How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Every time you touch your Apple Watch, you could be contaminating it with bacteria and other harmful microbes. It’s worth taking the time to clean your Apple Watch regularly to protect yourself from getting sick. Here’s how you can do that safely.

Things You’ll Need

Cleaning your Apple Watch isn’t dissimilar to cleaning your iPhone or sanitizing other “high-touch” gadgets. In response to the novel coronavirus outbreak of early 2020, Apple updated its cleaning guidelines to encourage the use of isopropyl alcohol to kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microbes.

To properly clean your Apple Watch you will need:

  • A soft, damp, lint-free cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol with at least 70% alcohol content and a clean cloth, or similar disinfecting wipes
  • Cotton buds (Q-Tips)
  • A sink with access to warm running water
  • A soft-bristled toothbrush (optional)
  • A wooden toothpick (optional)

Depending on how dirty your watch is, you might need to use a toothpick or soft toothbrush to loosen stuck-on dirt and grime.

Remove The Band and Clean It Separately

You can remove your Apple Watch band for easy cleaning. First, take your watch off and turn it around so that the back is facing you. At the top and bottom of the rear sensor are two depressible buttons.

Press one of the buttons down and slide the corresponding watch band connector left or right. You might need to put a little force into it if you haven’t removed the band in a while. Keep pushing until the band is free from the main unit, then repeat for the other end of the band.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Now you should have your band and Apple Watch unit in two or three separate parts. How you clean your band ultimately depends on which band you are using. Leather bands are especially sensitive, and Apple states they are not water-resistant.

How to Clean Fabric, Silicon and Metal Watch Bands

Fabric, silicon, and metal watch bands can be submerged in water for cleaning. For best results, hold them underneath warm running water, taking care to clean the entirety of the band. You should be able to remove any dirt or lint with your fingers.

You can use a wooden toothpick or soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any stubborn grime or dried-on dirt from metal bands. Take care when brushing nylon sports loops, as you may fray the material by doing so.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Attention: Apple warns against using alcohol to clean fabric bands, but water alone is not enough to disinfect these. Because nylon bands like the sports loop should only be soluble in strong acids, disinfecting your nylon band with alcohol is likely safe, despite what Apple says. This is a risk you’ll have to weigh up and decide for yourself. If you’re concerned, perform a test on a small area first.

Let your watch band dry completely, then disinfect it using isopropyl alcohol. If you have a pump-spray bottle, you can mist alcohol directly onto the Watch band. Otherwise, you can apply isopropyl alcohol to a clean cloth (or use alcohol-based disinfectant wipes), then wipe the band down thoroughly.

Isopropyl alcohol will evaporate quickly, which means there’s no need to rinse it when you’re done. The alcohol will kill bacteria that may cause your Watch band to smell and other microbes that could make you sick. Always clean your band with water before disinfecting to remove dirt that microbes love.

How to Clean Leather Bands

Leather bands are far more temperamental and shouldn’t be soaked completely in water for cleaning. Apple recommends spot cleaning your leather band with a clean damp cloth, then letting it dry completely.

Of course, water alone won’t disinfect the band. For that, you’ll need to use trusty isopropyl alcohol, which may ruin the finish on your watch band. Limited evidence online suggests that isopropyl alcohol may dry out the leather, while other people say isopropyl alcohol is great for getting stains out relatively safely.

Again, your mileage may vary. If you are uncomfortable not disinfecting your leather Watch band, you could always buy a hardier silicon, fabric, or metal band to replace it.

Cleaning Your Apple Watch Unit

With your band removed, cleaning your Apple Watch should be easy. Take a clean cloth and dampen it with water, then wipe the Watch unit all over. Take care to remove all grime and stuck-on dirt, particularly on the back of the unit.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Pay close attention to the lip where the heart rate sensor meets the rest of the body; skin and dirt can build up there relatively easily. Take your wooden toothpick or a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrape as much grime out as possible, until the watch looks completely clean.

Take your watch and hold it under warm running water for a minute or so. Turn the digital crown and wash out anything that may have stuck to it. Rinse the seating where the Watch band normally sits. Turn off the tap and dry the watch thoroughly.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Now, disinfect with isopropyl alcohol by either misting the watch with alcohol, applying alcohol to a cloth and wiping the watch down thoroughly or using disinfectant wipes. If there are any last bits of stuck-on grime, the alcohol should help lift them. Use the cotton buds dipped in alcohol to remove any last stubborn bits of dirt.

Pay close attention to the display, digital crown, and side button, as these are the main areas you use to interact with your watch. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate completely before moving on to the next step.

