How to Clean Your Apple Watch and Bands Effectively


Buying your first Apple Watch and accompanying Apple Watch Bands cost you a great deal of money. As such, you naturally want to protect your investment by taking care of your purchases. One way to do that is by cleaning them every chance you get. In that simple way, you’ll extend their useful life and they’ll stay in excellent condition. However, maintaining and knowing how to clean your Apple Watch band is a real challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, you may even inflict damage if you use the wrong solutions or techniques.

How to Clean Your Apple Watch Band
Photo by Raagesh C on Unsplash

This is why, in this article, we will show a complete and effective guide on how to clean your valuable Apple Watch and Apple Watch Band.

Related: 15 Best Apple Watch Bands and Straps in 2022


Inside This Article

  1. Why Clean Your Apple Watch Band
  2. Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Your Apple Watch and Apple Watch Band
  3. How to Clean Apple Watch 
    1. Protective Layer for Apple Watch
  4. How to Clean Apple Watch Band
  5. Types of Cleaning Solutions
    1. For Tough Stains
    2. For Scratches
    3. Leather
    4. Plastic
    5. Stainless Steel
    6. Silicone
    7. Nylon
  6. In Case of Damage to Apple Watch
  7. Preserving the Quality for a Long Time


Why Clean Your Apple Watch Band

There is a study conducted proving our devices are the perfect breeding places for germs and bacteria. For this reason alone, the study is compelling enough to force us to come up with this article to help you in maintaining and educating you on how to clean your Apple Watch bands.

On the other hand, some Apple Watch bands are simply susceptible to discoloration due to overuse. This article will also outline materials you can use to maintain your Watch — including what materials are good to use on an Apple Watch.


Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Your Apple Watch and Apple Watch Band

Apple Watch Banner Photo
Photo from Apple

Scratches are always part of the equation when it comes to smart gadgets. No matter how much you remain careful, your smartphone or smartwatch will undoubtedly receive several scratches, even minor ones, here and there. The same goes for your Apple Watch Bands. While a lot of these wristbands are built to last, their durability does have limits. It also depends on the material used to make them. Some materials last longer and can take more wear and tear than others.

Aside from scratches, dirt and filth can start to accumulate around your Apple Watch and Apple Watch Band. This can make them look disgusting and even leave long-term marks in the process. Additionally, such substances can be hazardous to your health. So, for your health and investment’s sake, you ought to clean both your Apple Watch and Apple Watch Band on a regular basis. The process though isn’t as well-known as it should be. A lot of people have a hard time cleaning their smartwatches and wristbands since they don’t know how to do so. If you’re caught in the same dilemma, this guide is perfect for you.


How to Clean Apple Watch

To clean your Apple Watch, use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and a cotton pad to wipe the surfaces and sides. Make sure to use only light pressure as a rough touch can cause more damage. It’s also imperative not to get moisture into any of the openings as that could severely affect the performance of your smartwatch. On top of that, it should go without saying that completely submerging your Apple Watch in a cleaning solution is a bad idea.

Follow these steps to clean your Apple Watch properly:

  1. Turn off your Apple Watch and make sure it’s not plugged into the charger.
  2. Remove the band from your Apple Watch.
  3. Using a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth, wipe your Apple Watch to start.
  4. Dampen the cloth with little water, making sure not to use any abrasive cleaning agents, and then wipe the surfaces of your Apple Watch.
    Alternatively, you can rinse your Apple Watch under light running water (be sure it’s lukewarm too) for about 10 to 15 seconds
  5. Using a different non-abrasive, lint-free cloth, dry your Apple Watch by wiping all of its surfaces gently.

No matter how filthy your Apple Watch gets, it’s best to remember never to use bleach. You should also refrain from using soap, ultrasonic cleaning, compressed air, and external heat sources as any abrasive materials or solutions will cause minor to serious damage to your Apple Watch. Additionally, as suggested by Apple itself, you can use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to tidy up your watch.

Related: Apple Watch Aluminum vs Stainless Steel vs Titanium


A. Protective Layer for Apple Watch

A lot of people invest in screen protectors, not just for their smartphones, but also for their smartwatches. If you’re particularly a clumsy or reckless person, it’s best to include a screen protector on your Apple Watch as well. This will allow you to avoid leaving scratches on the screen of your Apple Watch.

To clean your screen protector, you may follow the same steps and materials used to clean your Apple Watch. 


How to Clean Apple Watch Band

There is a diverse assortment of Apple Watch Bands available nowadays, both from Apple itself and from third-party manufacturers. These Apple Watch Bands are made from different types of materials as well, making the cleaning process of each one sort of tricky. Depending on the material, not every band warrants the same cleaning products and techniques. If you use the wrong solution, you may very well end up damaging the band or ruining it completely. If you want to learn how to clean your Apple Watch Band, follow the guide provided below.


