It goes without saying that, basically all types of Apple Watch bands, straps will age gradually as they will get dusty or dirty, like some stains would appear on the surface. Instead of coming up with some counter measures to get rid of these stains, smudges, it's a lot wiser to have something done beforehand, that is, regular cleaning maintenance before it's too late. In general, we recommend cleaning your Apple Watch bands at least once every fortnight.
Naturally, how to clean your watch bands properly may depend on the band materials themselves. The approaches you use for different materials will normally differ from each other for better care of the materials. In the following, I will walk you through the proper cleaning methods for watch bands' regular maintenance.
Let's start with leather bands, such watch straps need straightforward dry cloth for wiping. Please be advised that never use wet cloth as you would be sentencing your leather bands to death by getting them wet. Once a leather product gets wet, its color would fade and leather material would deform itself. In case a leather band is unbearably dirty, having stains that are difficult to erase, you might as well try to use a slightly moistened cloth for careful cleaning.
Speaking of metal bands, stainless steel is the most typical material, which can be washed with water in a worry-free way. You can use water together with some cleaning detergent for regular cleaning. However, it's necessary to avoid using too strong cleaning agents that would possibly be harmful to the metal band's protective coating. Too harsh detergent would degrade the band's color somehow. And, another aspect you should pay attention to is that you should not submerge the band thoroughly underneath water for a long time as water would get into a metal band's crevices and get stuck there somehow.
As is almost known to all, silicone is a type of waterproof material so that you can directly wash and clean your silicon bands with water. And, most types of cleaning detergent would work just Okay. Yet, still, you should avoid using too harsh detergent that would deteriorate the silicone band's first layer of protective coating.
Nylon Bands and Other Fabric Bands:
For nylon watch bands, or other fabric materials that are similar or related to this type, you should pay more attention while using a piece of moistened cloth for cleaning smear or smudges, simply because nylon would absorb water, even extremely little amount of water droplets. After cleaning or wiping with moistened cloth, you'd better make sure the nylon band is 100% dried by means of a hair dryer or something else, or at least wait till it's totally dry before you wear it or store it somewhere. As long as it's totally dry, it won't get smelly with water along the surface. Our advice is that you should never get nylon bands under water for cleaning, or avoid water as much as possible.
For bands that are made of real wood, even though this type isn't as popular as other types, it requires better care for longer lifespan. Despite big difference in structure and material with leather, it's almost the same method to clean wood bands, because well-made, well-polish wood would deform itself over time with color fading, when it gets terribly wet. So, our advice is that you should use slightly moistened cloth for cleaning instead of dumping it into water for a bath.
On the other hand, of course, there are some other aspects we should take into consideration, like a certain watch band made of two or multiple materials combined, or with adapters and buckles that made of different materials. For such scenarios, you should pay more attention to the details of different materials. A certain material's compatibility with water is extremely important for a longer lifespan of watch bands. When you have it all figured out, you still need to handle the cleaning extremely carefully since the band parts like adapters and buckles are so small for you to accurately wipe or clean.