Reassemble Your Watch

Now it’s time to reassemble the Watch by putting the band back on. Line the band up with your wrist first, to make sure that everything is the right way round.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

It’s then a matter of sliding the band mounts into the seating until you hear an audible click. If you don’t hear the click, wiggle the Watch around a bit until you do. Perform one last test to make sure your bands are safely in place by moving them horizontally.

If you don’t put the bands on properly, you could risk losing your watch if the band were to slip off.

Everyday Cleaning Tips

Keeping your Watch clean is pretty easy if you wear it in the shower. You should always try to avoid getting soap and other personal hygiene products on your watch, but holding it under a warm tap and wiping it isn’t going to harm it.

Cleaning the underside will require that you take it off and give it a more thorough cleaning. Get into the habit of doing this at night when you charge it, and consider keeping some disinfectant wipes on your nightstand to clean your Watch, iPhone, AirPods and other gadgets.

Washing your hands is an important part of personal hygiene, but what about the gadget on your wrist? Everywhere you go, it goes, too. You probably also use it with dirty hands while you’re out and about.

The coronavirus can live on a smartphone for up to 96 hours. Your smartwatch or wearable could also be a vector for disease, unless you clean it regularly.

How to Clean and Disinfect Your Smartwatch

Your smartwatch is a fitness tracker, communication device, and can even replace your bank card for contactless payments. Going to the gym, accepting calls, and touching payment terminals can contaminate your wearable. If you touch your watch without cleaning it properly, you could be transferring germs.

Microorganisms that cause the flu and COVID-19 have been found to live on hard metal surfaces for up to three days, so cleaning everything regularly is important to avoid getting sick.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Apple recently updated its cleaning guidelines, recommending people disinfect their gadgets with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol of around 70 percent concentration, or with disinfectant wipes that contain the same. Rubbing alcohol kills most microorganisms on contact, and then evaporates, leaving a clean and smudge-free surface.

While the guidelines for cleaning your Apple Watch are specific to Apple products, most manufacturers use similar materials, including glass, stainless steel, and nylon. This suggests Apple’s guidance can be applied to similar products. Just remember, if you break something by not following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, your warranty will be void.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

You should be mindful of the instructions provided by your smartwatch manufacturer when cleaning it. Water isn’t sufficient if you want to properly sanitize your watch. Apple’s guidelines reiterate that alcohol shouldn’t damage glass, metal, silicon, or many plastics. It’s a decision you’ll have to make yourself.

With that in mind, cleaning your smartwatch is pretty straightforward. First, remove the watch band from the main unit. Assuming the watch is water-resistant, rinse the watch in warm water to remove as much dirt and grime as possible before you disinfect.

Dirt can trap germs and other harmful microbes, so you want to be sure to remove it all, and then disinfect afterward. You can saturate a cotton ball in isopropyl alcohol to spot clean any particularly stubborn grime.

Next, use rubbing alcohol or similar wipes to disinfect the watch all over. Clean the band according to the manufacturer instructions—take care to spot clean leather without saturating it. If possible (and if you’re comfortable doing so), disinfect the band with isopropyl alcohol.

Metal, silicone, and plastic watchbands are unlikely to be damaged by isopropyl alcohol. Nylon bands are also unlikely to be damaged, although Apple recommends against using rubbing alcohol on any of its fabric bands. We recommend performing a tester on an inconspicuous spot first.

Finally, allow the alcohol to evaporate before reassembling your watch. All done!

How to Clean Your Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are a lot like smartwatches, except they’re usually designed to be worn for longer periods of time. Fitbit has specific recommendations for cleaning its fitness trackers. Like Apple, this includes using isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to disinfect devices.

Further, Fitbit recommends avoiding soap-based cleansers and other products that can get trapped in the band and cause skin irritation. Instead, the company recommends soap-free cleansers, plus a good rinse to make sure any dirt is sufficiently washed away.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watchFitbit

Fitness and activity trackers are designed for exercise, so, of course, they get sweaty. A quick rinse in the shower is a good start, but it won’t kill germs or remove more stubborn, stuck-on grime where harmful microorganisms can live.

That’s why you should take care to remove and clean your fitness tracker regularly—especially after you work out.

Cleaning your fitness tracker is just like cleaning a smartwatch. You’ll first need to remove the band from the unit, if possible (Fitbit owners can follow the company’s official guidelines to do this).

Assuming the tracker is water-resistant, rinse it under a tap to remove as much dirt as possible. If you see dirt remove as much of it as possible. Spot clean any stubborn patches with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to loosen it up.

