Cleaning lightning connector

jjk454ss

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 10, 2008
4,340
446
My phone is not wanting to charge. It will stop/start with a little wiggle of the cable. I had it with an old phone that there was lint/dirt in the 30 pin adapter. The lightning adapter is harder to see. Is there a good way to clean it out without damaging anything? Is it pretty durable inside that I can use a toothpick or something to dig around with no worries?

Any other ideas if my phone isn't charging unless I wiggle the cable? If I hold the cable with pressure forward it charges, otherwise it's on/off and sometimes I wake up after charging overnight to a still dead battery.
 

lelisa13p

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
1,924
33
Atlanta, GA USA
Maybe the problem's not with the cables but with the iPhone connector. Are you near an Apple store to take it in and get it looked at? They could clean it if that's the problem and it would be much safer than you poking around in the dark recess of the connector.

The fact that multiple cables won't connect properly indicates that something's up, as you say.
 

snowman1

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2010
150
13
My phone is not wanting to charge. It will stop/start with a little wiggle of the cable. I had it with an old phone that there was lint/dirt in the 30 pin adapter. The lightning adapter is harder to see. Is there a good way to clean it out without damaging anything? Is it pretty durable inside that I can use a toothpick or something to dig around with no worries?

Any other ideas if my phone isn't charging unless I wiggle the cable? If I hold the cable with pressure forward it charges, otherwise it's on/off and sometimes I wake up after charging overnight to a still dead battery.
I had this problem a few months ago, and you're right: it has to do with lint building up inside the Lightning port, forcing you to jam the cable in in order to charge the phone (and even then, sometimes you have to wiggle it like you said).

I just took a paper clip and unbent it and used the straight end to pick out the lint (a toothpick should work fine as well, though you might risk snapping the toothpick if you scrape too hard). All of the pins for the Lightning connector are on the bottom wall of the port (with the screen oriented upwards), so when you're picking out the lint, scrape against the top of the port to avoid touching the pins. As far as I could tell, the very inside of the port (farthest away from the opening) is plastic, so you can scratch it pretty hard to get out all of the lint without damaging anything.

Before you do this, I would definitely advise shining a flashlight inside the port so that you can see how everything is oriented. Then, you'll know for sure where the pins are and how to avoid them.
 

DCIFRTHS

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2008
985
442
Get a can of Dust Off (compressed air for electronics), and carefully spray some short bursts into the lightning port. It might loosen and force out any lint that has collected.

Hold the can level, and use short bursts. Spray it into the air, to get used to it, before you use it on the phone.
 

dishfan82

macrumors member
Jun 1, 2014
85
0
Cleaning lightning connector

Get a can of Dust Off (compressed air for electronics), and carefully spray some short bursts into the lightning port. It might loosen and force out any lint that has collected.



Hold the can level, and use short bursts. Spray it into the air, to get used to it, before you use it on the phone.


I took mine to the Apple store and told an employee when I was there with another issue that a lady at the Verizon store used Dust off to get the lint loose. Right away she called her an idiot for doing so and warned me that it can cause damage to the speaker. I was having the same issue as the OP where it would keep going out of charging. So i went into my bathroom and turned on the the bright light and took one side of tweezers and picked all the lint out bit by bit. It was all along the wall of the charging port.

So my solution to the OP is this, after you clean it out buy an Otterbox commuter case. Yeah it adds thickness to your iPhone but it does come with a charger port that protects any lint being piled back into the port in the future. I also don't get why Apple hasn't created their own case that has a port cover on the bottom to protect lint getting in there.
 

jjk454ss

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 10, 2008
4,340
446
I took everyone advise and cleaned it as good as I could(Apple store is an hour away, and the phone is jailbroken), it seems to be fixed/a lot better. I'll have to try it some more, but one of my cables that was the worst, I always had to hold pressure to make it charge, is working very well again.

Thanks for the help/advice.
 

CharlieBrandt09

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2012
407
40
Southern NJ
I clean mine out about once every other month. I actually find it very therapeutic, lol. I just use a toothpick and I am very careful. It's worse in the Fall/Winter when wearing jeans a lot.

