Tips & How To’sHeadphones

How To Clean A Headphone Jack In 5 Simple Ways

Eric Chan

A phone has tiny parts that can go unnoticed when doing a phone's overall cleanup. A headphone jack is one of those tiny parts we will discuss today. Mastering the skill of how to clean a headphone jack will keep your phone free from dirt, dust and tiny debris that may cause sound distortion.

The cleaning process is easy since you can get most tools from home. Let us get into this article and learn more.

What Is A Headphone Jack?

A headphone jack is an analog socket that connects headphones, earphones and headsets to enable the transfer of sound from gadgets such as PCs, sound systems and mobile phones.

How Do You Know That Your Headphone Jack Is Dirty?

Headphone jacks can sometimes go unnoticed when you are cleaning your phone; that is why they get dirt built up over time. To diagnose a dirty headphone jack, you can look at it.

You can also be on the lookout for the following issues related to dirty headphone jacks to get the right diagnosis.

1. Audio Issues

If your headphone jack is dirty, you will likely experience sound issues like dimming, static, skipping, muffled sound, or headphones working on one ear. A better explanation is that the dirt build-up may prevent the headphone plug from getting a better connection with the phone.

If you have an iPhone, you can also check if the audio issues originate from the ear speaker. If so, learn how to clean an iPhone ear speaker to permanently eliminate sound distortion.

2. Loose Headphone Jack

Sometimes the cause of your headphones falling off after connecting is the dirt build-up in the headphone jack. In this case, you need to clean your headphone jack to ensure your headphones have a firm grip on the port.

However, there could be a possibility that these issues could not be dirt related, but you need to rule out the doubt by cleaning your headphone jack first. You can also replace the headphone jack plug if it is loose. Keep reading as we explain to you the five methods to use to clean your headphone jack.

How To Clean Headphone Jack In 5 Simple Ways

1. Using Cotton Swabs

No doubt you own some cotton swabs in your household because you will need them, plus rubbing alcohol. So first, prepare the cotton swab to the size that fits your headphone jack by pulling the bud head so that it gets narrower, then apply some rubbing alcohol to it.

Do not substitute the rubbing alcohol with any other liquid, such as water, as it may damage the headphone jack permanently. Again, ensure that there are no loose bits of cotton on the cotton swab as they may get stuck inside the headphone jack and cause further damage.

After confirming the above, you can gently insert the cotton swab and twist it gently to remove any dirt. Keep interchanging with a clean cotton swab until no dirt is coming out.

2. Using A Paper Clip and Tape

The paper clip and tape method work best on dirt, such as lit. The moment you notice lint inside your headphone jack, use this method. You will need a paper clip, a clear tip, a q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Start by switching off your phone, then open and unbend a paper clip to be able to fit inside your headphone jack. Go ahead and wrap the clear tape on the paper clip with the sticky side facing.

Insert the paper clip until it reaches the bottom of the headphone jack, then twist and remove it. Any dirt inside will stick on the paper pin; you can repeat the process until all the debris comes out. Finally, dampen the q-tip in alcohol and give it a last twist.

3. Using Compressed Air/ Air Duster

This should sound easy if you know how to use an air duster. However, if you have no idea, here's how to go about it. First, switch your phone off, then point the nozzle towards the headphone jack. Next, ensure some space between your phone and the nozzle, then push down the canister button to remove pressurized air that will remove dirt from the headphone jack.

While using an air duster, it is worth noting that you should not put the nozzle directly into your headphone jack since the pressurized air is enough to clean your headphone jack externally. Furthermore, putting the nozzle directly to your headphone jack poses a risk of damaging the headphone jack permanently.

4. Using An Interdental Brush

In rare cases, your headphone jack can accumulate dirt due to corrosion that occurs when the metal on the headphone jack wears out. An interdental brush will clean the corroded headphone jack without damaging the internal components.

You will need an interdental brush and rubbing alcohol for this procedure. If you have one, dip it in rubbing alcohol to moisten it. Next, turn off your device and insert the brush into the headphone jack, moving it in a circular motion. Repeat the process until no corrosive dirt comes out.

5. Gently Tapping Your Phone

Tapping is the best way to clean loose debris from the headphone jack. Use a torch to look into the headphone jack, and if you find that the dirt is loose enough to be removed by simple tapping, tap the phone gently for it to fall off.

If it persists, you can try out the above methods. The benefit of using this method is that you don't have to insert anything into your phone, so there is no worry of damaging it. However, ensure you tap your phone gently to avoid damaging delicate parts. You should also look at how to clean headphones, AirPods and earbuds to improve sound quality.

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