When the tracker is visibly clean, thoroughly disinfect it with rubbing alcohol or similar disinfectant wipes. Clean the band according to manufacturer’s instructions (again, Fitbit has official guidelines). Disinfect the band with isopropyl alcohol or disinfectant wipes, if possible.

After the alcohol evaporates completely, reattach the band.

Don’t Forget Your Other Wearables

Smartwatches and fitness trackers aren’t the only wearables you need to clean regularly. Anything you wear out of the house is exposed to potentially harmful germs. This includes jewelry, badges, wearable cameras, and headphones and earbuds.

You should also sanitize regularly anything you touch a lot, like your smartphone, keyboard, mouse, and any other gadgets.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

How to Clean and Disinfect Your Mobile Devices

We have a lot of experience in managing mobile devices for business, from device ordering to wireless bill optimization to providing mobile help desk support. But there’s one thing we can’t do: Clean your phone for you. And since many companies have adopted work-from-home practices to help slow the spread of coronavirus (ourselves included), proper cleaning of mobile devices has become more important than ever.

Every mobile device manufacturer will have slightly different instructions for cleaning their devices, of course — you can check out Apple’s instructions for cleaning here, if you want to go to the source, or find Samsung’s instructions here. But despite minor differences, there are also cleaning tips that seem to cross all devices — and which would be helpful for you to keep in mind as you go about keeping your phone clean.

Here are Five Tips for Keeping Your Mobile Device Clean and Disinfected:

1. Unplug Your Device Before Cleaning

We shouldn’t really need to say this, but it’s better safe than sorry: Unplug your mobile devices before exposing them to liquid. It’s safer for them — and for you.

2. Don’t Immerse Your Device in Liquid.

Another common-sense tip. Most modern mobile devices will have some resistance to liquid — but that’s not nearly the same thing as “waterproof.” You wouldn’t intentionally drop your phone in the pool, so don’t intentionally drop it into a bucket of cleaning solution or disinfectant, either.

3. Don’t Clean with an Abrasive Cloth

The glass on your device face can be easily scratched by abrasive cloth as you’re cleaning. Important pro-tip: Paper towels are also abrasive, so don’t use them. Rather, use a microfiber cloth, if you can find one. Most devices ship with one, but let’s face it — they can get misplaced. If you can’t find a microfiber cloth, it’s okay to use a soft cotton t-shirt — just be sure to wash it afterwards. (Apple also says that it’s okay to use wipes like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.)

4. Spray Cleaning Solution onto Cloth, Not the Device

This is in line with tip #2 not to immerse your device. If you’re spraying cleaning solution directly onto your device, you’re running the risk of getting liquid into the charging port or somewhere else in the device, which can do serious damage. Instead, spray your cleaning solution onto your microfiber cloth before gently using it to clean your phone.

5. Don’t Use Bleach

Bleach can damage your phone. If you’re concerned about disinfecting your phone, a much better strategy is to use a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol as your cleaning agent. Both Apple and Samsung are on board with this, so you’re in good company, here.

Following these steps to keep your mobile devices clean, along with proper hand-washing, can help to slow the spread of coronavirus and make working from home more effective. How often this should be done is more of an open question, but certainly you should make it part of a regular routine, as well as when you’ve had it at the grocery store, for example.

As always, we wish you all health and prosperity.

I know there are other health care professionals out there wearing an Apple Watch as their main watch. Obviously we don’t want to bring what was in the hospital out home by means of our watch. I have the the Aluminum watch with the Rubber bands. Am I able to use alcohol wipes to clean the bands and watch?

Watch Series 2(Alum) 42MM (2nd gen), watchOS 3

Posted on Sep 24, 2016 10:25 PM

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Sep 25, 2016 12:00 AM

Thank you for the reply; I have actually already read that page. I may have used the wrong words for my question.

Can I disinfect my Apple Watch with Isopropyl Alcohol wipes?

I can definitely clean with the towel/water as that page suggested, however, what about bacteria (e.g. MRSA, VRE, CDIFF), blood, etc.

Sep 25, 2016 12:17 AM

Can I disinfect my Apple Watch with Isopropyl Alcohol wipes?

Yes, you can, but doing so is obviously not in accordance with Apple’s instructions. All that means is that no one can provide guidance regarding its tolerance to long term use.

My Watches have come into contact with a wide variety of solvents including alcohol, gasoline, motor oil and other contaminants with no adverse effect, so I can say that inadvertent contact certainly won’t harm them. Long term or routine use of isopropyl alcohol specifically for cleaning and disinfecting them might cause cosmetic or other damage that Apple simply hasn’t tested.

