How to clean your Apple Watch and Watch bands

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 23 May 2015

emojis on Apple Watch
Because it is always on your wrist, the Apple Watch gets exposed to a variety of elements depending on your daily activities. Dirt, food, lotions and more tend to be attracted to the device — smudging the screen, sticking to the buttons and soiling the strap. Read on for some tips to help keep your Watch clean as the first day you received it.

Band Cleaning

The Sport band is made from fluoroelastomer, which is easy to clean. Just dab a bit of dishwashing detergent on your finger and use it along with some warm water to wash the band. You can remove the strap for the best cleaning or leave the band attached and clean it carefully as you don’t want to get soap on the Watch, its buttons or the Digital Crown. Once you’ve cleaned the band with a bit of soap, you can rinse it off with warm water.


The leather bands, buckles and loops require a more gentle method of cleaning. Just grab a soft cloth and wipe down the band. You can use clean water and dampen the cloth lightly as necessary. Avoiding soaking the leather bands as they are not water resistant and may discolor.

Screen Cleaning

Apple does not recommend using any cleaning products on the Watch casing or screen. The company warns that compressed air, abrasive cleaners and even drying appliances such as hair dryers can damage the device. The best way to clean your screen is to use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to wipe the screen until it is clean. If the Watch is especially dirty, you can lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water and then dry it with another cloth.

Fix a Sticky Button or Digital Crown

Sometimes dirt and grime make their way into the Digital Crown or the button on the Watch, making it difficult to turn the Crown or press the button. The fix for this simple — warm running water and a few minutes of your time.

  1. Remove you Apple Watch from your wrist or the charger if it was charging.
  2. Turn off your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the button until the Power control menu appears and then tapping “Power Off”.
  3. If you have a leather band, remove it from your Apple Watch to prevent water damage to the strap.
  4. Hold the Watch under a faucet and place the Digital Crown and buttons under lightly running, warm, fresh water. Do not use a soaps or other cleaning products on the Watch hardware.
  5. Turn and press the Digital Crown and press the side button as the water runs over the gaps between the Watch housing and the button and Crown.
  6. Continue cleaning for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  7. Remove from the water and dry your Apple Watch with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth.

Do you have problems with sticky buttons or dirty Watch bands? Share your experiences with the Apple Watch in the comments.

If you want to learn more about the Apple Watch, you can view additional tutorials on our Apple Watch Tips and Tricks page and our Apple Watch Guide page. If you have an area you would like to see covered in this ongoing series of Watch tutorials or have discovered your own handy tips or tricks, please share them in the comments.

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