Types of Cleaning Solutions

It’s important to tailor your cleaning solutions and methods according to the material of your Apple Watch Band. Clean your bands thoroughly and effectively by following the instructions below:


A. For Tough Stains

For Stains
© Photo screenshot

Staining is a common issue among Apple Watch Bands, especially the ones intended for sports. These stains are often the result of sweat or other liquids drying. Some stains are temporary and will come off easily using just a damp cloth. However, not all stains are as easily forgiving. Other stains are stubborn and will remain on your Apple Watch Band for a long time, especially if it’s a sports band. If you have one yourself, nail polish remover wipes have proven to be very effective. Alternatively, you can also use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. 

Word of caution though — you must never use abrasive products if your band is made from leather. Leather is more delicate than other materials, so it requires a more specific solution. To learn how to clean your Apple Watch Band which is made from leather, keep reading.


B. For Scratches

Avid users have found that the stainless steel Apple Watch scratches more easily than others. If you want to remove the scratches from your Apple Watch, you can use toothpaste, a multi-functional leather cream, or metal polish cloths.

Before starting, make sure to prep your Apple Watch by using a lint-free, non-abrasive cloth to wipe down the surfaces. Dampen the cloth if necessary. Focus a little more on the places where there are visible scratches. Then, you can move on to addressing the remaining scratches one after the other. 

If you’re using toothpaste or multi-functional cream, put a small amount on the end of a cotton swab. Next, use that swab and go through the areas with scratches, making sure not to put any product in openings or the Digital Crown itself. If you accidentally left cream or toothpaste on the Digital Crown, use a clean cotton swab to remove it. Finish by wiping down any excess solution with a microfiber cloth.

On the other hand, if you are using pre-soaked metal polish pads, simply carry on and gently wipe your Apple Watch with it. You can concentrate the pad more on surfaces with visible scratches. Again, make sure not to get the solution into the openings or the Digital Crown.


C. Leather

Brown leather apple watch band
Photo by Amazon

Leather bands add a more classic feel to your Apple Watch. They also go with most outfits. As such, leather bands are some of the most popular options among users. But, while the process itself is quite easy, cleaning leather requires special attention. Remember that leather doesn’t take too kindly to water, so use as little water as possible.

To clean your leather band, take a non-abrasive, soft cloth and lightly dampen it with water. Run it through the leather band to get rid of any dirt. After that, place it in a cool place to allow it to dry on its own. Don’t leave it under the sun or in a moist place, as it may ruin the material. To maintain the quality of your leather band, apply a leather conditioner every now and then, preferably at least twice a month.


D. Plastic

Plastic is much easier to clean and doesn’t really require any special substances. You may clean plastic Apple Watch Bands using ordinary household items. To start, make sure to remove the band from the Apple Watch itself first. Then, you can run the plastic band underwater and even use soap to wash off the dirt. Use a non-abrasive cloth to dry the band to avoid scratches, and then you’re good to go.


E. Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel
© Photo screenshot

Another popular option among Apple Watch users is the stainless steel band. Over time, even stainless steel can look old and weary, especially without proper care. To clean stainless steel bands, start with a non-abrasive cloth to prevent scratches. Lightly dampen the cloth with water and proceed by gliding it through the band to remove any mild staining. You can use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth to get rid of any stubborn stains, but make sure to be gentle as well. After that, use another non-abrasive cloth to dry it before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.


F. Silicone

Silicone is a flexible material and cleaning it is as easy as most other bands. Take a non-abrasive cloth and wipe down the silicone band to get rid of dirt. If necessary, lightly dampen the cloth with water and repeat the process. Make sure not to get any moisture into the openings as well. This will typically work with most stains.

However, if you have more stubborn stains, you can use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or Clorox. Take a non-abrasive cloth and dampen it with either solution — choose only one. Then, gently wipe down the silicone band until you remove the stains completely. Allow it to dry or use another soft cloth to speed up the drying process before attaching it back to your Apple Watch.


G. Nylon

Black nylon apple watch band
Photo by Amazon

Several users prefer nylon because it’s more durable and perfect for those who live an active lifestyle. However, cleaning nylon bands take more than just a non-abrasive cloth. In addition to the cloth, you will also need a small brush with ultra-soft bristles, warm water, and some soap. Remember that hard bristles may cause damage to your nylon band and might even remove its dyed color.

To start, remove the nylon band from your Apple Watch. Soak the clean cloth in warm water and wipe down the nylon band. Then, put a little soap on the brush and use it to gently scrub the nylon band. After that, make sure to clean the nylon band with the same soaked cloth, rinsing it each time to remove all soapy residue. All there’s left to do now is to allow the nylon band to dry completely before affixing it to your watch.


In Case of Damage to Apple Watch

Of course, accidents could occur despite precautionary measures taken when cleaning your Apple Watch band. If such cases happen, you can also check with Apple Support for extended help and whether fixing the Watch is covered by, either, your Apple Limited Warranty or AppleCare+ warranty.

Apple Support on Twitter

Apple Support Website


Preserving the Quality for a Long Time

It’s crucial to take care of your prized Apple Watch and its accompanying bands to ensure you enjoy them for a longer time. More often than not, users cause more damage because they don’t know the proper methods and solutions to use. With this guide, you now know how to clean your Apple Watch and Bands effectively and safely.