When cleaning them I just run them under lukewarm water and dry them with a soft cloth. I would tend to avoid using alcohol on the fluoroelastomer band because it’s been my experience that alcohol tends to cause rubber to become hard and brittle. Fluoroelastomer isn’t rubber though, so perhaps it will bear up better.

How do you disinfect other wristwatches that you have worn in a hospital environment? If you have been using alcohol with them without any adverse effect, I doubt the Watch will be any different.

As the coronavirus epidemic spreads, our objects can quickly become our worst enemies. Among the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, it is recommended not to lend everyday objects and to clean its devices, in particular the touch screens and keyboards that we use daily and which can be real nests for bacteria.

In addition to the 4 #Barest Gestures essential, other measures exist to limit the spread of microbes such as:
❌ Do not lend everyday objects
? Clean the objects and devices you touch

– Ministry of Solidarity and Health (@MinSoliSante) February 24, 2020

Wanting to eliminate germs is one thing, but be careful not to ruin your devices with abrasive products and / or unsuitable cleaning methods. Apple gives some advice on its site, but these only allow you to clean fingerprints and other dusty residues.

To clean your iPhone

First of all, make sure that the iPhone is disconnected from any external power source and that no device or cable is connected to the device.

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max

Benefiting from better water resistance, these iPhones can be thoroughly cleaned without much risk unlike their predecessors. Apple recommends using a microfiber cloth lightly moistened with warm water and soap. To eliminate bacteria it is possible to use anti-bacterial wipes. Make sure they are bleach-free.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Special products are also available on Amazon, including the Whoosh! formerly used in Apple Stores to clean iPhone, iPad and Mac on display.

iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7

For these iPhone, we avoid lukewarm water and soap. It is best to limit yourself to wipes (without bleach) and micro-fiber cloths lightly dampened with antibacterial products suitable for screens or isopropanol and water.

Be careful not to:

  • Allow water or any other liquid substance to enter the inputs for peripherals.
  • Use excessively wet wipes, wring them out beforehand.
  • Use aerosol, solvent, or any abrasive product

Use only a soft, microfiber cloth. Paper towels, cotton rags, or similar materials can damage the device.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

You can get a cleaner that uses UV light to kill bacteria. Do not forget to also clean the shells of your products and accessories.

To clean screen, trackpad, Touch Bar mouse …

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Turn off and unplug the Mac, use an antibacterial wipe, which you have previously wrung. Pass the wipe over the entire Mac, avoiding too much pressure which could leak liquid and damage the keys. Use a clean microfiber cloth to dry your device and remove the traces left by the wipe.

For the screen, repeat the same process. It is possible to use a screen cleaner, taking care never to spray it directly on the device.

Be careful to avoid opening peripheral devices. Do not use aerosol, solvent or abrasive products or containing hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide).

Regarding the Touch Bar and Touch ID, Apple recommends using a cloth with only water.

Cleaning your Apple Watch

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Soap, cleaning products, abrasive materials, compressed air and external heat sources can damage your Apple Watch and should not be used.

However, you can put your Apple Watch under a stream of hot water for 10 to 15 seconds, making sure to dry the device properly with a microfiber cloth afterwards.

To deal with the virus Apple has increased the cleaning staff in its Stores, installed antibacterial gels and asked employees to disinfect the products on display more frequently.

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How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Your Apple Watch is an incredibly resilient piece of technology. It has to be! Not only will folks take their Apple Watches for the occasional swim or dip in the dish-filled sink, it spends quite a bit of its time pressed against your oil-laden, sweat-covered skin. Over time, you’ll find that your Apple Watch gets coated in all kinds of grub and grime but it doesn’t have to stay that way! With a bit of elbow grease and just a few moments of your time, you can have a sparkling clean Apple Watch again!

How to clean your Apple Watch

Before we begin, I want to point out that Apple says you should avoid using soap, cleaning products, abrasive materials, compressed air, and heating devices (like a hair dryer) when you clean your Apple Watch. That said, I’ve used mild cleaning products and soap to clean a number of Apple devices without issue. I would suggest avoiding abrasive materials and heating devices at all costs. Apple explains why:

Apple Watch is manufactured with extreme care and precision, while leveraging state-of-the-art technology to provide the best customer experience. To ensure the watch maintains all functionality and to keep a consistent finish across the enclosure and external components, Apple does not recommend polishing or buffing the watch with abrasives.

Unless you’ve got a seriously grimy Apple Watch, all you’re going to need is a microfiber cloth and some water.

Do not clean your Apple Watch while it’s connected to the charger. Fresh, purified water — especially distilled water — is your best choice for cleaning your Apple Watch. Purified waters contain less chemical compounds (other than H2O) so they’re far less likely to interfere with the electrical components of your Apple Watch.

