Apple Watch Band Cleaning: What You Should Know

If you regularly wear your Apple Watch it will get dirty along with the band. Daily your watch and band are exposed to sweat, dirt, lotions, and germs. These deposits into nooks and crannies of your watch and band. In worst-case scenarios, the crown and buttons on your Apple Watch may get sticky which could affect the performance of the crown.

While you can’t just stop wearing the gadget to keep it clean, you can clean it regularly to keep it running without any issues.

Here is a guide that will walk you through various steps to clean your watch without damaging it.

Before you proceed with the process, switch the Apple Watch off and detach the band from the watch.

If you need help removing the band, we have a guide here on how to remove it.
If you need help turning off your watch, see Apple’s article Turn on and wake Apple Watch.


Apple Watch Series 1 owners should NOT get their Apple Watch wet. Instead of water, use a damped piece of clothing or microfiber cloth.


Clean The Digital Crown on Apple Watch 


There are possibilities of a dirt layer between the Watch housing and the digital crown. The best way to remove these deposits is by using a stream of slow running water.

You have to hold your Apple Watch under the stream of running water and rotate or press on the crown until the water passes inside the gap and begins to dislodge the debris. Repeat the process for the button.

After cleaning the button and digital crown, gently hold the Apple Watch in your hands, and wipe it with lint or abrasion-free microfiber to remove excess water.


Clean the Mic on the Apple Watch


The microphone and speaker don’t need frequent cleaning but its better that you check them once in a while to avoid blockages.

If you see deposits over these parts, use a toothpick or q-tip to remove it. A damped cloth is also a good option but never use a soap solution.

These components are very delicate and easily get damaged if mishandled. So, if you are not good at these things, better avoid this part.

Clean The Screen


The touch screen of an Apple Watch gets touched a lot with your fingers and will get dirty over time. The best way to clean the screen is to use a lint-free, anti-abrasion cloth and very mild pressure to wipe it.

If the watch has residue that is not removed by a dry fiber cloth you can use a lightly damped cloth, just make sure that the water used to clean is fresh, chemical-free and does not stay on the screen for long.

Cleaning The Various Types Of Bands


After you have cleaned the Apple Watch itself, it is essential that you wear it with a clean band as well.

There is a wide variety of materials for Apple Watch straps that you can get for the Apple Watch. Each material has a different method for cleaning, but the basic principle remains the same.

If you don’t know what material your Apple Watch band is made of, you can look at the pictures below to see if any match or are similar to the band you have.




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Silicone bands are flexible and water-resistant. There is little chance of corrosion or damage when cleaning, especially if your band is genuine Apple. However, if you have an aftermarket band from China, certain chemicals may remove the color from your band. The safest way to wash your silicone strap is by using warm water with hand soap to wash and clean them.


Strong chemical agents, such as Clorox, can ruin a silicone band. If you wear your band to the gym, you may want to disinfect it with ultraviolet light (UV). You can learn how to disinfect your Apple Watch and all bands with UV light below.




You should be extra careful cleaning your leather bands especially if it is genuine leather. Harsh cleaning solutions could discolor your band or ruin the texture. Leather absorbs water and could lead to discoloration or deformation of the material. If you try to dry leather with a hairdryer, you may end up causing cracks and loss of strength of the leather. It is also preferable if you do not use these bands to workout so that you don’t get it saturated with sweat.


You can use a leather cleaner or balm on your leather band, which will prolong the life of the leather but this will not disinfect any germs you may have on your band. Leather bands are best cleaned using Ultraviolet (UV) light.


If you don’t have an Ultraviolet light to clean your leather band, you can use a gently moist cloth. Be careful not to get the leather too wet. Once you are done cleaning, you should dry it with a towel immediately.




Nylon is a fiber, and you can quickly clean it under running water or in a washing machine (depending on the metal hardware on the band). The water won’t affect the color and life of the band in most cases, but there is a chance that the band doesn’t get dried and water will stay inside the fiber which may cause mold to grow and an awful smell. It is best that you stick with a wet cloth and a soft-bristle brush (such a toothbrush), if necessary.

Metal Bands:


Stainless Steel


The best way to clean a stainless steel band is with Ultraviolet (UV) light. This method in combination with a wet cloth and hand soap will eliminate 99.9% of bacteria on your stainless steel band.


Limitless Bands are crafted with high-quality steel or metal, which is coated to protect against rust. You can clean our bands safely with water and soap, whenever you want.


Limitless Milanese Infinite Loops bands is stainless steel mesh band that is easy to clean with warm water, hand soap, and a toothbrush.





The majority of Apple Watch metal bands are zinc-alloy coated with paint. To be on the safe side, you should not use any abrasive chemicals to clean zinc-alloy bands, instead stick to wash, hand soap and a toothbrush if necessary.


If you want to disinfect your zinc-alloy band and remove 99.9% of bacteria you should use an ultraviolet (UV) light for disinfection. You can learn more about cleaning with UV light below.


Limitless Bands Fusion Bracelet is crafted from zinc-alloy metals. You can clean it with warm water, hand soap and a toothbrush (if necessary), without damaging the band.


Hybrid Bands


Hybrid bands are made with a combination of two or more material. For example, a band which has leather and nylon, or leather and metal.


In these scenarios, you should use the method above that is safe for the more sensitive material.


For example, if you have a leather/stainless steel band, you should follow the instructions under leather as this material is harder to clean compared to stainless steel.


Once again, to disinfect these types of bands are remove 99.9% of germs using UV lights.



It is imperative that you dry your Apple Watch and band after cleaning. Leaving these items wet can cause a variety of issues such as skin irritation, smelly bands and in the worst case a malfunctioning Apple Watch. You can use a paper or regular towel to dry all the moisture from the strap and watch. You can also leave your band for a few hours to dry at room temperature before wearing it.



Apple Watch and straps are exposed to pretty much every germ you touch with your hands. Thus, they are as dirty as your hands but are not washed as frequently as your hands. We do not recommend you clean or disinfect your Apple Watch or its accessories with Clorox or Lyson as these chemicals could cause damage to your watch or strap or both.


For the majority of people, washing your Apple Watch with warm water or damp cloth and hand soap should be sufficient.


If you want to disinfect your bands of 99% of germs you can use Ultraviolet (UV) light as a viable option. Here are some products which we recommend to disinfect your Apple Watch, straps, bands and accessories:


Homedics UV-Clean Portable Sanitizer


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Homedics UV-Clean Sanitizer kills up to 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria. UV light is environmentally safe and the bulb in this product is mercury-free. According to Homedics, you can clean your items such as Apple Watch and accessories in one-minute. We recommend that you prolong the disinfection process to 15-30 minutes.



UV Light Sanitizer



This is a handheld UV Light Sanitizer which can be used for Apple Watch or anything else around the house that wouldn’t normally fit into the Homedics pouch. Again we recommend that you extend the manufacturer’s recommended disinfection time from 20-seconds to at least one minute.