Frayed charging cables can be dangerous to use and expensive to replace. Whether you’re using a Lightning cable with an iPhone, a USB-C cable with an Android phone, here’s how to protect them from breakage.

Taking Care of Your Cables

The best way to stop your cables from breaking is to take proper care of them. In particular, always hold the cable by the plug when removing it from a device or USB port. Suddenly pulling a cable out without doing this will put pressure on the weakest part of the construction, where the cable joins the plug.

In transport, loop your cables and keep them bound with a strap or clip where possible. Make sure you loop your cable the right way by manipulating it with your hands. The cable will naturally coil in a specific manner, which you should always try to replicate. Some cables, like the Anker Powerline+ below, come with a velcro strap for easy transportation and storage. The “roadie wrap” is the best way to wrap your charging cables.

Avoid excessive bending of cables, or wrapping them up too tightly. Bending the cable, particularly at the point where the cable joins the plug, is the leading cause of damage over time. If you can avoid using your device while charging it, you will avoid unnecessarily wear the cable.

You will probably need to change your behavior and break old habits, but your cables will thank you for it. If you instinctively grab your phone in the morning before getting out of bed, take care to unplug the cable first. Laying there in bed with the cable bending back and forth as you roll over isn’t ideal. If you’re used to throwing your charging cables in a bag for a weekend away, take a second to coil them correctly.

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