Apple Watch support doc suggests tap water rinse to fix Digital Crown – 9 to 5 Mac (blog)

Apple-Watch-tap-water-01

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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6 Responses to “Apple Watch support doc suggests tap water rinse to fix Digital Crown”

  1. jorheu says:

    They say this so that when you take it in for having a faulty crown, they blame is on you for it being water damaged

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  2. That’s kind of insane. I would start with compressed air, maybe from a few inches away, etc.

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    • therackett says:

      You wouldn’t want to use compressed air. An ingress protection barrier is not permanent, and compressed air is more likely to damage the barrier, or push debris into the barrier that would then allow water to get through. Lightly running water is a superior method, and carries much less risk of penetrating the barrier due to pressure. Frankly, a quick rinse here and there would be the best way to keep the watch clean…especially the small mic and speaker holes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • therackett is 100% correct. You should never use compressed air on an apple watch. The watch is only IPX7 rated. That X means it’s missing the rating for dust intrusion. IP67 is the rating for dust and water intrusion. Pressurized air could push debris further into the crown opening, into the mic/speaker, or under the screen or sensor glass. A gentle current of water followed by a microfiber drying is what I would do.

      More people should be made aware of this because compressed air is standard for cleaning electronics and it would, on the surface, seem to make sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. philboogie says:

    This sounds way better than dropping a Mac 6 inches in order to have the RAM re-seat itself¡

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