How to clean a common headphone jack found on most portable devices. 1/8" jacks are found on most portable equipment (and with the proliferation of iPods, there are millions of such jacks). Being portable, the jack comes into contact with alot of grime and deals with many insertion / extraction cycles. This naturally gathers grime and grinds it in. A symptom of this problem is a scratching sound in the audio and sometimes premature wear on the jacks. But don't fret, there is an easy and cheap solution to clean them with items found in your local mega mart. It' so simple, you'll do it often as preventative maintenance.
TRY THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!, YOU COULD SHORT SOMETHING OUT IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE
See the before pictures of the jack below. The white plastic really shows how much grime has gotten in there, also notice the flaky looking corrosion on the gold contact parts.
Step 1: Get it
You'll need some tools. The "Interdental Brush" is the key. You would be familiar with them if you ever had braces or have dentures. It is an inexpensive brush made for cleaning in tricky spaces in the mouth. It is inexpensive, refillable and easily gotten. The other thing you need is "rubbing" or isopropyl alcohol that is 70% or greater. You will notice in the picture that the brush is roughly the same size as the headphone plug.