How Can I Clean The Empty Cigarette Lighter Holder In My Car Without Breaking It Or Electrocuting Myself?

When I got my car 4 years ago, I took out the cigarette lighter because I don’t smoke and lost it. I know that the holder used to work as a power source but when I tried to use my brother’s sat nav in my car last year, by plugging it into the holder, it wouldn’t work. Looking at it, it seems pretty dirty, and I’ve no doubt that four years of being exposed to the air as opposed to being covered up by the actual cigarette lighter has left it with a layer of grease and grime which stops the power coming through.
So, does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning it? How can I safely and effectively clean the power source? I’m guessing I’ll need to use a cotton bud (Q-tip) but what should I dip it in? Is water enough? And even if it cleans it, will it break the electrics? Or be dangerous to me? Is this something I can’t do on my own? Should I take it to a garage? Or will they laugh in my face?!? Or, worst case scenario, is it possible to get them replaced, and if so, how much do they cost?

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There Are 5 Responses So Far. »

  1. Before you go and spend lot of time, it is possible that the fuse went out. Check that first.
    As for cleaning – it is just 12 v so it is safe to even stick your finger into it. There’s no chance of electrocuting yourself.
    But that does NOT mean you can stick anything in there. You can use any non-metal brush to clean the plug. And don’t use any liquid.
    Liquid (expecially water) and electricity don’t mix.
    Good luck…

  2. Qtips and electronics cleaner(comes in a spray can)
    You won’t get electrocuted from a 12v lighter socket, even if you placed a conductive object in there and grounded it out, the fuse would pop instantly. Good luck.

  3. unhook your battery and get it as wet as you want,just let it dry out before hooking the battery back up.

  4. i would be more concerned about burning your self on the lighter side of it . the car is only a 12 volt system, you will not feel that at all. try what you can, but if you end up replacing it that is simple also. i would just try a clean cloth with nothing on it.

  5. LMFAO.. ok first of all.. you cannot get “ELECTROCUTING” yourself… its hookd up to a BATTERY….. and DO NOT put water on it… geez-us… if you carry a car to a garage to get a cigg lighter thing fixed they will laff at you…. and you can get them replaced…but it is not worth it……and grease and grime wouldnt build up enuff to block power… its dead… maybe check the fuse

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