How to clean the USB port of your phone

Given the life our phones live, it’s no surprise that their ports need a little TLC now and then. No matter how hard your smartphone is, nor how hard your phone case is, there is bound to be some level of dirt and dust accumulating in the USB port after long periods of rough use, especially when exposed to the elements on a regular basis. If your USB-C port stops working or looks like a bit of dust, here’s how to clean it safely.

The basics

  • Dust and debris can prevent your phone’s USB-C port from working properly.
  • A can of compressed air is the safest way to clean your phone’s USB port.
  • Do not use liquids inside the USB-C port of your phone.

The best way to clean the USB port of your phone

The USB port of your phone is delicate, so you need a gentle hand when cleaning it. By far, the safest way to clean the USB port on your phone is by using compressed air. Compressed air loosens dust and blasts dirt without having to insert anything into the port.

Using compressed air is pretty intuitive, but we’ll give you a quick look anyway.

  1. Place the compressed air nozzle a short distance from the USB port.
  2. Keep the can in an upright position at all times.
  3. Use short bursts of compressed air to loosen dust and debris.

While you can easily blow on a USB port, a can of compressed air is more robust, and there is less chance of accidentally getting liquid into the port.

    Disposable Compressed Gas Duster, 10 oz - Pack of 2

    Removes dust, lint and other contaminants from hard-to-reach areas.

Remove stubborn dirt from your phone’s USB port

If your USB port is still blocked by stuck-on dirt, it’s time to dig deeper. At this point, we need to point out that putting any cleaning tools in your USB port can be risky, and you should be very careful. Push at the wrong angle and connectors can break or bend. If you are at all concerned about damaging the internal connectors, take your phone to a professional.

If you want to try it, you will need a toothpick or something similar tight. You can buy phone cleaning tools online, but if you don’t have these, a toothpick or a plastic tip of your choice between the teeth will also work. We don’t recommend using safety pins or anything metallic, and you should never put anything in a USB port.

Choose between teeth Wooden toothpicks to clean the USB port

With your chosen lancing device, very carefully begin to work around the central electrical contact. Remember that the goal is to remove debris, not push it in, so try to use a small motion. This should allow you to remove any deeper dirt. Again, be gentle, and if you encounter resistance, change your movement instead of applying more pressure. Finally, give your USB port a blast with some compressed air to get rid of any loose particles.

If you’re looking to give your phone a thorough look at once, we’ve also covered how to clean your phone’s speaker grille, and how to clean your phone’s screen.

How to prevent dirt from getting into the USB-C port

Prevention is by far the best course of action. If you work in a dusty environment or regularly carry your phone in your pocket or handbag, it’s worth investing in a set of anti-dust plugs or a phone case with built-in port covers. This will prevent dirt from getting to the USB port in the first place and you won’t need to clean it as often. Dust-proof plugs can be easy to lose, especially if you need to keep using the USB port for charging, but they’re cheap and come in multiple packages. If your phone supports wireless charging, you may want to consider some great wireless chargers to complement your use of dustproof plugs.

    USB C PortPlugs (10-Pack)

    Dust Plugs Compatible with Samsung Galaxy s22, s21, s20, Plus, Ultra, Note 10, Pixel, MacBook, USB c Dust Cover for Android, Cleaning Brush Included (Black)

We hope this article helped you clean your USB port. Remember, if in doubt, let the professionals do their work.

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