How to Clean a Watch – A Cleaning Guide Every Watch Owner Should Check Out

Owning a nice watch is something that can bring you a lot of pleasure. It’s not just a functional accessory, but it’s also a fashion statement that does a lot for your overall look. That being said, owning it doesn’t only mean wearing it, but maintaining it, too. Knowing how to clean a watch is definitely something to learn.
Cleaning a watch is something that can vary quite a bit from one watch to another, and you can easily mess up a watch if you’re using the wrong way to clean. Therefore, let’s take a look at how you can clean a watch, as well as discuss different types. We’ll talk about leather straps, and we’ll also discuss metal ones, too, so you know what the difference is as you shop. The cleaning procedure is similar for all watches, as only the materials make the difference.

How to Clean a Watch Band

The watch band isn’t the most visible part of your watch, but it’s definitely the largest one. Therefore, you should, by all means, make sure that it’s as clean as possible. We will discuss the different types of bands and how to keep each one clean. Before we get into that, however, one thing applies to them all – you should, if possible, remove the watch band before cleaning, so you can thoroughly clean it without damaging the watch face. Let’s start with the classic – leather.

Leather Watch Strap

If you were wondering how to clean a leather watch strap, we’ve got all the answers you need! Out of all the materials possible for a watch strap, leather is definitely the trickiest one to clean and maintain. The material is one that is very susceptible to damage from moisture and perspiration, and it’s also the one that shows dirt the easiest. Many men’s watches have deteriorated leather straps due to this.

However, that’s not to say you can’t keep your watch clean if it has a leather band. You just have to clean it more often. The basic is to wipe it down daily with a dry cloth, as this will remove any accumulated debris.

To add to that, you should wipe it down with a damp cloth every once in a while. If you find it is particularly dirty, add a touch of hand soap. This can also help if the watch band has an unpleasant odor. Before you reattach the watch face (provided you removed it), gently dry the strap and buff the leather band with a clean cloth. The procedure is identical for both men’s and women’s watches.

Cleaning a Metal Watch Band

Unlike a leather strap, a metal watch band doesn’t show dirt that easily. However, a metal watch band can actually rust, which is a lot worse than an odor you don’t like. Note that the steps below are on how to clean a watch made of silver, gold and other metals – we’ll touch on stainless steel in a minute. And yes, it’s a lot simpler than knowing how to change a watch battery.

So, how to clean a metal watch band and ensure it’s always looking its best? With a metal band, the issue is salt and perspiration from your hand. There are things that help with rust forming, and that is why it is essential to keep the watch as clean as possible. Fortunately, cleaning it is as simple as using a soft brush and warm, soapy water. Make sure you clean it well, and make sure the band is completely dry before you wear the watch again.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Watch Band

The thing with stainless steel is that even though it shouldn’t, it also does rust. The difference that gives it the “stainless” moniker, is the fact that it has a layer of oxide that coats the steel itself, thus preventing rust. But if there’s a lack of oxygen, such as if you put it in a box and hide it in a storage cabinet, it will rust. Therefore, the first step towards keeping it clean is to keep it exposed to the air when you aren’t wearing it.

When you are wearing it, cleaning it is pretty simple. You should start with a soft cloth and wipe down the entire strap. This will remove any initial layers of dust or dirt. Then, fill up a clean bowl with somewhat warm water. Put in a drop or two of antibacterial dish soap. It’s actually made to cut grease and will remove debris and oils from stainless steel. Make sure you don’t dip the watch face if it isn’t water-resistant.

Then, scrub the band gently, using a clean and damp toothbrush. This allows you to get into the crevices, but be careful not to scratch it. Once you’re done, dip it in warm water or run it under the sink in order to get the soap off. Dry it with a soft cloth, and leave it for a while to make sure it’s completely clean.

What About Keeping the Watch Face Clean?

You shouldn’t neglect to keep the watch face clean, either. It is, after all, the most visible part of the watch. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to keep clean. First, fill up a bowl with warm water, and add a touch of mild detergent. Use a chamois cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush, and dip it into the water.

You should brush over the watch face’s top, but make sure you’re gentle. You don’t want to end up scratching the watch face. All you’re doing is removing any daily dust and dirt that might have collected on the watch.

If your watch has any crystals or markings, use a soft Q-tip and roll it around the watch face instead of rubbing it. Be careful, as you could take some of the paint off.

Oh, and one more thing. Never try to remove the watch face and clean the dial. Not only does this require specialized tools, but it’s completely unnecessary. The inside of the watch isn’t exposed to air and doesn’t get dirty, so you don’t have to clean it. That’s all you need to know on how to clean a watch – take it slow, be careful, and you’ll end up with a shiny watch in no time!

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