NATO (and nylon) watch bands are the go-to strap of choice for those who want a durable yet low-maintenance material. If your day-to-day regimen involves sports, adventuring, training/exercise, or if you’re one of those people who is just hard on their stuff, a NATO or nylon band should be on your wrist.

The good news is that NATO and nylon bands are some of the most inexpensive and accessible straps out there. You can easily have a roster of nylon replacement bands for less than the cost of a stainless steel or leather band. Caring for these straps is straightforward, too. “Don’t cut them with a sword or light them on fire.” covers most of the big no-nos. Nylon holds up to sun and water exposure exceptionally well, so everyday wear and tear has a minimal impact on these bands.

That being said, they do require cleaning from time to time. The good news is that the ease of a NATO or nylon band extends to the cleaning process as well. This article will cover the simple cleaning methods for your NATO band, keeping this workhorse of a watchband in tip-top shape.

A clean nylon watch strap on a Nixon digital watch

Steps to Clean a NATO Strap

When your NATO or nylon watch band is ready to clean, there are a couple of routes you can take. The first is to remove the band from the watch, put it in your washing machine, and wash it in cold water. Really hot water can damage the nylon, as can the dryer, so lay your band on a towel to dry.

The second method requires a bowl of water, some mild dish or hand soap, and a toothbrush. Follow these steps to clean your NATO band:

  1. Remove your band from the watch and place it in the bowl with a drop or two of soap.
  2. Let the band soak for a few minutes.
  3. Use the toothbrush to scrub any built-up dirt off the material.
  4. Rinse the band and let it air dry on a towel.

Once your band is dry, reattach your watch and get back to living it up with your NATO or nylon watch strap. If you’re in the market for a new band, Nixon has you covered for your NATO needs. If you need to clean your other bands, check out our guide to clean a leather band, or to clean a rubber band.