Apple Watch Series 6 and two bands rest on a bathroom counter along with clothes need to clean Apple Watch bands
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Whether it’s sweat or sunblock, something will inevitably leave you wondering how to clean your Apple Watch band. Follow the proper instructions for the material you’re wearing. Broadly speaking, the safest play is to start by wiping down your band with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth (the type that usually comes free with a pair of glasses).

How to clean leather Apple Watch bands

It is hard to beat a leather strap for class and comfort, but if fitness is a focus, you might want to think twice. Leather bands are not water-resistant, so deep cleaning after a particularly sweaty session isn’t easy. Never soak your leather band in water, and try to avoid external heat sources.

  1. Remove the band from your Apple Watch and wipe clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. Lightly dampen the cloth if necessary but avoid focusing moisture too much in one spot.
  2. Allow the band to air dry before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.

Like leather furniture, leather straps can pick up stains from things like lotions, oil, or constant rubbing against your favorite jeans. Some third-party retailers advise that warm soapy water can be used on stains, though Apple doesn’t suggest it. Follow the guidance of your specific retailer.

Leather care can be touchy. Still, plenty of accessories feature leather components and look great (i.e., high-priced bags and traditional watches), so don’t be too intimidated.

How to clean silicone and sport Apple Watch bands

You can’t close those rings without breaking a sweat. Bands made of synthetic rubber or silicone are often marketed specifically for working out, so easy cleaning is made a priority. Water-resistant and sweat-resistant, these materials can be cleaned with soap and warm water.

  1. For light cleaning, remove the band from your Apple Watch and wipe clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth.
  2. For a deeper clean, rinse the band with warm water and mild hand soap.
  3. Dry the band with a dry, nonabrasive, lint-free cloth before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.

How to clean metal Apple Watch bands

Metal bands can elevate your Apple Watch for special occasions or help you fit in with the office dress code. When cleaning these high-end bands, make sure your cloth is completely clear of dirt and debris to avoid scratching the metal.

  1. Remove the band from your Apple Watch and wipe clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. If needed, lightly dampen the cloth with warm water.
  2. Dry the band with a dry, nonabrasive, lint-free cloth before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.

How to clean nylon Apple Watch bands

Male hands clean a nylon Apple Watch band with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Woven nylon bands come at a variety of costs, from affordable to somewhat astronomical. Depending on how much you’ve invested in your particular nylon band, it’s probably best to proceed with caution.

  1. Remove the band from your Apple Watch and wipe clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. If needed, lightly dampen the cloth with warm water.
  2. Allow the band to air dry before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.

Cleaning a Braided Solo Loop

Apple’s Braided Solo Loop is made from polyester yarn braided around silicone thread, forming an eye-catching design that unfortunately also catches grime and dirt. Some users suggest cleaning the intricacies of this band with a soft bristle toothbrush and warm water, but do so at your own risk. Apple recommends only using a nonabrasive lint-free cloth, slightly dampened if necessary. Venturing from these guidelines may void the item’s one-year limited warranty.

  1. Remove the band from your Apple Watch and wipe clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. If needed, lightly dampen the cloth with warm water.
  2. Allow the band to air dry before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.

See also: The best Apple Watch bands

How to clean the Apple Watch itself

Male hand holds the Apple Watch Series 6 under low-running, warm water to clean the device.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Before cleaning, remove your device from the charger and turn it off. If your Apple Watch is attached to a band that is not water-resistant, remove the band as well.

  1. Wipe down your Apple Watch with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. Lightly dampen the cloth with water if needed, or hold the device under warm running water for ten to fifteen seconds.
  2. Spin and press the Digital Crown under low-running, warm water to clear substances like dirt or lotion from the Digital Crown.
  3. Dry your entire device front and back using a dry, nonabrasive, lint-free cloth.

According to Apple, you can also disinfect your watch with a Clorox wipe and certain alcohol wipes, but don’t introduce any other soaps or cleaning products.

Read more: Common Apple Watch problems and solutions