Was a bit careless and didn't notice there was a small bit of a leaf in my headphone jack until I was putting it in. Now it's squished and presumably stuck in there. Does anyone know a safe way to get it out?


10 Answers 10


You should be able to get the leaf fragment out with a straight pin, sewing needle, or similar tool. Power down whatever device this is in before digging in there, just to avoid the possibility of a short circuit damaging something.


They make small brushes for people with braces to get food out. I have a small packet of these in my desk drawer because my phone ports have gotten pocket lint in them more than once. The really expensive ones look like this, but you can get a much cheaper version from your local big box store.

dental brush sticks


How about a vacuum cleaner? If it still won't come out, wait until it is thoroughly dried, stick a toothpick inside to carefully crush, then vacuum out the crumbled leaf.


An air duster would probably work. As has been previously mentioned, there is no connection to the inside of the phone so no danger of blowing debris into the electronics.

The very narrow jet of air when used with the tube will normally disturb this sort of thing.

Here in the UK, I normally buy them from a well-known chain of £1 shops - but they should be available at a higher price almost anywhere.


The other answers may work but I'm not sure how safe they are. Cleaning out my phone's charge port I learned of a safer cleaning device which worked great: a shaved down match stick. Get a match stick made of wood (not the flimsy cardboard-tab match sticks, but the small wood stick match stick) and gently whittle its wooden end down on one side so it fits in the port. This provides a not-so-pointy, somewhat-soft, solid object which you can use to scrape out dust and debris.


While it's gross, this is lifehacks so whatever: the easy way to get debris out of any small jack/port is to suck it out.

  • 1
    A vaccuum cleaner might have a similar effect, and pose less danger to your lungs.
    – Criggie
    May 20, 2017 at 5:28
  • @Criggie: It's really hard to get an airtight seal for a vacuum cleaner hose against something like that, and if you don't, it will just pull air around your device rather than through the jack. Mouth makes it easy. And a vacuum cleaner is hardly a lifehack, though a clever way to make it get suction there might be. May 22, 2017 at 3:26
  • I said that using a vacuum would pose less danger to your lungs. You can use your fingers or tape on the end of the nozzle to make a better fit/seal. Inhaling leaves and lint into your lungs is the opposite of a smart thing to do.
    – Criggie
    May 22, 2017 at 5:19

I've had this problem for years with my old Nokia's power socket slowly filling with lint.

The fix is to power off the phone, and use a length of thin wire with the tiniest hook in the end, I use this to fish around the jack until a clump comes out.

A leaf might be a bit fragile, and the hook could break it up more than grab it. Then try the suction trick to extract the smaller pieces.

If tiny pieces stay in the jack, there's a good chance they won't interfere. Simply rotate the plug a few times to move the obstruction, and give it a shake now and then to dislodge smaller pieces.


I've done this and similar operations in the past.

One option is to use a sewing needle/toothpick/bent paperclip to pick out the leaf from the front of the jack plug. Remember to have your device turned off.

If the device can be opened relatively easily, and you can get to the rear of the jack plug, you may be able to push out the obstruction from the inside. (most jack plugs have a hole all the way through them). This is easier, but might require you to void your device warranty.

Using a small q-tip with 99% ethanol afterwards will make sure to clean off any residue from the leaf and any sap it has left behind


Take a piece of tape, preferable the thin kind, and roll it up into a very narrow cone shape. Leave the stick side facing outwards. Insert this narrow end first into your headphone jack until it heads the end, then give it a couple of gentle twists. Do not push too much on it, let the adhesive do the work for you.

I have succesfully cleaned out the lint out of my phone using this technique.


In the past I have used products such as this which are very cheap and can be found online or in a local shops like PoundLand(UK):

Can of compressed air with straw attatched

Essentially this is just a can of compressed air with a straw attached combined with a scraping technique.

My technique is to blow the air into the headphone/charging port while using the straw to nudge/push the thing that is stuck in the port around until the turbulent air blows it out.

You don't have to buy the exact one in the image above - any can of compressed air will do. Also be careful not to get any fluids in the port you're cleaning as some cheaper versions do let out a fine mist instead of pure air.

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