Phone’s USB Port Not Working? Simply Clean It Up

Yesterday my younger brother came running to me and complained that his phone was no longer taking the charge. He had tried all sorts of USB cables and all kinds of wall chargers. He had also tried to connect it to the USB port of the PC, but had no luck. Because phone was working fine, the possible suspect could be either the phone cable or the travel charger. But since all different cables and charges had been tried, the only problem could be with the USB port of the phone. Long story short, I cleaned the USB port and it started to work.

But do not hurry and and try to clean the USB port of your phone too. There are some precautions you should take. For example, before cleaning – turn off the phone and take the battery out. This is to make sure that during cleaning the port, you do not short circuit the positive and negative voltage pins. If you cannot take the battery out (as some phones have a fixed battery), then at least turn the phone off and use a non-conductive object to clean the phone – such as a toothpick which is made of wood. If you have taken the battery out, then you can use any sharp pin or needle for cleaning.

Things that you would need –

  • Metallic needle or safety pin (if battery is not fixed). A wooden toothpick (if battery is fixed).
  • Isopropyl alcohol for cleaning the port. Not necessary but cleans all dirt. You can also use after shave lotion or rubbing alcohol.
  • Bright light source like a flashlight to see if the port is cleaned.

Cleaning process –

  1. Turn off the phone and take the battery out. In case of fixed battery, just switch off the phone.
  2. Use flashlight to see inside the USB port and then use a safety pin to gently pick the lint from inside the USB port. If the safety pin or needle is thick and not going inside properly then do not force it, just find a thinner safety pin.Clean Dirt from Mobile Phone's USB Port
  3. After taking all the lint out like this, take few drops of isopropyl alcohol and put inside the USB port. You can use a dropper for this. Then use the metallic pin to rub the over the USB port contacts.
  4. Shake the phone to remove the remaining alcohol from inside the USB port and blow air into it. It will get dry in 5-6 minutes.Clean Dirt from Mobile Phone's USB Port
  5. Place the battery back and everything should be working fine now.

Take caution that before you restart the phone, there should be no alcohol remaining in the USB port as most brands are anhydrous alcohols (contains water) and could short circuit the port terminals if not dried up fully.