's the thing: Generally, 91%-94% Isopropyl alcohol SHOULD be ok. We just choose to take the path with the least possibility of collateral damage.

    If you are willing to try the 91% though, I would say go ahead and see if it works! If it does, you saved your phone and saved some money :)

    Another plus is that if the home button flex does need to be repaired, you can get a replacement for under $10. Keep us posted with the results!
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    location, location!
    #8
    Hi, it really depends on what the other 9% is. I can certainly atest to the Isopropy and Peanut Butter mixture being somewhat detrimental. I'd also steer clear of any Isopropyl with Kangaroo or spanners, both can cause problems.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #9
    I just came back from the store. Turns out the other 9% *is* peanut butter!
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #10
    UPDATE: Well, maybe I was a bit too careful to not use too much alcohol, but my first attempt did not work. :(

    I'm gonna try it once more.

    iRepairParts, where can I get that home button flex thingamajig, just in case this doesn't work?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #11
    Oh my. I think it worked!

    I tried it again, this time using more alcohol and rubbing/clicking a bit more. So far it seems to be MUCH improved. I'll play with it a bit more and see what happens.

    :)
     
  12. macrumors regular

    iRepairParts

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #12
    Sounds good! PM me if you need a flex cable. I am not sure if I can post links to websites here.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #13
    Thanks, I appreciate that. But this HAD TO have been the problem because now the home button works like brand new. In fact it's smooth as buttah! :)

    For those of you that know how frustrating this button problem can be, you know how happy I am right now. :D
     
  14. macrumors regular

    iRepairParts

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #14
    Yup, it sounds nailed the problem right on the head! There's no better feeling than a successful repair!
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    #15
    When I experienced similar symptoms I got my shop vac out, turned phone facing down and held the suction real close to button as I pushed the button all sorts of ways
    Took about 5 seconds and button works perfect ever since
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #16
    That really sucks, man.


    Sorry, couldn't resist. ;)
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #17
    Well guys, it's been about 7 hours now and I'm just blown away with the improvement. For others out there with the same home button problem, I highly recommend buying a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol for around $1.49. You'll be glad you did!
     
  18. macrumors regular

    iRepairParts

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #18
    Its amazing how much dirt and grime can get in under the home button
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    mikeydeezy

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    MN, USA
    #19
    Now it's time to discover the magic of Zephyr (assuming you're JB'ed) :D
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #20
    I've never done the jailbreak thing. Always been concerned that it might cause something negative to happen that I'd regret!
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    macingman

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #21
    Fixed the problem for me to. However after I spilt the alcohol all over the phone while trying to put the phone back in it's case so broke the screen.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #22
    Ouch. Serious bummer. :(
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Christian 5G

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    #23
    My friend has this problem( he's iPhone 4 button doesn't work at all unless you push it so hard that you get a spots on your fingers.) , thanks for letting know. Is it really works?
     
  24. macrumors regular

    iRepairParts

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #24
    Isopropyl alcohol is great for cleaning away debris such as dirt, dust, and other small particles from the the home button flex cable which can cause issues with the home button function.

    If the isopropyl alcohol does not work, the home button flex cable needs to be replaced.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Location:
    usa
    #25
    Don't do it!
     

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