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There appears to be a few small metallic fragments clinging to the magnet around the port where the MagSafe power connecter attaches to my MacBook Air. I can still get the cord to (mostly) seat, enough to charge the computer, but it's not as snug a fit as it used to be. How can I clean my MagSafe port?

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This begs a nice picture to illustrate the demise you find yourself in ;-) –  bmike Apr 26 '12 at 19:03
    
Sadly, the only camera I have with me is my FaceTime camera on said MacBook Air, and I can't contort it to photograph the MagSafe port. –  Daniel Lawson Apr 26 '12 at 19:20
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Maybe with a couple of well-placed mirrors, though... –  Daniel Lawson Apr 26 '12 at 19:20

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Start with a pencil eraser or small wooden dowel / tool to gently dislodge the debris. As the magnets are very strong, you may need to use tape with a strong adhesive to grab the foreign material. Clear packing tape strikes a good balance between not leaving residue and getting the crud out. Duct tape also is nice, but a bit more sticky and may grab the plastic covering if it is wearing or the adhesive is warm from internal heat.

So:

  1. Power off the mac
  2. Let the connector cool
  3. Be gentle - don't tear the magsafe covering
  4. know you can get it serviced with a new connector if needed for approx $40 in labor and the part might run you between $10 and $40 depending on the model.

And I know Apple recommends a toothbrush and a cotton swab. The first will get off huge easily removed debris, but not staples and highly magnetic items that are small. The latter is actually quite nice in many cases as it will grab items with a sharp edge. Usually when things are gunked up enough to displace the adapter - you'll have many fine pieces accumulated and need tape or stronger tools than a q-tip.

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3  
Thanks for the tip. I ended up using the adhesive portion of a Post-It Note, and the metallic debris came out fine. The downside is I never got a picture of the trouble. –  Daniel Lawson Apr 26 '12 at 20:22
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I used part of a post-it note as well and that worked surprisingly well. Just folded it on the sticky part and started wiping away all the magnetic debris. –  methodMan Jan 24 '13 at 21:17

From Apple's Support site:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1713

If your MagSafe connectors requires cleaning:

To clean the DC plug on either the computer or the power adapter, disconnect the adapter from the wall outlet and/or remove the battery from the computer. Remove debris gently with a cotton swab or a soft bristle toothbrush, which provide the strength, flexibility, and precision for this task. Be careful not to get any cotton fibers stuck in the pin receptacle. You may use isopropyl alcohol to aid in cleaning the connectors as well. Be sure the connectors are dry before using the computer or adapter after cleaning.

Note: The power adapter port contains a magnet that can erase data on a credit card or other magnetic device if it gets too close. In order to preserve and protect your data, Apple recommends that you keep magnetic media away from the power adapter port.

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Once I got small pieces of iron stuck in the port - none of the magnets we had were stronger than the one in the port. We couldn't flick them out with a clean paintbrush and the hole was too small to put fingernails in. We ended up getting it out with blue tack!

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Here's the solution I used to clean out metal fragments in my connector socket: Use Blu-Tack or Sticky Tack! This cleans out the connector socket almost immediately and it took less than a penny's worth of tack! Just roll it around in the connector and it'll work fine :)

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I was trying using a bobby-pin, paper clip, small pieces of paper, my nail for about 20-30 minutes, getting very frustrated at this point... finally I thought of tweezers! Got it out first try

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