a person who is trying to clean a smart watch

Cleaning Your Smart Watch

Your smartwatch isn’t your father’s Timex, and it’s important to make sure you take care of your smartwatch in a way that won’t damage the newest addition to your expensive gadget collection.

Cleaning the Screen

Your smartwatch is almost identical to the construction of your smartphone, so you shouldn't run it through the dishwasher to clean stubborn fingerprints off the screen. Make sure you always turn your smartwatch off before you try to clean the device so you don’t run the risk of accidentally press any of the on-screen buttons. Once it is off your wrist, simply use a dry microfiber cloth and wipe the device off thoroughly.

Cleaning the Band

For the watch band itself, you’ll need to take a customized approach based on the type of band you have. For some smartwatches, the manufacturers have thought ahead and created rubberized bands that make cleaning them relatively easy; just use a wet cloth and wipe them clean.

If you have a steel or leather band, you’ll use traditional watch cleaning methods. For metal bands, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water, mixing the two and lightly dipping a piece of cloth in the mixture before thoroughly rubbing the surface of the band.

For leather bands, wipe away any loose dirt from the band with a cotton ball, dampen a cloth with a small amount of water, apply a small amount of gentle hand soap to the cloth, and begin to clean the band. You can also use a leather conditioner that helps prolong the life of the leather.

During this entire band-cleaning process, it is important that you avoid the watch face, because that is where all the electronics are housed, and you don’t want to run the risk of damaging any of the electronics.

Important Considerations

It is also important to note that some smartwatch models, such as the first generation Samsung Galaxy Gear, has electronics throughout the entire watch body from face to strap. Make sure you clean these particular models as if you were cleaning the watch face. If you ever have any doubt about whether there are electronics outside of the watch face, you can always look in your user manual.

Hand Washing

Now the most worrisome question on everyone’s mind: What do I do when I need to wash my hands? Fortunately, almost every single watch on the market today follows the standard of being IP67 certified, meaning that it is completely dust resistant and can be immersed in up to one meter of water without the threat of damaging the watch itself. Be sure to check your user manual for this information.

You will likely be able to wash your hands and not ever have to worry about damaging your watch, but you should always take it off before going for a summertime swim.

Last Updated: March 10, 2015