Fixing lightning cables with black marks

What do you do to clean the scorch marks that get in your lightning cables? Usually on one of the middle pins, 4 or 5 I think. It often makes the cable stop working.

I’ve read that this is caused by arcing when you plug in the cable into your iPhone second- if you plug in the other end second you will never get this. That’s not a workable solution to me since the other end is always plugged in. Some theories say this only happens to iPhones with bad jacks. Some say bad cords can cause it to happen to jacks or bad jacks can cause it to happen to chords. Like a hardware virus. Yuk.

Some people say you can clean the contacts With a pencil eraser, or clean with vinegar or alcohol. What has worked for you?

I haven’t had this problem, but would just replace the cable. They’re a few bucks on Amazon.

If cleaning is your thing though, you’ll want to use alcohol That is 95% or higher concentration.
Vinegar is acidic and can lead to corrosion.
Pencil erasers will abrade the contacts and lead to more corrosion.

It’s possible the connector in the phone looks the same, so I would replace the cable to help reduce further arcing and damage to the phone connector.

Don’t plug your $1000 iPhone in with a sketchy cable.

AmazonBasics Nylon Braided Lightning to USB A Cable, MFi Certified iPhone Charger, Dark Grey, 3-Foot ($10)

or get 3 Anker cables for $20:

iPhone Charger, [3 Pack] Anker Powerline Lightning Cable (3ft) Apple MFi Certified - Lightning Cables

And for $9 you can get an Anker dual-USB port wall charger:

USB Charger, Anker Elite Dual Port 24W Wall Charger, PowerPort 2 with PowerIQ and Foldable Plug

I’ve purchased all of these and would highly recommend them.

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I have never seen this. If I did see it on a cable, I’d get rid of the cable; that level of arcing cannot be normal or good for the phone?


Never had it either.

However the rubber technique was always the go to for contracts on things like Scaletrix cars, but that was good as the contracts were a solid bit of metal.
These contracts are thin so there is a greater risk of damage.

I’d replace the cable if it’s just that one. If it’s many cables, the phone is faulty.

To clean the cable, try alcohol first. If that doesn’t do it, try vinegar but make sure you then clean any vinegar off to prevent further corrosion.

Alcohol, nor vinegar will do anything. The black marks are oxidation you can remove with a mild abrasive pad/cloth. A pen eraser may work to some degree. You can use alcohol to clean after abrasive action. For surface mount PCB work, i have a microscope and sometimes use that and a small tool to clean the contacts when i want to. but it is really best just to buy a replacement rather then messing with it.

This isn’t about cable quality. The cable in the top picture is this Anker cable.

Now I guess I need to figure out how to look in the lightning ports on 3 iPhones and 2 iPads in the family to see what the ports look like.