When you charge your phone, does the cable have to sit in the port at just the right angle? Or does the phone continually begin charging, then stop, then start again? Those may be signs that your phone’s charging port is filled with pocket lint or other debris. That’s just what happens when you walk around with your phone in your pocket.
Lots of people mistake a poor charging experience for an issue with the phone itself, or with the cable they’re using. Before you buy a new cable or take your phone in for service, here’s a quick tip to try – you might be able to fix the issue yourself.
What kind of charging port do you have?
Cleaning a phone port is super easy but requires finesse. You just need a few tools commonly found around the house to get started. They are: a flashlight, a wooden toothpick (will explain why later), and some patience.
First, a little information about the types of charging ports found on most devices today.
Using the flashlight, aim the light downward into the port to inspect the area and gauge what could be in there.
Lightning™ ports for iPhone are hollowed out with a white back. The charging contact pads are located on the bottom of the port when the phone’s screen is facing up.
Micro USB ports for Android devices like the Galaxy S7 and LG G4 feature a contact tongue in the middle of the port that acts as the receptacle for transferring power.
Type-C™ ports are found on new Android phones like the Galaxy S8 and LG G6. They’re similar to the Micro USB port with the contact tongue in the center of the port.
How to clean your charging port
The first thing you want to do is power off your phone.
Next, find and use a wooden toothpick or plastic coffee stirrer to gently pull the lint out. Make sure the end has a nice point to it.
Why not use a paper clip or safety pin, you ask? Anything metal is conductive and risks damaging the charging port either mechanically or electrically.
It’s important to avoid excessive force when removing the debris. Definitely don’t put any pressure on the center contact tongue for those Micro USB and Type-C ports.
Once the debris has been removed, blow into the port and check with a flashlight again. Compressed air keyboard cleaner will work very well too. For Micro USB and Type-C ports, you should be able to see the reflection of metal in the rear of the port. For Lightning ports, the back of the port should be visibly white.
Watch how easy it is to empty out your phone port for a better charge:
When you’re done, just turn your phone back on and plug it in to see if it works. Problem solved!