Are you experiencing problems charging your iPhone or iPad using your Lightning cable? Before you toss away your cable or bring your phone into Apple for repair, you should take a moment and try this quick and easy fix that works for many people.
For many people, the charging issue originates from the port itself, which has a tendency to collect dust, dirt and other debris. You cannot easily see inside the port, so you may be harboring a huge dust bunny and not even realize it. Not surprisingly, this dust will interfere with the connections between the cable and the port, making it difficult to charge the device.
The lightning port is easy to clean as long as you careful and use the correct supplies. The first thing you need to obtain is a thin, non-conductive probe that you can use to scrape the dust and debris out of the port. Some people use tooth picks, but I found the GUM Soft flossers to work well as they are are rubbery and bend under pressure, lessening the chance you will damage your port during the cleaning process.
To clean the port, just insert the dry flosser and gently swap out the debris. You can tap the phone on the edge of the table to remove any loose material that is not trapped by the bristles of the flosser. You also can use a small vacuum or some compressed air to remove dirt that is loosened by the swab, but doesn't fall out on its own. Some other people report success with an electronics contact cleaner, though I would recommend trying the dry method first.
Once you've swabbed and vacuumed, your charging problems will likely disappear. If they persist, then you need to look closer at the condition of the cable (Is it frayed or kinked?) or the port itself (Did it ever get wet or damaged?). In these cases, your troubleshooting may require a quick trip to the Genius Bar for some professional assistance.