If you mean USB ports, it's not uncommon that the USB controller chip of a computer goes up in smoke unnoticed. If you recently installed a new USB driver, try a system revert if you have a backup and your operating system supports it, or check the internet for fresh drivers for your chipset. That might help.
If you have an older laptop, it's not uncommon that it shuts down the USB ports when you have some USB 3.x device attached, as the chip can't handle the power requests a 3.x device sends. Unplugging it during boot-up and plugging it in later when the OS is running should solve the problem.
Which ports? All ports? What OS version? (short-version, need more info).
However, the first thing I'd look for (assuming you have a Windows machine) is using the Manage Computer application, Devices and make sure the 'ports' aren't disabled or, otherwise, reporting an error.
You can also go to Start, Run, (type) Eventvwr Look at the System logs for any errors relating to your devices/ports.
*Yea….cleaning a port…that's so cute.
Ports never need cleaning. Hopefully whatever you did will dry out.