Jewelry Care & Maintenance

How to Clean Stainless Steel Watch?

Dustin Lemick


Dustin Lemick

A stainless steel watch is not just a timekeeping device, but also a stylish accessory that adds elegance to any outfit. However, regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to ensuring your stainless steel watch remains in pristine condition.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to clean stainless steel watches. By following these guidelines and tips, you can keep your watch looking as good as new.


What You Will Learn

How To Clean a Stainless Steel Watch

A stainless steel watch is a popular watch choice for durability and a sleek appearance. However, everyday activities can lead to the accumulation of dirt, debris, and smudges on a watch’s surface, diminishing its shine. Because of this, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential if you want to keep your stainless steel watch looking its best.

While we recommend professional cleaning by a jeweler, there are steps you can take at home to maintain your watch’s shine and condition for the time being.

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The Necessary Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your stainless steel watch, gather the following items:

  • 1 soft cloth
  • Warm soapy water
  • 1 soft-bristled brush (such as a clean toothbrush)
  • Lukewarm water for rinsing
  • 1 microfiber or chamois cloth for drying
  • Paper towels

Step-By-Step Instructions for Cleaning Stainless Steel Watch

  • Remove the Watch from the Band

If your stainless steel watch has a removable watch band, carefully detach it from the watch case before cleaning. This prevents any damage to the band during the cleaning process.

  • Wipe the Watch Case and Band

Using a soft cloth, gently wipe the watch band and case to remove any surface dirt or dust.

  • Prepare a Bowl of Warm Soapy Water

Fill a small bowl with warm water in a sink basin and add a few drops of mild antibacterial dish soap. Stir the solution to create a soapy mixture.

  • Clean the Watch’s Surface with a Soft Brush

Dip the soft-bristled brush into the warm soapy water and gently scrub the stainless steel cases, band, and clasp. Pay extra attention to areas with visible dirt or grime. Avoid excessive pressure to prevent scratching the polished surfaces. Use gentle circular motions to clean the stainless steel thoroughly.

  • Rinse with Lukewarm Water

Once you’ve cleaned the watch, give it a rinse under lukewarm running water, to remove any soap residue. (Since proper rinsing helps maintain your watch’s water resistance, be extra careful that you’re not leaving behind any of this residue.) Additionally, ensure the water is not too hot, as extreme temperatures can damage the watch’s internal components.

  • Dry the Watch

Pat the watch dry using a microfiber cloth, ensuring no moisture remains on the stainless steel surface. Pay attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas, to prevent water spots from forming. Use a paper towel to gently blot excess moisture.

  • Reassemble the Watch

Once the watch is completely dry, reattach the band if necessary. Ensure all components are securely fastened and aligned properly.

Tips for Caring for Stainless Steel Watch

Tips for Caring for Your Stainless Steel Watch

In addition to cleaning your stainless steel watches regularly, there are other simple ways to keep your watches in good condition.

  • Avoid Frequent Exposure to Water

While stainless steel watches are generally water resistant, prolonged exposure to water, particularly saltwater, can compromise performance. Avoid wearing your watch during activities such as swimming, showering, or diving unless your watch is specifically designed for such water-related activities. This helps prevent damage to the watch’s internal mechanisms.

  • Perform Monthly Deep Cleaning

In addition to regular cleaning, perform a deep cleaning of your stainless steel watch once a month.

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  • Maintain Water Resistance

To maintain the water resistance of your watch, have it professionally tested and serviced by a certified watchmaker at regular intervals. They can ensure the gaskets and seals are intact and functioning correctly.

  • Polish the Stainless Steel Surface

Over time, stainless steel watches may develop minor scratches or scuffs. To restore a polished shine, use a stainless steel polishing cloth or seek professional polishing services.

  • Be Aware of Your Watch’s Water Resistance Rating

All water resistant watches have a specific water resistance rating. Be aware of this rating and adhere to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Protect Your Investment

Properly cleaning and maintaining your stainless steel watch is essential to preserving its appearance and extending its lifespan. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can keep your watch looking as good as new.

Remember to clean your stainless steel watch regularly, avoid excessive water exposure, protect it from watch face scratches, and seek professional help when necessary. (This guide is also applicable to any stainless steel bracelet.)

Then, take your luxury watch protection further, with the right jewelry insurance.

At BriteCo, we offer comprehensive and cost-effective jewelry insurance coverage. Our policies provide protection against loss, theft, and damage worldwide, ensuring your watches are safeguarded with confidence.

To learn more, feel free to contact us directly or use our convenient online tool to obtain a personalized insurance quote.


How much pressure should I apply when cleaning a stainless steel watch band?

When cleaning watches stainless steel bands, it’s important to avoid using excessive pressure to prevent scratching the surface. Use gentle, circular motions with a soft cloth or a toothbrush. The goal is to remove dirt and debris without damaging the stainless steel.

How do you clean a stainless steel watch band?

When it comes to how to clean a stainless steel watch band, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. Always use a soft cloth pat motion or a toothbrush with gentle bristles to avoid scratching the stainless steel surface. Additionally, avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the watch band’s finish. Instead, opt for mild dish soap or a cleaning solution that you’d typically use for a steel bracelet or metal bracelets.

Also Check:

How To Properly Clean Your Watch | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
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Dustin Lemick


Dustin Lemick

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.