How I fixed an iPhone with a Q-Tip

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31 Responses to “How I fixed an iPhone with a Q-Tip”

  1. pborenstein says:

    If it’s just water, you can use a hair dryer to dry the moisture.

    Now that I think about it, the decision to put the headphone jack of the bottom of the iPhone 5 is brilliant.

    • spocko says:

      We’ve had the headphone jack at the bottom of the Ipod Touch for YEARS. We win!  In your face iPhone 1-4 users!

      But seriously. I really like my iPod Touch 4g. I’m around wireless hot spots most of the time and I use Skype and a SIP phone or Google phone for calls depending on the connection and who I’m calling. 

  2. BarBarSeven says:

    Wow! I actually just went through the same nonsense with Hurricane Sandy.  After the hurricane passed, but was still kind of rainy I decided to go for a late night walk.  Took tons of iPhone pictures, but didn’t pay any mind to the occasional drop of water that would hit the phone.  It wasn’t a deluge, so I just wiped off any stay post-Hurricane water.

    Got home & wanted to play some podcasts.  Laid the phone down.  Worked & was clearly “playing” but no sound through the built in speakers. Whenever I hit the volume buttons, the indicator would say “headphones.”  Dug online & found a similar Q-Tip tip. But I dunno what kind of tiny Q-Tips folks were using, but all were just too big for the headphone jack.

    So rolled up a small piece of paper towel.  Dabbed it in there a few times & *WHALLA* it worked!

  3. Okay so it sounds like the contact which switches the audio from speaker to earphone was shorted or displaced by debris.

  4. Sounds like the time I fixed a Citroen 2CV with a Band-Aid.

  5. butmyrisk says:

    Too bad apple tries to limit your “intrusion” into THEIR phone. Opening devices and cleaning them is often a common maintenance task that requires very little expertise other than know that you want to get rid of foreign materials that could be conductors. 

    • acerplatanoides says:

      are you mad because Apple doesn’t want to be tech support for hobbyists? All you risk is your warranty. Bodge on.

    • ian_b says:

       What are you suggesting? That the phone be covered in screws and bay doors with user-accessible internals? What, exactly, do you imagine this dystopian monstrosity would look like and weigh?

  6. So… You heard Lana del Rey singing and that was evidence that the iPhone was FIXED…?

  7. sam1148 says:

    I’d be interested in knowing what Q-Tip can fit in a standard headphone jack. 

    EDIT: I posted too soon…I see you pull off the cotton, leaving just a bit of it on the QTIP to insert it.

  8. vinegar is acidic. acids or even plain water can cause delicate electronics to corrode. The power button on my 5 year old HTC p3400i is on the upper left corner. Its failing. A cellphone technician opened it up and cleaned some corrosion. It still works 99% of the time but I’m gonna get a mid end android to replace it. Its served me well. Maybe some water dripped in due to it being on top, I don’t know

    so if there is some vinegar left inside the phone, expect future problems

  9. KaleoK says:

    “Lana Del Rey started singing through the phone.”

    Should have left the iPhone silenced!

  10. Raneru says:

    “After the fifth or sixth Q-tip, Lana Del Rey started singing through the phone.”  You have my deepest sympathy.

  11. chgoliz says:

    Based on everyone else’s comments, I checked out this Lana Del Rey. Holy moley.  I will never complain about my kids’ tastes in music again.

  12. James Kimbell says:

    ITT: People going out of their way to make sure you know they don’t like Lana del Rey.

  13. KibblesAhoy says:

    I’ve been doing this fix on client Macs for years. The old “red light coming out of the headphone jack” issue…

  14. Mark Creasy says:

    Above posters are correct; while the Q-tip thing is cool for the short term, sit down with your favorite beverage and the required screwdrivers and follow the appropriate iFixit guide to disassemble the device and clean out the remaining goo (with more Q-tips!) or there will probably be more issues down the line. 

  15. ian_b says:

    Pocket lint is another common culprit. A toothpick or bobby pin will wrangle it out.

  16. Baldhead says:

    I find Q- Tip always makes my music devices sound better.

  17. Perhaps if you keep at it with the Que tips you will be able to get it play something better than  Lana Del Rey.

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