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How to Properly Clean Your Watch?

February 16th, 2021

Learning how to clean your watch is essential to ensuring its longevity and sleek, stylish look. Maintaining your watch’s cleanliness can help prevent unwanted smells, dirt, and grime. Just like how you wash your clothes once a week or take a shower after every workout, your watch needs the same attention, especially if you wear it every single day.

Let’s take a look at how to properly clean your watch.

Routine Cleaning and Upkeep

If you’ve just purchased your watch and it doesn’t require a deep clean, then you can maintain your watch every day to keep it in tip-top shape. You’ll want to perform a maintenance cleaning every few days because dirt and grime can slowly accrue from wearing your watch daily. Every few days, you can use a soft cloth to dust the watch. Gently twist the crown to see that it’s sealed tight so that nothing can get into the watch’s gears. During this time, inspect the watch to check for any buildups of dirt, oil, scratches, grime, etc., so you can properly clean your watch before the issue worsens. We encourage wearing water-resistant stainless steel watches or water resistant watches because they are the simplest to maintain and can endure frequent contact with water, which makes them easier to clean.

How to clean a watch?

The frequency of how often you should clean your watch will depend on the material it’s made of. Here are some tips on cleaning different materials:

Stainless Steel

A Stainless steel watch can be cleaned by following these simple steps. First, wipe it down with a soft cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. Second, soak the watch (watches with water resistance only, otherwise only the strap) in lukewarm soapy water. If necessary, add a drop of dish soap to the water. Third, gently scrub the stainless steel bracelet with a damp, clean toothbrush. Fourth,  rinse with warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth. Fifth, use glass cleaner on a soft cloth and wipe down the watch case, face, and bracelet to refresh the shine. Lastly, if necessary, remove the bracelet from the case and soak in the glass cleaner for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

How to clean a watch?


Leather watch bands can be cleaned by following a few simple steps. First, remove the strap from the watch and wipe it down with a dry cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Next, wash the band with soap and water using a damp cloth. Rinse the cloth and wipe the band to remove all soap residue. Finally, let the band air-dry before applying leather conditioner. The conditioner will help keep the band soft and supple.



How to clean a gold watch: A gold watch can be cleaned with a cotton ball, cotton bud,, and a soft toothbrush. First, use the wet cotton bud to clean the grooves. Scrub carefully the gold plating with mixture and cotton ball. Next, wet a soft toothbrush with soapy water and gently rub onto the strap. Use a moist washcloth to wipe off the soap residue. This is the best way to clean a gold watch strap.  Gold watches are delicate and should be taken to a professional if they need a deep cleaning.

If you have a gold watch that is gold plated, you can use the same steps as above. Just be sure to be gentle when rubbing and scrubbing, this will prevent the gold plating from coming off. .

Deep Cleaning Your Watch

Deep Cleaning Your Watch

Here are the supplies:

  1. A few soft cloths / Microfiber cloth
  2. A bowl of warm water / soapy water / liquid dish soap
  3. Damp cloth
  4. Soft toothbrush
  5. Tool kit: one that includes a spring bar tool

Here are the steps:

  • If you’re comfortably able to, use a spring bar tool to remove the watch bracelet, watch band, or strap from the watch. Doing this will provide access to the parts that are the hardest to clean. Place the bracelet in a bowl of warm, soapy water and let it soak. If you are not comfortable doing this, a local jeweler can assist you. 
  • Get damp cloth Use the cloth to gently wipe all parts of the watch to catch any dirt or buildup. Do this for about a minute and inspect the watch for more stubborn dirt buildup.
  • Use a soft brush or a toothpick to get the stubborn dirt. If you use a toothpick, make sure to cut off the sharp edge and wrap it in the wipe to prevent scratches. Gently scrub away at the stubborn dirt areas.
  • For the last step, Take out the bracelet part of your watch from the cleaning solution and brush it clean with a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove any dirt or grime. Lay the bracelet on a paper towel, and tap it lightly to shake off any water. Then use a microfiber cloth to dry it clean.

Learning how to clean your watch is necessary to make sure it lasts for a long time. If your watch requires a deep cleaning due to grime you cannot remove or you discover other unsightly imperfections, such as scratches, take it to a professional jewelry cleaner to handle the task for you to avoid any accidental damage. At BriteCo, we offer our clients 5-star rated jewelry and watch insurance so that you can always look your best without worry. Click ‘Check Our Price’ to get an instant quote today.

Also Check:

How to Remove Watch Links | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
Is a Watch Considered Jewelry?

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Dustin Sitar, MBA - Director of Marketing and Operations

About the Author

Dustin Sitar is the Director of Marketing and Operations at BriteCo dedicated to consistently serving and motivating customers through education and inspiration. Prior to joining BriteCo, Dustin was a Senior Analyst on the Merchandising Strategy team at Zappos.com focused on bringing new products to the market. He holds an MBA in Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business.