  1. Turn off your Apple Watch.
  2. Dampen your (nonabrasive) microfiber cloth with some water and wipe clean your Apple Watch.

Dry your Apple Watch with a microfiber cloth.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

How to clean your Apple Watch’s Digital Crown

If you’ve ever gone to spin the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch only to find it resisting movement or sticking, this is how you remedy the situation!

  1. Turn off your Apple Watch.
  2. Turn on your faucet and adjust the temperature until the water is warm.
  3. Hold the Digital Crown under the stream of water for about 10 to 15 seconds. If you’ve got a leather band on your Apple Watch, remove it before sticking your Watch in the water. Nylon, metal, and fluoroelastomer bands are fine.
  4. While it’s under the stream of water, turn and press the Digital Crown. As long as water is running between the space in between your Apple Watch’s housing and the Digital Crown, you should be able to dislodge any debris with this technique.

Dry your Apple Watch with a microfiber cloth.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

If you’ve got a stainless steel Apple Watch and need to do some deep cleaning, check out this piece from my colleague Daniel Bader:

How to clean your Apple Watch bands

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Just like the Apple Watch itself, your Apple Watch bands are likely to get grimy over time — especially if they’re porous. You can give your bands a nice, thorough cleaning with these techniques!

In the interest of limiting wear and tear or accidental damage, Apple is pretty conservative in its suggestions for cleaning your Apple Watch bands. Here’s what the company recommends:

For the leather portions of the bands, wipe them clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth, lightly dampened with fresh water (if necessary). After cleaning, let the band air dry thoroughly before re-attaching to Apple Watch. Don’t store leather bands in direct sunlight, at high temperatures, or in high humidity. Don’t soak leather bands in water. Leather bands are not water resistant. For all other bands and clasps, wipe them clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth, lightly dampened with fresh water (if necessary). Dry the band thoroughly with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth before re-attaching to Apple Watch. Stainless steel bands are not water resistant.

In my experience, a lightly dampened cloth was not enough to clean away the dirt, lint, and grime that collected on my most worn band (a black woven nylon band that, sadly, Apple doesn’t offer anymore). With the knowledge that it runs counter to Apple’s official recommendations for cleaning your bands, here’s what I do to clean my nylon Apple Watch bands (for metal and leather bands, I adhere to Apple’s guidelines).

  1. Gather your supplies:
    • Some paper towels
    • Your nylon Apple Watch bands
    • A bowl
    • Warm water
    • A spare toothbrush with soft bristles
    • Mild soap
  2. Add the warm water and a touch of mild soap to the bowl.
  3. Drop your nylon Apple Watch bands in the warm water and allow them to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Remove your nylon Apple Watch bands from the bowl shortly after they sink to the bottom (this means they’re saturated with water).
  5. Place your nylon Apple Watch bands on the paper towel(s) and gently brush the surface of your bands with the soft-bristle toothbrush.
  6. Repeat steps 3 – 5 for particularly pesky grime.
  7. Dry your nylon Apple Watch bands by patting them with a dry paper towel (do not scrub).

Allow your nylon Apple Watch bands to air dry (can take up to several hours).

How to clean and disinfect your apple watchHow to clean and disinfect your apple watchHow to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Questions?

That’s all it takes to get your Apple Watch and Apple Watch bands so fresh and so clean (clean). If you have any questions about the process, be sure to leave a comment!

Regardless of what “sicknesses” are going around, it’s always a good idea to take some time to clean your various Apple products. Cleaning your iPhones, AirPods (or Earpods) and iPads are usually the first things that come to mind but don’t forget your Apple Watch. Since you Apple Watch lives on your body for much of the day, it might come in the most contact with all those bugs. So be sure to clean Apple Watch from time to time to keep yourself safe from all the pesky germs floating around your office, gym, and of course, your home.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Cleaning vs Disinfecting–what’s the difference?

Apple recommends that we regularly clean our Apple products. Cleaning them gently with a little water and a lint-free cloth physically removes any dirt, sweat, oil, or grime on the device’s surface. During a regular cleaning, you also remove some of the germs from the surface through the simple action on wiping them away.

Apple recommends we disinfect our Apple devices as needed. Disinfecting our Apple products with isopropyl alcohol or Clorox/Lysol wipes kills a much higher percentage of the germs from the device’s surface than regular cleaning with water. For Apple devices, try a solution of 60% water and 40% isopropyl alcohol (70%). Apply this solution to a microfiber or lint-free cloth. Never ever spray or apply isopropyl alcohol directly onto any Apple device, including your Apple Watch, AirPods, iPhone, Mac, and so forth. Always spray the cloth and then apply.