Really was hoping the IP6 has some sort of retractable cover over the charging port.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,957
509
Rub a pencil eraser on the connector on the cable.

Or put on your tinfoil hat and get a can of ProGold G5 or similar. (Some might think it's snake oil...) Spritz, plug and unplug a few times.
 

DCIFRTHS

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2008
985
442
I took mine to the Apple store and told an employee when I was there with another issue that a lady at the Verizon store used Dust off to get the lint loose. Right away she called her an idiot for doing so and warned me that it can cause damage to the speaker...
Sure. Compressed air in a can can be powerful, and cause damage to certain parts. Possibilities include freezing, and pressure damage. Keeping the air focused on the lighting connector, a good six inches away from it, and using short bursts will prevent any damage from air pressure.

Also, holding the can upright, and not moving around too much will prevent freezing liquid from exiting the "red straw".

Anyway, I have been cleaning all my devices, including my phones, using Dust Off since my days as a projectionist (35mm film on 20 minute reels!). I haven't damaged anything so far...

As for the Apple girl calling someone else an idiot, well, I think she needs more training on how to be a professional salesgirl.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,217
Jacksonville, Florida
Sure. Compressed air in a can can be powerful, and cause damage to certain parts. Possibilities include freezing, and pressure damage. Keeping the air focused on the lighting connector, a good six inches away from it, and using short bursts will prevent any damage from air pressure.

Also, holding the can upright, and not moving around too much will prevent freezing liquid from exiting the "red straw".

Anyway, I have been cleaning all my devices, including my phones, using Dust Off since my days as a projectionist (35mm film on 20 minute reels!). I haven't damaged anything so far...

As for the Apple girl calling someone else an idiot, well, I think she needs more training on how to be a professional salesgirl.
I used to use compressed air on my DSLR cameras and lens but quit when I found it was driving dust into areas that are impossible to clean.

I do not think this applies to cleaning the iPhone but it can be bad on other equipment.
 

DCIFRTHS

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2008
985
442
I used to use compressed air on my DSLR cameras and lens but quit when I found it was driving dust into areas that are impossible to clean.

I do not think this applies to cleaning the iPhone but it can be bad on other equipment.
Agreed. I don't think I would ever use it on with an SLR - especially with the lens removed. I wouldn't use it on a lens (itself) either. Too much of a chance of getting dust on the elements inside.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,132
16,778
I tested paper clip method with my sister iPad mini 2 and has no damages at all even with my uncle iPhone 6
Many times nothing will happen, but the likelihood with something metal is likely at least somewhat higher than let's say with something that is plastic.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,049
11,797
Europe
Lint isn't much of a problem for me, but I have had issues with the port getting gunked up a bit.

With the phone off, I usually take a tooth pick, break off the sharp point to leave a dull end that won't poke through a cloth. Then I take a lint-free cloth, usually ones of the bad ones that come with screen protector install kits, wet one of the corners of it with rubbing alcohol, and shove it into the port with the dulled tooth pick. Wiggle it around in there with the tooth pick, take it out, put it back in, etc. Then I take a dry end of the cloth and repeat. Then I blow it out real quick with some compressed air.
 

lugworm

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2011
398
333
UK
I got a small rubber plug from eBay for the lightning conductor and headphone ports. Fits perfectly and keeps the crap out.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,132
16,778
I got a small rubber plug from eBay for the lightning conductor and headphone ports. Fits perfectly and keeps the crap out.
Are those practical as far as constantly taking them out and putting them back in whenever you need to charge or connect the phone to a computer or plug in headphones?
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,217
Jacksonville, Florida
I tested paper clip method with my sister iPad mini 2 and has no damages at all even with my uncle iPhone 6
You must understand that not all would work that well if everyone used a metal paper clip. Glad it worked for you but we have all kinds of different people here and not all would have your talent. :p

There are "some" that do not need to be prying the dust out of their port with ANY object.
 
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