I have been having problems getting my iphone to charge once it's already plugged in lately. Like a bad headphone cable sometimes just wiggling it around gets the little lightning bolt to pop up over the battery.

So, figuring there were some tiny debris in there I looked for a toothpick, could not find one, and proceeded to click out the "lead" (graphite) of a mechanical pencil and use that.

The phone does not charge at all now. Have tried two working chargers in different plugs, flipped sides, rubbed on it, wiggled it, etc and it absolutely will not charge now.

Turns out graphite is a decent conductor. Is there any way I can clean it out of there using common household items?


Graphite is a really good conductor of electricity - so the chances are what you just managed to do is connect together all the contacts in the socket.

I think you probably need professional cleaning now.

If the phone had a removable battery, then I'd say remove it, grab some spray contact-cleaner from Radio Shack/Maplins etc & douse it... but not while the contacts are still live.

  • "If the phone had a removable battery?" No iPhone has one of those. He should take it to an Apple store or a repair tech, meanwhile I would love it off in case something was shorted out. Nov 24 '16 at 23:34
  • @SteveChambers - It was more to warn that you should never use contact cleaner on a live device; it's conductive when wet.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 25 '16 at 7:20

It sounds like you've gotten graphite over the contacts of the port. If you don't want to get it fixed by a professional, I would suggest using cotton swabs to try to clean it off. Make sure you use some compressed air afterwards to ensure that no fibers from the cotton swabs have gotten stuck in your port.


I would reccomend using 90% alcohol with a tiny bit of peroxide on a old or unused toothbrush and scrub out the port with it that way. i do this with all my phones and gadgets and it really saves me from a waste of time chaos and money. Hope this works for you

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