There are various methods that you may hear about that are “guaranteed” to work when it comes to sanitizing and disinfecting the Apple Watch. But there is really only one or two methods that you should use. And don’t forget to clean your Digital Crown and Watchband–these are often overlooked.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Apple Watch Sanitizer Disinfector

How to disinfect Apple Watch:

  1. Follow the steps for cleaning your Apple Watch first.
  2. Use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes–do not use any wipes containing bleach!
  3. Wring out the excess liquid from the wipe first, so it’s damp rather than wet.
  4. Gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your Apple Watch–don’t forget the underside that contacts your skin.
  5. Let the Watch dry naturally before putting it back on.

Follow 5 steps to clean your Apple Watch

  1. Turn your Apple Watch off, and make sure it’s disconnected from the charger.
  2. If applicable, remove your leather band from the Watch.
  3. Wipe your Watch down with a lint-free cloth, something like a microfiber cloth.
    • If needed, lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water and then wipe the Watch down.
  4. Dry your Apple Watch with another lint-free cloth, like a microfiber cloth.
  5. Do NOT use compressed air, cleaning products, soaps, external heat sources, or ultrasonic cleaning.

After the Watch has been completely wiped down and dried using a lint-free cloth, you can reattach your Watch bands and get back to business. If you own either the Sport Loop or Sport Band, you can keep those attached, unless you want to get into all of the crevices, nooks, and crannies.

How to disinfect Apple Watch:

  1. Turn your Apple Watch off, and make sure it’s disconnected from the charger.
  2. If applicable, remove your leather band from the Watch.
  3. Hold your Watch under warm water, that is lightly running from your faucet, for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. While the water is running, turn and press the Digital Crown, ensuring that the water is running over the gap between the Crown and the housing.
  5. Dry your Apple Watch with a microfiber or lint-free cloth. For those tough to reach areas, try to lightly dab at the area to get the water to absorb into the cloth.
  6. Do NOT use compressed air, soaps, external heat sources, or ultrasonic cleaning.

Although the Apple Watch is water-resistant, we would definitely err on the side of caution when holding it under running water. You don’t want to leave the Watch under the water for too long, at the risk of letting some get inside.

How to clean Apple Watch bands

One might think that Apple Watch bands are just as simple to clean as the Watch itself, but that’s only true for the standard sport bands. Owners of the leather bands will have to take a few extra precautions. Regardless of which band you are using, you’ll need to make sure it’s removed from the Apple Watch casing before cleaning it.

  1. Use a microfiber or other lint-free cloth to wipe the leather portions of the band. Sometimes you may need to dampen the cloth lightly in order to get clear all of the debris.
  2. Dry the band using another microfiber or lint-free cloth before attaching it to your Apple Watch.
  3. If cleaning a leather band, let the band air dry before reattaching it to the Apple Watch. Make sure to leave your band out of direct sunlight and away from either high temperatures or humidity.

Owners of the Sport Loop may think they can just simply throw it in the washing machine and everything will be fine. However, that’s not recommended and instead, you can try using a toothbrush, a little bit of water, and some body wash or soap in order to clean and disinfect the Sport Loop.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Other ways to keep you and your Apple Watch clean

Whenever you go into a big-box retail store, including Apple, and find where the Watches are held, you can probably try them on. And while some of these stores make sure to clean the watches and bands, that only happens at certain times of the day.

Hundreds of people could go to the local Best Buy or Apple Store to check out and try on the Apple Watch and the different band combinations.

But chances are, those are not cleaned in between the trial periods, leaving germs and dirt and anything else on them. So we would recommend that you don’t try on an Apple Watch in a big box store if you want to avoid any possible contamination.

The same sentiment rings true for the iPhones and iPad’s that are found at various retailers. With these, it will be a bit easier to tell as you’ll be able to spot the fingerprints from a mile away. Steer clear and you’ll thank yourself later so you don’t end up possibly getting sick.

Regardless of what “sicknesses” are going around, it’s always a good idea to take some time to clean your various Apple products. Cleaning your iPhones, AirPods (or Earpods) and iPads are usually the first things that come to mind but don’t forget your Apple Watch. Since you Apple Watch lives on your body for much of the day, it might come in the most contact with all those bugs. So be sure to clean Apple Watch from time to time to keep yourself safe from all the pesky germs floating around your office, gym, and of course, your home.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Cleaning vs Disinfecting–what’s the difference?

