How to Clean an Apple Watch Band

Overhead view of arm with dirty apple watch band

The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins - 6 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-5

Apple Watch bands can pick up a lot of dirt, dust and grime, so it's important to know how to clean them, as our smart watches can take a quite a beating in the hustle and bustle of life. Keep reading to learn how, and find out how to keep Apple Watch bands clean longer.

How Often to Clean Apple Watch Bands

How often you need to clean your Apple Watch band will depend on how often it's used, how it's used, and what type of band it is. A leather watch band that's worn daily will need to be cleaned every few weeks, while a less-frequently worn specialty watch band may only need to be cleaned once or twice a year.

A watch band that's frequently worn when exercising or swimming will also need more frequent cleanings to prevent discoloration and odor. Consider washing these types of bands once a month.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Drying rack (optional)
  • Small bowl (optional)


  • Gentle dish soap
  • Clean water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Leather cleaner


Overhead view of materials needed to clean an apple watch band

The Spruce / Sarah Lee

How to Clean Silicone Rubber Apple Watch Bands

  1. Remove the Band

    It's important to disconnect your Apple Watch band before cleaning so that you don't accidentally damage the watch itself. Take the watch off, and flip it over. You should see two small buttons above the band. Hold down one button at a time, and slide each side of the band off as you do. Set the watch aside and get ready to clean.

    Removing the band from the Apple watch

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  2. Wipe the Band

    Next, take a clean and dry microfiber cloth and gently rub the band in circular motions.

    Wiping the apple watch band with a microfiber cloth

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  3. Spot Clean

    If there's still a lot of excess dirt and grime visible, get ready to spot clean.

    Dampen a microfiber cloth and use it to gently wipe the watch band. If there are still some stains left after doing this, add a small amount of gentle dish soap to a damp microfiber cloth and rub away any stains.

    Spot cleaning the apple watch band

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  4. Dry the Band

    Before reattaching the band, dry it with a clean cloth as needed. Then, reattach the band by sliding each side of the band into the watch while holding the buttons down.

    Drying off the Apple watch band

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Cleaning Fabric Apple Watch Bands

  1. Take the Watch Band Off

    Before getting started, remove the watch band by holding down the two buttons on the back of the watch and sliding each side of the watch off. Set the watch aside while you get to cleaning the band.

    Removing the apple watch band before cleaning

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  2. Clean the Band

    Wipe away any surface dirt and dust with a clean microfiber cloth. Next, dip a cloth in a mixture of warm water and a few drops of laundry detergint. Wring away any excess moisture. Gently rub the cloth onto the fabric band, working in circular motions and paying special attention to extra dirty spots.

    Hand-cleaning the Apple watch band

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  3. Let Dry and Reattach

    Your fabric watch band may take a while to dry depending upon how wet it got when cleaning. Let it sit upright in some indirect sunlight for anywhere from a few hours to overnight, allowing plenty of air circulation and time to dry.

    Once it's completely dry, reattach the fabric band to your watch.

    Letting the Apple watch band dry in a dish rack

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Cleaning Leather Apple Watch Bands

  1. Remove the Watch Band

    To begin, remove your leather watch band from your watch. This can be done by holding down the buttons on the back side of the watch while sliding the band out.

    Removing a leather apple watch band

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  2. Clean the Band

    Apply a leather cleaner. Gently wipe the leather band with it, moving with the band, rather than against it.


    Do not soak the band in water, as this can seriously damage the leather.

    Spot cleaning a leather Apple watch band

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  3. Let the Band Dry Completely

    Once the leather band has been cleaned, let it dry in a clean dish rack or in another area with lots of air circulation. Keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid discoloration. Once the band is completely dry, reattach it to your Apple Watch.

    Leather Apple band in a drying rack

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Tips to Keep Apple Watch Bands Clean Longer

One of the best things you can do to keep your Apple Watch band clean longer is by wearing a sweat and water-resistant band when exercising or getting wet. This ensures you're not exposing a delicate leather band to too much sweat or moisture.

Additionally, don't let your watch band come into contact with lots of oil or perfume, as this can quickly discolor it.