I have an unusual problem: I have a small ball of silica gel stuck on my Macbook Air headphone jack.
Any ideas how I might get it out of my headphone jack?
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This is the number one foreign object I've seen stuck in iPod / iOS headphone jacks and just like getting coins and business cards and CD's out of a stuck optical drive slot, your best bet is to get it in the hands of a trained technician to remove.
Now, if you can't get to a technician you trust, you'll have to use some ingenuity to decide if you are able to dislodge it.
If the bead rattles around when you gently invert the device, it's very likely you could get it out by mechanical means (centripetal force as you swing your arm) or light suction or very carefully getting a lever past the sphere.
Unfortulately, most cases the bead gets firmly wedged at the bottom due to force from a headphone jack and the force needed to crush the sphere usually damages the thin metal contacts that are designed to hold the tip of your headphone jack in the port.
You may want to consider the repair options and cost of a new jack before deciding to force out a foreign body such as a silica bead.
Good luck, and hopefully this doesn't end up in a costly repair or replacement for you.
Had two silica beads stuck in my iPad earphone jack at the same time. What a pain! Took a paperclip end and scraped the beads up and down, taking care not to touch the earphone contacts. The sides turned to powder within 2-3 minutes allowing for each one to fall out. Wrapped the paperclip with paper towel and wiped the inside.
Put a very small amount of cyanolite glue at the flat tip (bottom) of the toothpick (diameter of the glue bubble MUST be much smaller than the ball or the socket diameter itself otherwise you'll glue your socket)
very precisely direct the flat tip of the toothpick toward the ball and stay still while it sets. (pay attention not to touch sides of socket, if you do, remove the toothpick. Don't smear: you can still scrape the dry glue with some metal blade later)
This is simple and protects your phone jack as well.
Roll a small piece of paper about 1/2" long and enough to wrap around an earphone jack 1+ times. This makes a small round sleeve you can push in the opening all the way up to the silica bead. It surrounds it and limits the adhesive.
Take a round toothpick or a round coffee stirrer (best) that fits inside the paper sleve (the toothpick needs to be cut so the pointed end is cut off) and touch the tip of the coffee sirrer with hot glue (you want a viscous adhesive so it can't leak inside the jack) and insert it in the sleeve and allow to cool.
Other adhesives would work ... paper/wood glue with water in it would be ok, but hot glue is fast and has great adherence.
Then slide out the sleeve and whatever you push in the center of the sleeve.
Out, out damn bead! (Shakespeare reference)
I have used this MANY times as this occurs too frequently.
Consider trying this:
Unscrew a two-piece ball point pen. Set aside the top of the barrel, the ink cartridge, and the spring. Place the tip of bottom section in (or around) the obstructed jack. Now.. well.. suck. I expect you won't be able to generate near enough suction to cause damage.
Just take care that the silica gel ball doesn't turn out to be smaller in diameter than the aperture of the pen tip. Silica may be inert as far as your digestive system is concerned, but your lungs aren't nearly as forgiving when it comes to aspirating a foreign body, not even one of that small a size. Come to think of it, it's probably prudent to cover the end of the barrel you'll be placing in your mouth with a tissue or thin cloth, as any prior efforts to dislodge the ball may have left it in fragments the eye cannot discern.
While this method also has its downsides (you can damage the black plastic connector casing) IMHO it is still the least destructive way.
I had the same issue and extracted the ball with a heated needle:
Be careful. Worked for me. If possible, get some beads-experience first by trying out on some other beads.
Somehow I got a silica gel ball stuck in my Android Samsung Note 3's audio jack port. I was able to use a small flat head screwdriver (the kind you use on eye glasses) and smash the silica ball by hitting it directly a few times. It turned into dust and I used an air blower to get rid of the particles. Works like a charm now.
I just went ahead and got aggressive and poked it with a small xbox controller torx screwdriver
It turned to powder and I can use my headphone jack as if nothing happened.
This happened to me on my old Lenovo laptop as well as a MBP. The bead was stuck quite deep, tried a pin to break it but no luck.
At the end my dad came to the rescue with a chisel shaped micro screwdriver. Just insert the screwdriver into the jack till it touches the silica bead. Gently apply some pressure and keep rotating the screwdriver till the bead breaks (took about 2-3 minutes). Please note, use a chisel shaped screwdriver. Should be available at any hardware store for around $2 - $5. Image