Apple recommends that we regularly clean our Apple products. Cleaning them gently with a little water and a lint-free cloth physically removes any dirt, sweat, oil, or grime on the device’s surface. During a regular cleaning, you also remove some of the germs from the surface through the simple action on wiping them away.

Apple recommends we disinfect our Apple devices as needed. Disinfecting our Apple products with isopropyl alcohol or Clorox/Lysol wipes kills a much higher percentage of the germs from the device’s surface than regular cleaning with water. For Apple devices, try a solution of 60% water and 40% isopropyl alcohol (70%). Apply this solution to a microfiber or lint-free cloth. Never ever spray or apply isopropyl alcohol directly onto any Apple device, including your Apple Watch, AirPods, iPhone, Mac, and so forth. Always spray the cloth and then apply.

There are various methods that you may hear about that are “guaranteed” to work when it comes to sanitizing and disinfecting the Apple Watch. But there is really only one or two methods that you should use. And don’t forget to clean your Digital Crown and Watchband–these are often overlooked.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Apple Watch Sanitizer Disinfector

How to disinfect Apple Watch:

  1. Follow the steps for cleaning your Apple Watch first.
  2. Use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes–do not use any wipes containing bleach!
  3. Wring out the excess liquid from the wipe first, so it’s damp rather than wet.
  4. Gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your Apple Watch–don’t forget the underside that contacts your skin.
  5. Let the Watch dry naturally before putting it back on.

Follow 5 steps to clean your Apple Watch

  1. Turn your Apple Watch off, and make sure it’s disconnected from the charger.
  2. If applicable, remove your leather band from the Watch.
  3. Wipe your Watch down with a lint-free cloth, something like a microfiber cloth.
    • If needed, lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water and then wipe the Watch down.
  4. Dry your Apple Watch with another lint-free cloth, like a microfiber cloth.
  5. Do NOT use compressed air, cleaning products, soaps, external heat sources, or ultrasonic cleaning.

After the Watch has been completely wiped down and dried using a lint-free cloth, you can reattach your Watch bands and get back to business. If you own either the Sport Loop or Sport Band, you can keep those attached, unless you want to get into all of the crevices, nooks, and crannies.

How to disinfect Apple Watch:

  1. Turn your Apple Watch off, and make sure it’s disconnected from the charger.
  2. If applicable, remove your leather band from the Watch.
  3. Hold your Watch under warm water, that is lightly running from your faucet, for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. While the water is running, turn and press the Digital Crown, ensuring that the water is running over the gap between the Crown and the housing.
  5. Dry your Apple Watch with a microfiber or lint-free cloth. For those tough to reach areas, try to lightly dab at the area to get the water to absorb into the cloth.
  6. Do NOT use compressed air, soaps, external heat sources, or ultrasonic cleaning.

Although the Apple Watch is water-resistant, we would definitely err on the side of caution when holding it under running water. You don’t want to leave the Watch under the water for too long, at the risk of letting some get inside.

How to clean Apple Watch bands

One might think that Apple Watch bands are just as simple to clean as the Watch itself, but that’s only true for the standard sport bands. Owners of the leather bands will have to take a few extra precautions. Regardless of which band you are using, you’ll need to make sure it’s removed from the Apple Watch casing before cleaning it.

  1. Use a microfiber or other lint-free cloth to wipe the leather portions of the band. Sometimes you may need to dampen the cloth lightly in order to get clear all of the debris.
  2. Dry the band using another microfiber or lint-free cloth before attaching it to your Apple Watch.
  3. If cleaning a leather band, let the band air dry before reattaching it to the Apple Watch. Make sure to leave your band out of direct sunlight and away from either high temperatures or humidity.

Owners of the Sport Loop may think they can just simply throw it in the washing machine and everything will be fine. However, that’s not recommended and instead, you can try using a toothbrush, a little bit of water, and some body wash or soap in order to clean and disinfect the Sport Loop.

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

Other ways to keep you and your Apple Watch clean

Whenever you go into a big-box retail store, including Apple, and find where the Watches are held, you can probably try them on. And while some of these stores make sure to clean the watches and bands, that only happens at certain times of the day.

Hundreds of people could go to the local Best Buy or Apple Store to check out and try on the Apple Watch and the different band combinations.

But chances are, those are not cleaned in between the trial periods, leaving germs and dirt and anything else on them. So we would recommend that you don’t try on an Apple Watch in a big box store if you want to avoid any possible contamination.

The same sentiment rings true for the iPhones and iPad’s that are found at various retailers. With these, it will be a bit easier to tell as you’ll be able to spot the fingerprints from a mile away. Steer clear and you’ll thank yourself later so you don’t end up possibly getting sick.

