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Here’s Why Your Phone Isn’t Charging Properly

A stupid problem also has a stupid solution

By now I’m sure you’re well aware that your phone is fucking disgusting, and hopefully you’ve added a quick alcohol or Clorox Wipe rub of it to your daily routine. But you know what’s still kind of fucking disgusting? The rest of your phone. Like, its nooks and crannies. You might not see or notice it until they stop working properly, but your iPhone charging port, volume buttons and mute switch are probably all coated in your pocket lint. 

So, to truly deep clean your phone, you’re going to have to get invasive. 

Every single article on the internet recommends cleaning your iPhone charging port with a wooden toothpick. This article is no different. A wooden toothpick is the ideal tool for cleaning the interior bits of your phone because it’s tiny, sharp-ish and not conductive of electricity. When messing with the metal pieces of an electronic device, that latter part is important. You’d probably be fine using a bobby pin or thumbtack or whatever other sharp metal objects you have at your disposal, but you could easily damage your phone. Plastic would also be acceptable if you don’t have a wooden toothpick. Either way, turn off your phone before you begin prodding.

Even though wood is a more gentle choice, you yourself will still have to be careful. The interior of the iPhone charging port utilizes spring mechanisms to latch on to the charger. If these springs stop working because you fucked them up by stabbing them with a toothpick, your phone will no longer be able to register that a charger is inside of it. For the most part, though, the hole can handle your careful prodding. 

Lightly poke around in there, and you’ll probably find quite a few bits of lint. For an extra-deep cleaning, you can use compressed air to fully remove whatever you might have loosened in there. If you don’t have compressed air, just blow on it. Whatever. 

While you’re at it, you might as well use the toothpick to scrape around the other buttons and bits of the phone. I discovered a lot of “lint” (who knows what it really is…) around the little speaker holes at the bottom of my phone.

Apparently, lint and general dirt are responsible for a lot of the little problems with phones. The fact that the solution is just to poke around with a toothpick is partially a relief. At the same time, I feel a small bit of existential dread toward the fact that no matter how far technology advances, it will likely always be weak to whatever grime sits at the bottom of my pocket.