How to properly clean your Apple Watch band, as well as your Digital Crown and Watch face

Close-up of wrist with Apple Watch on it
It’s important to properly clean your Apple Watch so you don’t damage it. DeFodi Images / Contributor/Getty Images
  • You can clean your Apple Watch band, face, and Digital Crown to ensure the longevity of your device.
  • Cleaning your Apple Watch band can also enhance comfort and reduce the chance of skin irritation.
  • Use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to clean and dry your Apple Watch.
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Regularly cleaning your Apple Watch, particularly after it’s been exposed to sweat, soap, and sunscreen – along with pretty much any liquid that isn’t water – is important for both your comfort (a clean band reduces chances of skin irritation) and the long-term life of your device.

Here’s how to clean and dry your Apple Watch band, your Apple Watch, and your Apple Watch Digital Crown.

How to clean your Apple Watch band

1. Remove the band from your Apple Watch. If you’re using a third-party band (non-Apple branded), follow the care instructions provided with that particular band.

2. For leather and fabric bands, wipe the leather portions with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth. You can lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water if needed to remove oily or sticky substances. Do not soak in water.

3. Allow the leather or fabric band to fully air dry before reattaching it to your Apple Watch. While drying, do not store these bands in direct sunlight or in areas with high temperature or humidity.

4. For bands that are not leather or fabric – such as Apple Watch bands, Solo Loop band, Sport Band, Nike Sport Band, or any metal band – Apple recommends using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Don’t use any product that contains bleach or hydrogen peroxide, and don’t submerge your band in any cleaning agent. Instead, use one of the wipes listed above or a damp non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to wipe down the band.

5. Dry the band before reattaching to your watch.

How to clean your Apple Watch face

Unlike with your Apple Watch band, Apple does not recommend using any soaps, cleaning products, abrasive materials, or external air and heat sources to clean your Apple Watch itself, as these items can damage your device.

1. Turn off your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button, and remove it from its charger if connected.

2. If you’re using a band that isn’t water-resistant (such as a stainless steel or leather band), remove it from your device.

3. Wipe your Apple Watch with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to clean it. You can lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water if needed to remove oily or sticky substances.

4. You can also hold the watch under a lightly running tap of warm water for 10 to 15 seconds, but do not use any soap or other cleaning products.

5. Dry your Apple Watch with your soft, lint-free cloth, making sure you also dry off the back crystal of the device.

How to clean the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown

If the Digital Crown on the side of your Apple Watch gets stuck or won’t move, check around the Crown for debris and wipe down your device.

If you find things like dust or lotion, here’s how you can clean the Digital Crown:

1. Turn off your Apple Watch and disconnect it from its charger if connected.

2. If you’re using a band that isn’t water-resistant (such as a stainless steel or leather band), remove it from your device.

3. Hold the Digital Crown under a lightly running tap of warm fresh water for 10 to 15 seconds. Do not use any soap or other cleaning products.

4. Turn and press the Digital Crown as the water runs past the gap between the crown and the rest of the watch.

5. Dry your watch thoroughly using a soft, lint-free cloth.

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