How To Clean Your Smartwatch Because It Probably Stinks And Carries A Ton Of Germs

how to clean smartwatch


I was playing “find the stink” the other day.

You know the game – something smells, you can’t figure it out, but it’s obvious the stench is coming from somewhere on your body.

I’d just finish a long run, showered, put on clean clothes, and even used cologne for the first time since prom.

The smell emanated from around my hands.ts o I know I washed my hands. It’s kind of impossible to miss that part of the body in the shower. I’m literally holding soap.

My smartwatch stunk. I wore it during my run and put it right back on after getting dressed.

I couldn’t remember the last time I cleaned the watch because I’ve never cleaned the watch.

After a thousand of miles of running and sweating over the last year, the watch needs a proper bath.

Now, more than ever, you need to disinfect your smartwatch.

Debra Goff, an infectious disease specialist at Ohio State University Medical Center, told USA Today that “Any solid surface can be a transmitter for COVID-19. That includes your Apple Watch and your Fitbit.”

Cleaning a smartwatch or a fitness tracker is a relatively painless process, as long as you do some homework about the specific product.

For example, for Apple Watch owners, the different wristbands – silicone, stainless steel, leather, or gold – mean various cleaning supplies. The same goes for Fitbit owners.

Once you’re sure of the wristband, you need the right cleaning supplies. In most instances, you don’t have to buy anything special. The typical household cleaning supplies will do, depending on filthy the watch is and how much it stinks.

Here are a couple of items to grab out of the cabinet or pick up on the next run to the store.

A mild liquid soap (like dish soap or hand soap), isopropyl alcohol, or distilled white vinegar is sufficient. If you’ve got a leather band, you’re going to need an all-purpose leather cleaner and conditioner.

A microfiber cloth is a good idea, to keep from scratching or damaging the watch, but a clean sock or unused coffee filter will work in a pinch.

And don’t forget cotton swabs (Q-Tips) or a toothbrush to really scrub the gross spots.

Now that you’ve collected all the cleaning supplies let’s break down how to clean the different parts of the watch.

How To Clean The Screen On Your Smartwatch

Smartwatch screens don’t need much more than a good wiping with a microfiber cloth or clean sock.

DON’T use cleaners or solvents to clean the screen. No Windex or window cleaners are necessary.

If the watch is water-resistant, dunk the sucker into a warm bath with a little dish soap. One drop of soap will do the trick.

Leave the watch out to dry, and the screen is clean.

How To Clean The Band On Your Smartwatch

If the watchband is silicone, it should be pretty resilient, but it can be ruined with certain liquids and cleaners. Just the normal liquid dish soap – diluted in water – will work fine.

If possible, detach the band from the watch first, and drop it into the bowl of diluted soap. If the watch isn’t waterproof, scrub it a little with the sock or cloth.

If the watchband is leather, always clean leather with a leather cleaner and conditioner. Conditioning leather cleans and protects it.

Those with metal watch bands have the toughest watches to clean because they contain several chain links and other gaps where crap and filth get trapped.

As with most metals, a quick dunk in a diluted bowl of liquid soap and water will loosen any dirt, and a quick scrub with a toothbrush will finish the job.

Quickly rinse in warm water, then pat dry and air dry.

Cleaning shouldn’t stop with the smartwatch, especially if you’re sweating a lot during exercise. Be sure to clean your headphones and smartphone once in a while too.

In most cases, a quick once over with alcohol wipes or disinfecting wipes.

If the watch continues to be rank, consider buying a cheap fitness tracker just for working out and sweating purposes.


Chris Illuminati is a 5-time published author and recovering a**hole who writes about running, parenting, and professional wrestling. Reach out to him on Instagram & Twitter.

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