One of the main reasons that wired headphones often refuse to work is because people just don't know how to clean headphone jack. Not to mention that it can also be damaged.

That's why we decided to show you how to do it properly and safely. Without any further ado, let's get right into it!


You're following this guide at your own responsibility. Updato won't be held accountable for any damages that you may end up causing to the phone/tablet.

And make no mistake. If you're not careful or if you get the wrong item, then damaging a headphone jack (Or even the phone) is entirely possible.

With that out of the way, let us move on!

1: How to Clean Headphone Jack With Cotton Swabs

Cotton Swabs are cheap while they can also be found at any house and they can get the job done.

How to clean headphone jack

However, not all Cotton Swabs are suitable. We'd recommend looking for something that has small tips so that you'll be able to easily fit it into the headphone jack.

If the tips are too fluffy/big, you may end up pushing any dirt and debris further into the port instead of removing it.

So, after getting Cotton Swabs that are at the right size, all you have to do is:

  1. Get one and twist its tip a bit so that it'll comfortably fit in
  2. Put it into the jack
  3. Then start moving it around in circles to clean the port

If you feel like there is too much dirt/debris in there, you could also try using some Rubbing Alcohol as well. Just be careful not to apply too much - we don't want to soak the Swabs.

That goes without saying, but make sure to turn off the phone before inserting the wet Swab inside. Ideally, you should take out the battery as too - if you're lucky enough to still have a phone with a removable one.

Other than that, try to get something that contains at least 70% alcohol. If you can go above 90%, then that would be the ideal option.

Small amounts of Isopropyl evaporate almost immediately. So, you shouldn't have any issues. But, again, do remember to turn off the device and/or remove the battery - just to be safe. Also, wait for a while until everything dries off.

2: How to Clean Headphone Jack With Compressed Air Cans

How to clean headphone jack

Compressed air can be used to clean a variety of different electronics - from computers and PC peripherals to smartphones and tablets. After all, it's called a compressed air can - not a compressed air can't (Sorry, not sorry).

All you have to do is:

  1. Buy a compressed air can from your local store (They are cheap and can commonly be found in computer and electronic shops)
  2. Turn off your phone - just to be safe
  3. Attach the nozzle to the can
  4. Point it towards the headphone jack
  5. And blow on it a few times

Make sure to only blow in short intervals and avoid using the can upside down. Otherwise, you may end up turning the gasses into liquid and we don't want that.

Also, do keep in mind that compressed air isn't actually air.

Most compressed air cans generally contain tetrafluoroethane or Difluoroethane. And it probably goes without saying, but you should probably avoid inhaling such gasses.

Still, with all that being said, compressed air is one of the safest ways to clean your headphone jack. But, it's mostly made for blowing away dust. If you feel like there's too much debris on the 3.5 port, consider relying on the Swabs and alcohol instead.

3: Use an Interdental Brush

As the name suggests, Interdental Brushes are actually meant to be used for taking care of our teeth. But, they also make for good headphone jack cleaners.

How to clean headphone jack

The process of using an Interdental Brush to clean a headphone jack is more or less the same with the Cotton Swabs. Just:

  1. Buy an Interdental Brush (You should probably be able to find one at your local pharmacy or online - if you're willing to wait for the delivery)
  2. Turn off your phone and remove the battery if possible
  3. Dip the brush into a bit of rubbing alcohol (At least 70%. 90% or more is better). Don't soak the brush - just get it a bit wet
  4. Put it in - and be gentle. Make small clockwise and counter-clockwise movements to clean thoroughly

And that's as easy as it gets. If the port is wet after you're done, then definitely wait until it dries off first. We don't want to short anything.

Isopropyl alcohol itself isn't conductive. But, most of us can't get our hands on something that's more than 96% pure. So, even that remaining 4% can be worrying - nevermind 30. So, just be careful with that.

Headphone Jack Still Not Working?

If you came here to fix a faulty headphone jack, followed everything that we mentioned, but still can't get it to work, then there is a chance that you are either not dealing with a hardware problem, or that the port is already beyond saving.

If your problem is software-related, then check out our other guide on how to fix a headphone jack that's not working. When it comes to 3.5 mm port problems, there is quite more to it than what meets the eye. So, definitely check our little article on that and you'll hopefully find a fix.

But, if the problem is hardware-related, then chances are that the port is beyond saving.

Unlike with desktops or even laptops, repairing an individual part on a smartphone is pretty hard. Or in some cases, almost impossible.

That's mostly due to the fact that most phone parts cannot be taken out and replaced. And even when they can, you may need a very specific part that only works with specific models and that's tough to get your hands on.

You can try your luck by visiting the local tech/repair shop. But, don't get your hopes up.

Wrapping Up

That's all for now. Hopefully, our little guide helped you clean your headphone jack thoroughly and safely. If you went anywhere wrong and ended up damaging something, let the others know so that they'll avoid making the same mistake.

Be especially careful with the brush and the alcohol so that you won't damage or short anything.

Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!

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View Comments

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool

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