And here’s how to do it for leather bands, rings, or even your fitness tracker

How to clean and disinfect your apple watch

You change your shirt every day. You buy new shoes once a year—or maybe sooner. But there’s one thing you wear forever and never wash. And that’s your watch.

Maybe you’re the kind of guy who wears a bracelet or a rugged cuff. Maybe it’s one of those cords that ties around your wrist and attaches with a fish hook—something made of an absorbent material that is soaking up moisture from every shower and every workout. Or maybe it’s your fitness tracker—a piece of equipment that is literally worn each and every time you sweat. Maybe you wiped it clean once, after you did that muddy obstacle course. But do you clean it after your weekly runs?

The truth is, when it comes to maintenance, a man’s jewelry and accessories are often overlooked. We hear tales of guys whose leather watch bands developed a “cheesy” smell, or who finally took off their heirloom Rolexes and found black grime between the links. Chances are, if you take off whatever’s on your wrist and run a damp Q-tip around the nooks and crannies, you’re not going to like what you find.

So how are you supposed to avoid this? We went to an expert for the easy techniques that will keep your gear on the right side of clean.

Basic care: the nightly wipe-down

You might wash your face before bed. Your watch wishes it could, too. Just think of an average day this summer—your watch band is exposed to sweat, sunscreen and even spilled beer. “At the end of the day, we recommend taking a couple of minutes to clean your watch before retiring it for the night,” says Julie Stewart, supervisor of product repair for Victorinox Swiss Army. “With a soft, clean cloth, wipe the inside of the band and wipe gently around the case back—this will remove excess moisture and any lotion build-up that occurred during general wear throughout the day.”

And even if you aren’t engaged in any “dirty” activities, you’re getting gunk on your watch, bracelet, or rings. That gunk is from sweat, which sloughs off skin particles that collect in the links of a metal watchband, or the weave of a fabric one. Citizen watches even points out that—thanks to the fatty acids in perspiration—sweat can rust a “stainless” band. That’s why you need to do some basic maintenance more regularly than you might think. And the time to do it is before your jewelry looks, feels, or smells like it needs it.

Or use what’s in your soap dish

Look up how to clean jewelry and you’ll find a confusing brain-dump of information. What works on silver might not work on gold. Let’s cut through the clutter. When it comes to men’s jewelry, you have one go-to cleaner: dish soap. It’s made to eat grease. And it’s light on alcohol, so it’s suitable for synthetic rubbers like fluoroelastomer (also known as the Apple Watch band).

Here’s the process in a nutshell:

  1. Set up one bowl of clean warm water, and one bowl of warm soapy water with a small amount of antibacterial soap.
  2. Carefully dip only the bracelet or strap of your watch into the soapy water for 15-20 seconds. “Hold the watch case to protect it from water,” Stewart says. (Washing a ring or bracelet? Simply drop it in.)
  3. Take it out, and gently scrub with a clean, damp toothbrush. Don’t forget to get into the crevices.
  4. Dip it into the clean warm water to rinse.
  5. Pat it dry with a soft cloth.

“You can also use a hair dryer on a low or no-heat setting to dry your watch in between the links,” says Stewart. “Make sure the band is completely dry before wearing the watch again.”

Take special care with leather

The process above works for just about everything. But leather requires special care. With leather, the process of soaking up moisture and then drying out again is what causes the material to break down and crack. The key here is to make sure leather stays both clean and conditioned. To that end, there are professional products like Cadillac Select Leather Lotion ($13, Buy It Here) that are made to clean and protect. Two caveats: “If you choose to use these types of products, you have to make sure they are allergy tested and that they don’t discolor the strap,” Stewart says. In other words, cleaning your watch shouldn’t cause a rash on your wrist, or change your brown leather strap to black. Also, if you wear a watch or bracelet made of unfinished leather, pay extra attention to the directions, because not all products work for unfinished hides.

When in doubt, send it to the pros

Especially if your watch needs any other servicing—like an internal tune-up or a scratch repair—you might want to have an expert take a look. You’ll find high-tech ultrasonic cleaning at official service centers for Victorinox Swiss Army, Rolex, TAG Heuer, and many other brands. If you wear a Johnny Depp amount of jewelry, you might invest in an ultrasonic cleaner of your own (Magnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner, $35, Buy It Here). If you leave it with a shop, it comes back clean and shiny, and you don’t have to be the one to face the grime on the toothbrush you reserved for jewelry cleaning. Just have some pity on the guys doing the work. Don’t let it get too filthy before you send it in.

(On a budget and shopping for a new watch? Here are 5 timepieces you can buy for under $500.)