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iGBApple WatchHow to clean your Apple Watch

How to clean your Apple Watch

Things you require to clean an Apple Watch:

  • Microfiber cloth (lint-free or non-abrasive cloth)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Clean water

It’s not new that Apple Watch is one of the best-selling smartwatches for fitness. However, your Apple Watch has to go through a lot to get you into shape, meaning Apple Watch will accumulate dust and sweat over time.

On a positive note, you can clean your Apple Watch easily, even if covered with dust or sweat. In this guide, I’ll show you how to clean your Apple Watch properly without damaging anything.

Things to do before cleaning Apple Watch

Before you start cleaning your Apple Watch, here are a few things that you need to do:

1. Remove the strap

Remove Apple Watch strap

The first thing you need to do is remove the strap of your Apple Watch. It allows you to clean the insides of the strap slots and the watch strap itself. To remove the strap, put your watch face down and press the middle button where the strap connects to your Apple Watch, and pull out the strap simultaneously. Do this for another strap and remove it from the Apple Watch.

2. Water lock your Apple Watch

Water locking your Apple Watch prevents it from accidental touches when it comes in contact with water. Also, once the cleaning is complete, it helps eject water from speakers if there’s any excess amount left. Here’s a guide on how to use the water lock feature on your Apple Watch. Alternatively, you can also turn off your Apple Watch to be safe.

How to safely clean your Apple Watch

After getting all the basics out of the way, do the following one after the other to make your Watch look as good as new.

1. Clean the speakers

Clean Apple Watch speakers

Speakers on your Apple Watch accumulate a lot of dust over time. Cleaning the speakers should be a priority when cleaning your Apple Watch. To clean the speakers of your Apple Watch, take a microfiber cloth and clean them using it.

Next, take some cotton swabs and rub them on until the dust is gone. Also, you shouldn’t apply too much pressure when you rub the cotton swab. The speakers on your Apple Watch should be clean now.

2. Clean the display of your Apple Watch

Clean Apple Watch Face

The display is an essential part of your Apple Watch. It also accumulates a lot of smudges over time. To clean the display of your Apple Watch, follow these instructions:

  1. Dampen a cloth with water slightly on one end.
  2. Rub the Apple Watch’s display with the cloth.
  3. Use the dry end of the cloth to dry off the excess water.

Once done, the display of your Apple Watch should be clean now. Again, don’t use soap or detergent to clean the display since it’s fragile.

3. Look for grime and clean it

Remove dirt and grime from Apple Watch

Now that the speakers and the display are out, it’s time to go microscopic level and look for the grime collected over time. Closely inspect your Apple Watch, and clean it with a damp cloth. You can also use a cotton swab if required. If the grime is fine, you can use a SIM ejector tool or something similar (it shouldn’t have a pointy head) to clean the hard-to-reach areas.

Usually, you’ll find the grime on the rear side of the Apple Watch around the ring, inside strap slots, the Digital Crown, the side button, and the display’s border. So make sure you clean all of them thoroughly. Once done, leave the Apple Watch to dry for some time.

4. Wash and dry the watch band

Wash and dry Apple Watch band

There are different types of bands available for the Apple Watch. There are usually three types of bands: leather, loop, and generic. And each band requires a different treatment. Here’s how to treat different kinds of Apple Watch bands:

Leather bands:

Leather bands need careful treatment since they develop a patina over time, and you may tear the leather if you go rough. So it’s best to handle leather with good delicacy.

  1. Dampen a microfiber or lint-free, non-abrasive cloth in water.
  2. Wipe the leather band with that cloth until it’s clean, and let the strap dry for some time.

Remember that you should never soak a leather band in water. Also, avoid high temperatures when drying the band, like direct sunlight.

Loop bands:

You can use soap to clean the loop bands, unlike leather bands. However, some are made of threads, so you must handle those carefully.

  1. Dampen a cloth in water and use mild and hypoallergenic hand soap to clean the band if necessary.
  2. Wipe and dry the band on a microfiber cloth before you put it on your Apple Watch.

Regular bands:

Regular bands are easy to clean since they’re made of silicone mostly. You can also soak them in water or wash them with soap if necessary.

  1. Dampen a cloth in water and clean with mild soap if there are stubborn stains.
  2. Wipe the band and dry it on a microfiber cloth for some time.

Once the band dries completely, you can attach them to your Apple Watch again.

5. Disinfectect Apple Watch

Yes, you read that right! But I wouldn’t insist on taking this step, as there’s a lot you need to take care of. However, if you insist on disinfecting your Watch, you do the following.

You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes to gently wipe the exterior parts of your Apple Watch. Doing this should eliminate all the dirt and viruses on the exterior parts.

Alternatively, you can try Clorox Disinfecting Wipes or 75% ethyl alcohol wipes to do the same. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t use products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Also, don’t use disinfectants on leather or loop bands.


Can I wash the Apple Watch under water to remove stains?

No, the Apple Watch is water resistant and not waterproof; hence, you must always use a damp cloth to wipe the Apple Watch to clean it as much as possible. If the stains don’t go away, use slightly more pressure to rub them off.

Does soap affect Apple Watch?

Yes, soap and soapy water can affect the water resistance of the Apple Watch. Hence, keeping the Apple Watch away from those substances is a must and recommended.

Cleaning up…

Keeping your Apple Watch clean is necessary, or the dust and grime will affect its functionality. I hope you were able to clean your Apple Watch using the guide mentioned above. Cleaning your Apple Watch once every two months can improve its lifespan.

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  • Sajid

    Sajid Shaik is a tech enthusiast who explains complex concepts in a clear and concise way. For the past 7 years, he has been a regular contributor to tech blogs and publications, including MakeUseOf and iGeeksBlog. Sajid also has extensive knowledge of the Apple ecosystem, which he shares with his readers through his words. He has created a wide range of content, such as How-Tos, Reviews, Listicles, and much more. Aside from that, Sajid has a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering, which gives him an advantage in better understanding technology at hardware level. Apart from writing, you can find him fiddling with Apple products or keeping up with all things Apple.

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