13 ways to fix your iPhone or Mac with common household items

Minor problems can be solved at home with stuff you already have lying around

Usually, when something goes wrong with your iPhone or Mac, the first move is to an Apple Store to get it looked at by a professional.

But the Apple store can be expensive for repairs, and often, minor problems can be solved at home with stuff you already have lying around. 

Over the past 8 years, Apple users have found all sorts of clever hacks to fix your iPhone without going out and buying pricey parts or accessories. Some hacks can even make your iPhone better than it was out of the box.

So the next time you're having iPhone issues, try a DIY solution first. Not only will it save you a trip, it could save you some cash. 


If your TouchID is feels sticky or isn't working right, don't take it to a shady shop to get fixed (that can seriously mess up your iPhone.) Instead, you can use a Q-tip for its intended purpose with a little bit of rubbing alcohol to get your home button working like new.

 There's a lot more information on this Apple Support thread. 


If your iPhone is charging slowly, one problem it could be is that lint is packed into the corners and sides of the Lightning charging port. One thing you can try is to use a skinny tool like a toothpick to remove all the crud from it.

Iphone1.jpg
(Photo credit: Stephen Tweedie)

This is how much lint was removed from a single iPhone.


If your phone's earpiece sounds like it's too quiet, there's a good chance lint is simply in the way. You can rub a pencil eraser over your speaker's grill to clear out debris.

Iphone2.jpg
(Photo credit: Flickr/Daniel Novta)

Apple suggests you use a “brush to gently clear any debris from the speaker,” which is certainly more sanitary, but less fun. One person on the iFixit forums helpfully suggests you can put your mouth over it and suck a little for a tool-free fix. It's gross, but it works.


In general, if your iPhone is a little bit too quiet, especially on speakerphone, you can amplify it by placing it into a bowl.

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(Photo credit: M. Woodruff/Business Insider)

Apple's Earpods tend to fray in two places: near the earbud itself and by the 3.5mm jack. You might be temped to throw your pair away but they're easy to repair with Plasti Dip. Tape off what you don't want to get covered in rubbery plastic and dip your headphones in.

Iphone4.jpg
(Photo credit: Business Insider)

You can buy Plasti Dip on Amazon. More information from Instructables here


The process works great for charging cables, too. Alternatively, you can use Sugru, a sticky putty-like “moldable glue,” to patch up cables as well. It can also replace the little feet at the bottom of your laptop.

Iphone5.jpg
(Photo credit: Sugru)

Sugru is available from hardware stores and Amazon. More tips on this kind of repair over at Lifehacker. Lots of additional information from Sugru. 


Sugru can also be used to put fun “bumpers” on your iPhone if you don't want a case, but want to be sure its screen won't immediately shatter when dropped on a corner.

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(Photo credit: Sugru)

Instructions here


Prevention is better than repair, though. If you've got a spring from an old pen, you can make your iPhone cord significantly less likely to fray.

If you need instructions for this hack they're over at Instructables


If you need to stand-up your iPhone, you don't need to spend $20 or more on a dock. Turns out, a basic binder clip or two makes a great stand.

Iphone7.jpg
(Photo credit: Flickr/Rich Sipe)

You probably don't need directions, but lots of them are available at Instructables


It's also pretty easy to make an iPhone stand with an cut up credit card or cardboard.


If you ever find yourself in need of a stylus, it's pretty easy to make one out of anything that points and a candy bar wrapper.

Iphone8.jpg
(Photo credit: Imgur)

All you need is an old pen, a sponge, and some chewed gum. It's not pretty, but it works. Instructions for a deluxe version is available on WonderHowTo


Lots of people will tell you that if you get your iPhone wet you should put it in a bin of rice. Even better: save the bags of silica that come with new shoes, and use them to dry your iPhone when you accidentally drop it in the sink.

If you need to change the SIM in your iPhone, you don't need a specialised tool. A paper clip works just fine, according to Apple.

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(Photo credit: Apple)

Here's the official support page. 

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