Spending most of its life in my pocket, the headphone jack of my phone frequently gets clogged up with lint. Usually I can tweeze it out, but this time I forgot, and tried to plug in my headphones, compressing the lint right at the bottom of the socket.

I can't tweeze it out, it's too deep, and my headphones won't go in while it's there. What do I do?

6 Answers 6


Use a 1/16" drill bit.

  1. Do not put the bit into a drill! Just grip it between your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Press the end lightly into the lint-filled bottom of your headphone jack and spin it clockwise.
  3. Pull the bit gently out; there should be some lint on the tip.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until lint is gone.
  5. Clean jack with alcohol and q-tip or whatever you normally use.

If you don't have a drill bit, a toothpick will work - but the bit does a better job of gripping packed lint.


This can be done quickly and easily with a paper clip and scotch tape:

  1. Flatten out the paperclip.

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  1. Tightly wrap scotch tape (with the sticky-side out) around the top part of the paperclip.

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  1. Carefully insert the sticky end into the headphone jack.

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A straightened paper clip with a little turn at the end generally does the trick.


Use a shopvac and (if you can) set the suction to be very light. Hold it up to the headphone jack and the lint should be pulled out rather quickly.


I just ran in to this but with the added fun of part of a sticker. Safety pin took care of everything quickly and effectively.

  • Could you please explain your first sentence?
    – Stan
    Mar 20, 2017 at 2:41
  • @Stan Instead of lint my son got a sticker lodged in my headphone jack. Mar 21, 2017 at 14:26
  • 1
    In the future, please strive to provide as complete an answer as you can. Your brief answer was rather cryptic for the broad audience we have at SE who don't use English as a first language.
    – Stan
    Mar 21, 2017 at 16:51

Okay, so this page saved my IPad. I dropped my iPad in water and some water went in my headphone jack. This meant that I couldn't hear anything without using headphones. I tried everything, even going as far as using a hairdryer to clean it out. Eventually, I got cotton out of a q-tip and I misread an instruction. See, you weren't meant to pull the cotton out, I did and stuck it in. I put my headphones in and... The cotton went straight in. I didn't have tweezers or anything so I used a flashlight to see how far it went in. I read this guide and I used just a straightened paper clip to remove the cotton. I guess the cotton absorbed the water as it was working again. You've saved my IPad. Thank you.

If you really want an answer: Use a straightened paper clip and a flashlight.

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