You may have worn yours every day since you got it, but have you ever thought about how to clean your Apple Watch band? After all, you may wear it almost constantly, and the watch strap will collect sweat, oil from your skin, skin flakes, any lotions you apply, and all kinds of other dirt and debris.
While it may not look dirty, it's well worth giving your watch strap a clean every once in a while (as you should do for the rest of the watch as well) to keep it in tip-top condition.
But before you go all gung-ho, there are a few dos and don'ts to be mindful of. Here's our guide on keeping your Apple Watch band clean.
How To Clean Apple Watch Band
We'll start with a little housekeeping. You should always follow any care instructions provided by your watch strap manufacturer. While most people will probably use an Apple-branded strap, many will not. So check with your manufacturer for any specific care instructions.
But with that in mind, the information we're providing will apply to the vast majority of users. Let's get going.
Remove Your Watch Strap
Your first step in the cleaning process is to remove the band from the Apple Watch. Doing this means you can get into every nook and cranny of the band.
To remove your watch strap, start by putting your watch face down on a clean surface, such as a micro-fibre cloth.
You'll then need to locate the quick release button on your strap, and slide the band across to remove it. If you are struggling to remove the band from the watch, press the release button again, and make sure you keep it held down.
This will be the removal mechanism for most Apple Watch straps. But once again, check with your manufacturer for any specific advice.
Cleaning The Watch Band
Now that you've removed the watch band, it's time to clean it up. Different types of bands will have slightly different cleaning methods, depending on the type of material they are made from. We'll cover the main ones.
It's really important that you don't soak your leather band. Leather bands aren't generally water-resistant.
To clean one of these, wipe the leather with a non-abrasive lint-free cloth. If there are any stubborn bits of dirt you need to remove, you can moisten the cloth with fresh water.
Use light pressure while cleaning, move the cloth in a circular motion, and focus on the dirty spots. Use a dry cloth to remove any excess water. Leave the watch strap to dry out completely before you wear it again.
If you regularly wear a leather band, consider cleaning every few weeks. You can also give it some extra TLC with some leather conditioner. But as always, check the manufacturer's care instructions.
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Solo Loop, Sport Band and Nike Sport Band
For these types of watch bands, once again, use a clean, non-abrasive lint-free cloth. And again, if things are really bad, you can use a little bit of water on the cloth. This time, you can also use mild hand soap if things are really grim.
Once you've given it a clean, dry the band thoroughly with a lint-free cloth before putting it back on. Some people may be tempted to speed up this process by using a hairdryer. But if your band is made from woven nylon, too much heat could deform it, and make it difficult or impossible to put back onto your watch.
If you don't have one of the bands mentioned above, then for you, the task is even simpler.
Get out that non-abrasive lint-free cloth again, and give the band a wipe. Once again, you can dampen it with a bit of freshwater if things are really grim.
Use a dry lint-free cloth to dry out your band.
So in general, a lint-free cleaning cloth is the way forward. You won't go far wrong.
- Read More: How To Clean A Silicone Watch Band
Can You Use Disinfectant?
Now, there may be times when a wipe with a cloth isn't going to cut it. So can you use a disinfectant if you need to? Well, the official advice from Apple is that yes, it's ok to do so.
You can use a 70-per cent isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75-per cent ethyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes over the exterior of your watch band. This is fine on a Solo Loop, Sport Band, Nike Sport Band, or a metal band. Don't, however, use these on fabric or leather bands.
And finally, don't use any products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These could cause discolouration, among other things.