Cleaning your phone’s USB port

Given the lives our phones live, it’s not surprising that their ports need a little TLC every now and then. No matter how rugged your smartphone is and no matter how rugged your phone case is, there will always be some degree of dirt and dust buildup in the case. USB port after prolonged rough use, especially with regular exposure to the elements. If your USB-C port stops working or looks a little dusty, here’s how to safely clean it.

The essentials

  • Dust and dirt 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 when cleaning. By far the safest way to clean your phone’s USB port is with compressed air. Compressed air loosens dust and blows away dirt without having to insert anything into the port.

The use of compressed air goes without saying, but we will give you a brief explanation anyway.

  1. Place the compressed air nozzle a short distance from your USB port.
  2. Keep the can upright at all times.
  3. Use short bursts of compressed air to dislodge dust and dirt.

While you can just as easily blow on your USB port, a can of compressed air is more powerful and less likely to accidentally get liquid into the port.

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

Remove stubborn dirt from your phone’s USB port

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

If you want to try it, 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 plastic tip of an interdental pick will also work. We do not recommend using safety pins or anything made of metal, and never trap anything in your USB port.


interdental toothpick and wooden toothpick for cleaning USB port

Start working very carefully around the central electrical contact with your chosen lancing tool. Remember, the point is to remove dirt, not push it further in, so try using a small scooping motion. This should allow you to remove deeper dirt. Again, be delicate 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 remove any loose particles.

If you want to use your phone thoroughly once, we’ve got you covered too how to clean your phone speaker grilleand how to clean your phone screen

How to prevent dirt from getting into 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 handbag, it’s worth investing in a set of dust-resistant plugs or a phone case with built-in port covers. In the first place, this prevents dirt from getting into your USB port and you don’t have to clean it as often. Anti-dust plugs can be easily lost, especially if you have to keep using the USB port for charging, but they are inexpensive and come in packs of multiples. If your phone supports wireless charging, consider getting a great wireless chargers in addition to your use of anti-dust plugs.

    Dust plugs Compatible with Samsung Galaxy s22, s21, s20, Plus, Ultra, Note 10, Pixel, MacBook, USB c Dust cover for Android, including cleaning brush (black)

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

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