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moisture absorbing balls stuck in headphone jack


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donaldrtron

 
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I have an unusual problem. I have read threads about getting broken headphone pieces out of the headphone jacks, but the fixes suggested there don't seem to work for this problem. I have a ball from one of those "Do Not Eat" bags that come in shoes, backpacks, purses, and many other things. I would like to be able to use headphones again.

Any idea how I might get a moisture absorbing ball from a "Do Not Eat" bag out of my headphone jack?

Thanks for any advice you may have.
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VegasGeorge

 
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Try this. Use your household vacuum cleaner. Put a funnel over the suction end, thereby reducing the size to the diameter of the funnel spout. Use this "little" vacuum to suck the offending ball out of the jack.
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cwa107

 
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Another thought (and this one you would have to do VERY carefully). Take a toothpick and put just the slightest dab of super glue/krazy glue on the end. Carefully touch it to the ball and NOWHERE else. Hold it for about 30 seconds and you should be able to extract the object.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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bnkrnr

 
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Just slam it against the ground, audio jack down!

Well a real solution may be Cyber Clean Foil Bag seen at radioshack:
Cyber Clean Foil Bag (75g) - RadioShack.com

they work PHENOMENAL! believe it or not...(depending on how deep it is in there)
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cwa107

 
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I wonder if that would work for the "grill" area that flanks the keyboard on either side of my pre-Unibody MacBook Pro. I noticed that there's gunk wedged in there that doesn't want to come out with compressed air. Might have to try it.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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thelemaway

 
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Two suggestions -

the ball may shrink if dried intensely so blasting it with a hair dryer might loosen it up

The headphone jack is pretty robust. I would get an ordinary sewing needle and use it is a chisel to smash the thing up. Have some trial runs with another little ball, but That should work.
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bnkrnr

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I wonder if that would work for the "grill" area that flanks the keyboard on either side of my pre-Unibody MacBook Pro. I noticed that there's gunk wedged in there that doesn't want to come out with compressed air. Might have to try it.
Probably...We use it at Radioshack on our computer keyboards and it works incredibly great, especially at getting into small spots. And its relatively cheap-worth a try.
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code54

 
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ShopVac, funnel, duct tape - tape it together, seal it and taper it down as small as possible. Wont hurt anything if it does not work.
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eyeballs306

 
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Alright, this just happened to me and I know it's more than a year later..but to anybody still searching for an answer that doesn't involve super glue, duct tape, a heavy duty vacuum.. read on. The moisture ball I had was the perfect size to get stuck... it could move in the jack but it would not come out on its own.

These moisture absorbing balls can be slowly chipped away at with a sewing needle. Or if you don't have one of those, a nail (not finger) or a saftey pin kind of bent out at an angle. Just keep digging into it firmly yet with care. It will chip, little pieces or dust will fly out. But eventually the piece will break down and get small enough to fall out on its own. If while you're chipping away at it you notice a red light that's just the light that goes on when something is inserted into the jack. It's OK, your computer will be fine. Just be careful though.. you gotta dig at it but don't want to scratch anything up that doesn't need to be.
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How is that you get these balls stuck in the headphone jack? Seems kinda odd to me....

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mini 2.0ghz - 32gb iPhone 4
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landlocked

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeballs306 View Post
Alright, this just happened to me and I know it's more than a year later..but to anybody still searching for an answer that doesn't involve super glue, duct tape, a heavy duty vacuum.. read on. The moisture ball I had was the perfect size to get stuck... it could move in the jack but it would not come out on its own.

These moisture absorbing balls can be slowly chipped away at with a sewing needle. Or if you don't have one of those, a nail (not finger) or a saftey pin kind of bent out at an angle. Just keep digging into it firmly yet with care. It will chip, little pieces or dust will fly out. But eventually the piece will break down and get small enough to fall out on its own. If while you're chipping away at it you notice a red light that's just the light that goes on when something is inserted into the jack. It's OK, your computer will be fine. Just be careful though.. you gotta dig at it but don't want to scratch anything up that doesn't need to be.
Thank you so much! This just saved me! A used a small nail and it chipped away in 5 minutes.

(To the person above: it happens because there is a bag of these balls in the case when you buy it. If you forget to take it out, you'll probably end up with one stuck.)
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mcabrera

 
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I have that problem too. It just happened 4 days ago. I took it to a Mac store and they told me that a moisture ball from the moisture absorption plastic containers was stuck there. What I can't understand is how in the world did it get there? My mac book always goes from my desk to the case and back. I haven't even bought those moisture absorption things in years. I am beginning to wonder if this is not an apple mistake and I should not be charged for having it removed. What do you think?
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sdn36

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeballs306 View Post
Alright, this just happened to me and I know it's more than a year later..but to anybody still searching for an answer that doesn't involve super glue, duct tape, a heavy duty vacuum.. read on. The moisture ball I had was the perfect size to get stuck... it could move in the jack but it would not come out on its own.

These moisture absorbing balls can be slowly chipped away at with a sewing needle. Or if you don't have one of those, a nail (not finger) or a saftey pin kind of bent out at an angle. Just keep digging into it firmly yet with care. It will chip, little pieces or dust will fly out. But eventually the piece will break down and get small enough to fall out on its own. If while you're chipping away at it you notice a red light that's just the light that goes on when something is inserted into the jack. It's OK, your computer will be fine. Just be careful though.. you gotta dig at it but don't want to scratch anything up that doesn't need to be.
This worked for me too. Thanks so much. SO annoying.
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minneyr

 
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I have just bought a brand new macbook retina and new case and like you found the headset jack would not go in. After accusing my poor kids of breaking off a headset jack in there I found lots of small silica gel moisture balls running around in the seams of my case, so the culprit was obvious. Sure enough, poking and feeling with a torch and safety pin revealed a plastic, shiny ball was stuck in the headset jack.

The "poke it until it breaks up" tactic suggested in this forum worked a treat for me. I tested with a push-pin on a separate gel ball on the table first to gauge how much force would be required. Then it was a case of pushing the pin into the ball, hearing the little crunching noises, turning the macbook over to shake out the bits, and repeating about five times. Two minutes later what was left was too deep for the push-pin so I switched to the bent safety pin and carried on. Two minutes later I was convinced it was done but the headset jack did not quite go all the way and made a small plastic crunching noise, so I pulled it out and pried the last two pieces of plastic free.

Rebooted the macbook and all is perfect.

So I am a fan (if the culprit is plastic) of the "break it up and dig the bits out" strategy. The headset jack looks pretty robust but don't overdo it !
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premierethomas

 
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Followed the advice; using a needle to scratch away at the surface of the silicone ball until it was out of shape and easy to prise out using a small pin. Thank you for the idea, just thought I'd add my success, if you have this problem then just do the same - was considering using superglue but probably a little risky! Last resort I think...
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