Bead stuck in headphone jack
November 15, 2010 4:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I remove something lodged in an iPod headphone jack?

My friend's iPod has something lodged in the jack. It appears to be a small bead and it's all the way at the bottom. It's a really snug fit and doesn't make any noise when I shake the iPod. I've tried wrapping a small bit of paper around in a tiny tube just wide enough to fit in the jack so that it could go down and possibly wrap around the bead to be pulled it, but it doesn't move at all. Any suggestions on how to get this thing out? Any sort of disassembly would be an absolute last resort.
posted by steampowered to Technology (15 answers total)
something very sharp that you can pierce the object with? This seems dangerous though...
posted by brainmouse at 4:18 PM on November 15, 2010

Superglue gel on the end of a little post - perhaps a piece of plastic? Scary as hell if you get it wrong, but a teeny, teeny dab that gets bigger until it works may be a safe method of doing this, especially if you combine it with the paper tube method to prevent getting it on the walls of the connector. Then pull the tube and bead out at once when it sticks.
posted by Brockles at 4:18 PM on November 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

Geniuses had to replace mine. They couldn't get it out in-store.
posted by tilde at 4:20 PM on November 15, 2010

semi-dry ball of rubber cement on the end of post or tube of paper?
posted by mmf at 4:21 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Get a small straw, like a coffee stirrer. Stick one end in your mouth, the other in the jack. Try to touch the straw to the object. Suck with your mouth, like a vacuum cleaner.

Hopefully, it'll come out attached to the straw via suction, like a vacuum cleaner trying to suck up a tennis ball.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:39 PM on November 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

Oh, and try not to inhale the bead...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:40 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

When this happened to me on my MacBook, the folks at the Genius Bar told me to try taking it to a jewelry store to see if they could remove it, and that was the only thing that worked for me.
posted by sea change at 4:41 PM on November 15, 2010

If you do get to the last resort, iFixit has excellent guides on iPod repair. It appears that a lot of the headphone jacks have a small hole on the inside that you could use something like a paperclip to push out the bead.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:49 PM on November 15, 2010

Geniuses got mine out in store in about 5 minutes, without even charging me. I have a feeling they used canned air. However, I am enjoying thinking about the cute college kid Genius doing Cool Papa Bell's technique.
posted by Sara C. at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2010

Thankfully turkey break is right around the corner and I will first suggest the Genius Bar help to my friend. If that doesn't do it [at this point I'm confident it will not--it's REALLY stuck] I'll take the risk of putting some super-glue on a small endpoint of something. Thanks for all the input!
posted by steampowered at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2010

Try a little pressurized air, first.
posted by mhoye at 6:24 PM on November 15, 2010


There may be more, but some of these were resolved...
posted by fake at 7:01 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Dry compressed air. Low pressure - 15 - 30 psi

bursts and blasts
do this whilst holding the device upside down so gravity helps you.
posted by BrooksCooper at 8:42 PM on November 15, 2010

The genius bar would try compressed air, but they also have tools to scrape/pull things out of there. I'd try them.
posted by bluloo at 6:06 AM on November 16, 2010

This is probably a good previously, and I'll repeat my recommendation of going to see a jeweller or watchmaker/repair place as they have tiny little tweezers that are very good for this sort of thing.
posted by dnesan at 9:49 AM on November 16, 2010

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