Despite its splash and water resistance rating, meaning Apple doesn’t recommend going for a swim with Apple Watch, it does recommend running water over it to clean certain components. One problem it’s anticipating is the Watch’s Digital Crown getting stuck or not running smoothly due to trapped debris, like dust or lotions, between the crown and the Watch’s casing. Apple’s fix: hold your Apple Watch’s digital crown under your sink faucet.

From a new support doc Apple published this week:

  • 1. Turn off your Apple Watch and remove it from the charger.
  • 2. If you have a leather band, remove it from your Apple Watch.
  • 3. Hold the Digital Crown under lightly running, warm, fresh water from a faucet for 10 to 15 seconds. Soaps and other cleaning products shouldn’t be used.
  • 4. Continuously turn and press the Digital Crown as water runs over the small gap between the crown and the housing.
  • 5. Dry your Apple Watch with a non-abrasive, lint-free cleaning cloth.

Since Apple Watch has splash and water resistance with a rating of IPX7, it’s not officially ‘waterproof’, but it’s clear the device is a lot more waterproof than the company is leading on. Apple doesn’t recommend submerging the Watch at all, but a user test found the Apple Watch unaffected by 15 minutes under water in a pool, and Consumer Reports found the device lived up to the IPX7 rating that requires the device to live through submersion in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

For cleaning most other components of the Watch, Apple recommends a lint-free cloth like the one that comes with the Stainless Steel Link Bracelet model and gold Apple Watch Edition models. But rather than holding it under the tap, it suggests you “lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water” to clean the rest of the Watch, and avoid soaps, cleaning products and compressed air in general.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.