Cleaning Lightning Port on iPhone 5s

Hardware and Accessories

Hello all,

I've been having a problem with the lightning port on my iPhone 5s. For the last year or so, I have observed that the connection isn't stable. my phone will not charge unless I move the cable around a little bit or it will stop charging if I jostle the cable. I also feel some resistance when I try to push the connector into the port. I'm thinking the port is either wearing out or has some crud stuck in it. I've had the phone for nearly four and a half years now. What would you guys recommend using to clean the port?



Submitted by david s on Thursday, June 14, 2018


Here is what I would do.

Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool.
Use a soft bristle tooth brush to brush it and use the vacuum as above.
Use an air duster then follow it up with a vacuum as mentioned above.
Worse case, use a non metallic pick like a tooth pick and follow it with a vacuum as above.

You’ve already tried different cables to make sure it’s not a cable issue, right?

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Thursday, June 14, 2018

Did you check with another cable just in case is the cable?

Submitted by Marc on Thursday, June 14, 2018

If you are near an Apple store, I would make a genius appointment. This happened to my phone and the employee had some sort of tool to clean the port. She pulled out a large ball of lint! Took all of five minutes. Works perfectly.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, June 14, 2018


The issue is not my cable. I've tried other cables and even a fan powered with the lightning connector. It has to be the port. I will try using a toothbrush to get the gunk out. I'm a little concerned about going to an Apple Store. The warranty on my phone has long since expired. Will they charge an insane fee?

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, June 15, 2018

Call the apple store and ask how much. Also check with your phone provider or whatever find out how much. An sure they have a store.

Submitted by Laurent Cadet de Fontenay on Friday, June 15, 2018

In reply to by Chris

Hi Chris!

I've had this problem with more than one phone, both in the lightning port and earphone jack -- probably testament to the crud I carry around in my pockets! :) I've had good experiences taking my phone, both in and out of warrantee, to an Apple Store to have its ports cleaned out. Its a very quick job and I've never been charged for it. I think this is an extremely common problem, as the Apple Store guys seem extremely used to dealing with it.

I also have had good results asking my wife to sort it out, using a sharp object, e.g. pin or needle. I know using a metallic object may sound risky, but I've never had problems.

Its also possible to purchase small plugs to cover your iPhone ports quite cheaply from amazon. They're a bit fiddly, but if you could be bothered, they may help prevent the problem from reoccuring.

I hope you soon get to enjoy a de-fluffed phone! :)

Submitted by Bingo Little on Friday, June 15, 2018

If you have tried the vacuum tricks suggested above, the apple Store is your best bet. There is no guarantee that they'll be able to get whatever it is out for you though. The same thing happened to an iPhone I once owned and despite having all the relevant tools they weren't able to get whatever it was out of the port. The only suggestion they had was a replacement in those circumstances. Assuming you bought the phone from Apple, then I believe in most countries it's a two-year warranty so you're right, that will have expired. I guess that all they'll offer you will be a replacement at full price, though you might try asking them whether there is a repair option that is slightly cheaper.

Submitted by Lee on Friday, June 15, 2018

Hi Chris,
As your on a 5S which is an old phone. I'm guessing your not bothered about a top range phone. So if your with a network most will give upgrades. Depending on the phone may not cost much at all. Iphone 6 for example I can't see a network now charging very much at all to move from the 5S. just a suggestion.

Submitted by Chris on Saturday, June 16, 2018

Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I'll look into taking this to an Apple Store. As for an upgrade, I'll also have to look into that within the next year or so. I like to use my devices for as long as possible and haven't been impressed by any of Apple's predecessors to the 5s.

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, June 16, 2018

Welp, I'd say if you like the smaller form factor that the 5S gives you, then wait till september or october, and upgrade to the new iPhone SE or whatever they're calling the SE2. Personally I went from a 6S plus to the X, so it was quite a big jump, but worth it in every way for me.

Submitted by Pyro2790 on Sunday, June 17, 2018

Very gently use a paper clip or even a plastic paper clip or buy a can of compressed air and point the straw right at the port. This will definitely get whatever junk is in the port out of it. Its also useful for other applications too, cleaning out the keys on your keyboard, cleaning around computer parts, etc.

Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hi. I had a phone where somehow the lightning port was actually bent. I ended up taking the phone in, and they fixed it. It wasn't under warranty and I don't think they charged anything. Hope it's not bent, but you might want to get a case if you don't have one. The otterbox is expensive, vut when I upgraded, I actually got told. "Wow, I have never seen someone break a case like that." I'm glad it did because the screen protector was cracked, screen was not.

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