How to Clean iPhone Charging Port [Optimize Charging Speed]

Have trouble getting your iPhone to charge? Sometimes the problem is as simple as a dirty charging port - it's a real magnet for dust and tiny bits of lint. 

Thankfully, cleaning it up is a breeze! In this guide, we'll show you how to easily clean your iPhone's charging port right at home, so you can get back to a speedy charge without a hitch.

Before You Start: Preparing the Right Tools For Charging Port Cleaning

Right Tools for Charging Port Cleaning

Tools to Avoid for Charging Port Cleaning

A flashlight

Safety pins, sewing pins, or thumbtacks

Wooden toothpicks


Manual air pump

Wet wipes, alcohol, or liquid cleaners

Cotton swabs

Anything wet, sharp, or metal

Rubbing alcohol

Your breath

Paper or soft cloth towels


Anything dry and soft

A combination of the above

X Steps to Clean Charging Port on Your iPhone

Step 1: Power Off Your iPhone

For iPhone X, 11, 12, 13 and later:

  1. Press and hold the side button along with the volume up or down button until two sliding buttons appear.

  2. Release the buttons.

  3. Swipe to slide the "slide to power off" option to turn off the phone.

For iPhone 8 or Earlier:

  1. Press and hold the top (or side) button until "slide to power off" appears.

  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.

  3. To turn your device back on, press and hold the top (or side) button until you see the Apple logo.

Slide to Power off iPhone

Step 2: Inspect the Charging Port with the Help of a Flashlight

After switching off your iPhone, let's figure out what's stopping your phone from charging properly. Could it be dust or maybe something else? Let's investigate:

  1. Position your iPhone so the charging port faces upwards, and use a flashlight to light up the inside of the port.

  2. Holding the flashlight at a right angle will help you see any dust or debris that might be lodged inside.

  3. Take a close look around the edges to find any dirt or grime that might be blocking the charging cable from fitting snugly in the port

Inspect the Charging Port with the Help of a Flashlight

Step 3: Gently Air Clean the iPhone Charging Port

While Apple advises against using compressed air, a gentle alternative is utilizing a manual air pump to clear away nuisances like lint, dust, or even pet fur. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Take a manual air pump and direct a few controlled bursts of air into the lightning port to dislodge any debris.

  2. Shine your flashlight into the port once more to ensure all the dirt has been cleared out.

  3. If it seems clean, give it a few minutes before you attempt to charge your iPhone again.

If this doesn't solve the issue, don't worry. We have more detailed cleaning steps lined up for you next. Using the air pump is just the beginning, and we have other effective solutions ready for you.

Blow Air into the iPhone Charging Port

Step 4: Carefully Use a Toothpick for a Deeper Clean

At times, air might not be sufficient to clear away stubborn dirt that's clogging your iPhone's charging port. When this happens, a wooden toothpick can be a gentle yet effective tool for cleaning. Here's the right way to do it:

  1. Carefully insert the wooden toothpick into your iPhone's lightning port.

  2. Gently run the toothpick along the edges of the port to loosen and remove any accumulated dirt.

  3. Be cautious not to use too much force or scrape too hard, to avoid harming the sensitive components within the port. This method can also be employed to tidy up your iPhone's speaker grill, maintaining its clarity and function.

Use a Toothpick to Clean the Charging Port

Step 5: Clean with a Cotton Swab and Rubbing Alcohol

Encountered a sticky mess in the charging port? Dry or sharp tools might not do the trick. Instead, a cotton swab lightly moistened with rubbing alcohol can be your best bet. Here’s a step-by-step process to tackle it:

  1. Dip a cotton swab into a small amount of rubbing alcohol contained in a bowl.

  2. Next, ease the moistened swab gently into the charging port to address the sticky debris.

  3. Circle the swab around inside the port, allowing the grime to adhere to the swab.

  4. Once done, let the charging port dry completely before you try powering up your iPhone again.

    Use a Cotton Swab and Rubbing Alcohol to Clean the Charging Port

Regular cleaning of your iPhone's lightning port can prevent this issue, helping to maintain a smooth charging process. If, despite your efforts, the charging troubles continue, consider exploring other solutions or seeking professional help at a service center. That's your step-by-step guide to restoring a clean, functional iPhone charging port.


What Alternatives Can I Use to Clean My iPhone Charger Port Without a Toothpick?

To clean your iPhone charger port without a toothpick, first, ensure the phone is off and unplugged. Use compressed air to remove dust, or gently brush debris away with a soft, small brush. You can also utilize a thin, rolled-up piece of tape to lift lint from the port. Alternatively, a slender cotton swab can be used to clean the port carefully. Avoid using metallic or conductive tools to prevent damage to the port. Always proceed with caution to avoid harming the internal connections.

Is It Safe to Manually Clean My iPhone Charging Port?

Yes, it's generally safe to clean your iPhone charging port, provided you use the right tools and follow a cautious approach. Avoid using metal objects or any sharp tools as they might damage the sensitive parts of the port.

Can Rubbing Alcohol Cause Damage to My Charging Port?

No, rubbing alcohol won't damage your charging port if used correctly. It evaporates quickly and doesn't leave a residue. However, make sure to use it sparingly and allow the port to dry thoroughly before using it.

How to remove sand and other debris from a charging port?

To tackle the presence of sand, dust, or other fine particles, opting for an air compressor can be a highly effective strategy. Initiate the cleaning process by cautiously using a toothpick to dislodge any visible grains of sand. If the charging issue persists, it's time to bring out the compressed air.

Utilizing an air compressor is often the most reliable method to remove sand from the charging port, presenting a cost-effective alternative to acquiring a new phone. You can readily find cans of compressed air at numerous electronics retailers.

How to remove water from a charging port

If the port appears clear — without signs of debris or sand buildup — there might be water in the charging port. To dry your iPhone's charging port, simply leave your device in a dry area for a few hours. Prop the phone against a wall so the charging port is facing down.

With the port facing down, any water or moisture in the phone should be able to drip out or evaporate, leaving you with a clean iPhone charging port.