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How to clean your phone’s USB port

Given how long our phones live, it’s no surprise that their ports need a little TLC now and then. No matter how tough your smartphone is, or how tough your phone case is, there’s bound to be some level of dirt and dust buildup in the USB port after prolonged heavy use, especially when regularly exposed. to the elements. If your USB-C port has stopped working or seems a bit dusty, here’s how to safely clean it.

The essentials

  • 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 liquid in your phone’s USB-C port.

The best way to clean your phone’s USB port

Your phone’s USB port is sensitive, so you need a gentle hand to clean it. By far the safest way to clean your phone’s USB port is to use compressed air. Compressed air will loosen dust and blow away dirt without you needing to insert anything into the port.

Using compressed air is pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll give you a quick overview anyway.

  1. Position the compressed air nozzle a short distance from your USB port.
  2. Keep the box upright at all times.
  3. Use short bursts of compressed air to loosen dust and debris.

While you can just as easily blow into your USB port, a can of compressed air is more powerful and there’s less chance of accidentally getting liquid into the port.

    Dust-Off Disposable Compressed Gas Duster, 10 oz - 2 Pack

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

Remove stubborn dirt from your phone’s USB port

If your USB port is still blocked with stuck-on gunk, it’s time to dig a little deeper. At this point, we have to mention that putting cleaning tools in your USB port can be risky and you have to be very delicate. Apply pressure at the wrong angle and you could break connectors or bend them. If you are concerned about damaging the internal connectors, take your phone to a professional.

If you’re willing to give it a try, you’ll need a toothpick or similar narrow object. You can buy phone cleaning tools online, but if you don’t have them handy, a toothpick or the plastic end of an interdental toothpick will also work. We don’t recommend using safety pins or anything metal, and you should never get anything stuck in your USB port.

interdental toothpick and wooden toothpick for cleaning USB port

With your chosen tapping tool, very carefully start working around the center electrical contact. Remember that the goal is to remove the debris, not to push it further inside, so try to use a small scooping motion. This should allow you to remove any deeper dirt. Again, be gentle and if you encounter resistance, modify your motion instead of applying more pressure. Finally, blow your USB port with compressed air to remove any loose particles.

If you’re looking to do an in-depth review of your phone, we’ve also covered how to clean your phone’s speaker grill and how to clean your phone’s screen.

How to prevent dirt from entering your 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 purse, it’s worth investing in a set of dust plugs or a phone case with built-in port covers . These will prevent dirt from entering your USB port in the first place and you won’t need to clean it so often. Dust caps can be easy to lose, especially if you still need to use the USB port for charging, but they’re cheap and come in multi-packs. If your phone supports wireless charging, you might want to consider some great wireless chargers to complement your use of dust plugs.

    PortPlugs USB C Port Plug (10 Pack)

    Dust Covers Compatible with Samsung Galaxy S22, S21, S20, Plus, Ultra, Note 10, Pixel, MacBook, USB c Dust Cover for Android, Includes Cleaning Brush (Black)

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

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