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Apple Watch Makes My Wrist Smell (Causes and Solutions)

As an Apple Watch owner, I was frustrated by the fact that my wrist started smelling after wearing the device. After some research and testing, I discovered the causes and solutions for this issue and I’m here to share what I found out. In this blog post, I’ll explain why Apple Watches can make your wrist smell and how to prevent and treat the smell.

As the sweat accumulates between the wrist and the watch band, odor producing bacteria will start to build up and thrive. This causes an unpleasant smell to come out of your wrist as well as the watch. Luckily, you can get rid of the smell by regularly cleaning the watch band.

Odor Producing BacteriaBacteria thrive in dark, damp areasClean watch bands regularly, allow bands to dry out, apply deodorizing powder on wrists
Watch Band MaterialDifferent materials require different cleaning methodsFollow appropriate cleaning methods for silicone, rubber, leather, nylon, and resin bands
Sweat and ActivityMore sweat production during activities and exerciseClean bands more often if engaging in activities, consider alternating wrists
Apple Watch UsageWorn for long periods, more susceptible to smellChange bands often, let bands dry out, clean watch regularly

Why Do Apple Watches Cause a Smelly Wrist?

After a long day of wearing your Apple Watch, you may notice a weird smell coming from your wrists, especially if you have been working out. 

The reason behind this smell is odor producing bacteria that thrive in certain conditions, which is the same reason why our armpits smell more than any other part of the body.

These bacteria thrive in dark, damp areas, which makes the area between the watch and the skin an excellent spot for them to thrive and multiply.

With that said, you should know that this isn’t specific to Apple Watches, as it can practically happen with all kinds of watches.

The only reason why they’re more associated with Apple Watches is that we wear them all day long, especially during activities and exercise when the sweat production rate is high.

How to Clean Your Apple Watch Band to Remove Bad Smell

Read more: Can I use Apple Watch without pairing it to iPhone?

Now that you know more about the problem, let’s have a quick look at the solution. In order to prevent this smell, you need to keep your Apple Watch clean, especially the band.

However, Apple Watches come in a wide range of band materials, so the cleaning process may vary from one another. Here’s what you need to know about each one of them:

Silicone and Rubber Bands

Silicone and rubber watch bands are the most commonly used in Apple Watches because they’re very easy to clean and resist wear and tear. 

In order to clean a silicone band, you need to separate it from the watch itself, then you can do any of the following:

  • Scrub it with a toothbrush in some warm soapy water
  • Leave the bands in some soapy water overnight
  • Washing the band in a dishwasher

Don’t worry, watch band silicone is resistant to mild heat, so you don’t have to worry about any of the previous methods.

Leather Bands

Read more: Can I charge Apple Watch with a Qi charger?

While they’re quite aesthetic, leather bands are the most difficult to clean because they’re easily damaged by excess moisture.

For a smelly leather band, you can place them inside a small plastic bag along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda, then leave it for 12 to 24 hours away from direct sunlight or moisture. This light compound will absorb the odors and mildly disinfect the leather.

On the other hand, if the leather band isn’t too smelly, you can simply wipe it off regularly with a lint-free microfiber cloth that is slightly damp or dry.

Nylon Bands

Nylon is a highly durable material but it tends to accumulate sweat and build up a smelly odor quickly because it’s not breathable. As a result, you’ll need to clean it more often when compared to any other materials.

To clean nylon bands, simply leave them in some soapy water or water with detergent for 2 to 3 hours. 

When you take them out, squeeze them gently to remove any excess moisture in them, then let them air dry for a few more hours.

Resin Bands

Resin bands are quite similar to rubber bands, except you shouldn’t soak them in water for long because they contain plant based ingredients.

Instead, scrub them with some soapy water and an old toothbrush for a few minutes, then dry, and repeat as necessary.

Tips to Avoid Bad Wrist Smell with Apple Watches

Here are some additional tips that you can consider in order to avoid getting a bad smell on your wrists while wearing Apple Watches:

  • Consider cleaning your watch bands as soon as possible
  • Buy several bands and change between them to let them dry out
  • Alternate the watch placement between your right and left wrists
  • Apply deodorizing powder to your wrists before wearing the watch

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has helped you pinpoint the causes behind the unpleasant smell that Apple Watches may leave on the wrist after wearing them for a long time.

As you can see, cleaning your watch regularly is the solution to avoid such a problem. However, it’s essential that you keep the material of the watch bands in mind during the process to avoid damaging it.