If you need to clean an HDMI port, you definitely have to ask how it has come to this. Whether it's an HDMI port on your television, your computer or your Xbox, it usually just sits there, not getting dirty. But for some reason, you've noticed that your HDMI is in need of a clean.
Cleaning an HDMI port needs a bit of care and attention, as damaging the port may make it unusable. But you also don't want to let dust and dirt accumulate in the port, as that can also cause problems with your HDMI connection. So if you find yourself caught between that particular rock and a hard/dusty place, you're in luck. Here's our guide to cleaning your HDMI port.
How To Clean An HDMI Port
The likely reason you feel the need to clean your HDMI port is because you've noticed some issues with the connection. A visual inspection should allow you to quickly assess whether dirt is a potential source of the issue. We'd also suggest that you do the usual troubleshooting steps, such as trying a different HDMI cable, or testing the cable in a different HDMI port.
Let's assume you've tested the cable, and it's working fine. Or that you've tried a different cable in the same port and encountered the same issue. Maybe you've inspected the HDMI port and noticed that it is dusty, or dirty, or both. Or maybe there are tacos lodged in it. We won't judge. But we'd love to hear the story.
Whatever the issue might be, here are the steps to take to thoroughly clean your HDMI port.
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Your HDMI port is much more likely to become clogged with dust and other debris if it is regularly used by different cables. If your cable is plugged in and remains there permanently, then the seal this creates significantly reduces the risk of dirt building up.
That being said, if you start to notice any build-up then we always advise starting with compressed air to remove as much debris as possible.
Start by ensuring that everything is switched off, and that you've disconnected your device, and unplugged any cables.
Remove any dirt that you can with a soft brush. Once you've done that, get your compressed air and aim it at the HDMI port. Two to three shots with your compressed air should be enough to remove the majority of any dust that has accumulated. You don't want to overdo it, or press the canister to far into the port. This will increase the risk of damage.
Isopropyl Alcohol and Cotton Buds
If you can see dirt that can't be removed by compressed air, you can consider using rubbing alcohol and a cotton bud, to gently remove it. Simply dab a cotton bud in the alcohol solution. Then gently and carefully rub it on the dirt on your HDMI port. You don't need huge amounts of alcohol on the cotton bud for this to work.
Once you've done this, leave it to dry out before plugging in any cables, or switching on your device.
If there is dirt that is really stubborn, you can try a toothpick to remove dirt from the HDMI port. If you are using something like a toothpick, make it as thin as possible, and be very gentle. Don't push it too far into the port either.
What if the Port is Damaged?
This will usually be as much as you can do to clean your HDMI port. If there is corrosion or other physical damage to the port, it's going to be extremely difficult for you to repair that.
One possibility is that you consider changing the HDMI port. But in most cases, you will need to go to an experienced professional to do that. We wouldn't advise that you try to do it yourself. HDMI ports are often soldered into your device. Unless you are extremely competent at repairing electrical devices, the chances are you'd end up making things worse, not better.
And if you decide you want or need to repair the port? Well, one website suggests that repairing a damaged HDMI port would typically cost between $75 and $300 on average. It would depend on the nature of the damage. A port that had come loose would be easier and cheaper to fix than changing a damaged circuit board, for example.
Depending on how the port was damaged, you may be able to make a claim for a repair under your manufacturer's warranty. Alternatively, you may need to claim through your insurance.