How To Clean A Watch

How To Clean A Watch
How To Clean A Watch

Good watches are expensive. You will spend a lot of money buying a watch that has good resale value. You need to take care of your watch to reap maximum benefits out of it. You need to clean your watch regularly. These watches are made of stainless steel 316L and 904l in the case of Rolex.

Stainless steel is the metal of choice in watchmaking. The body of the watch and the straps are made of this metal in the hardiest watches. The metal has a shiny and attractive look that needs care.

Cleaning Watches

The most important part of maintaining your watch is by regular cleaning. These watches come in waterproof material and are hardy. They are good for swimming, hiking, and general sports. This way, stainless steel metal may deteriorate or corrode if not cleaned regularly. Over time the shinny material of stainless steel may start to look dull.

Rolex Cleaning with a brush

What makes the watch corrode?

Swimming with your watch in salty water may make your stainless steel look dull and corroded. The watches are designed with waterproof capabilities that make them more venerable to rust. Saltwater will leave some impurities on its surface that will deteriorate the shiny material without regular cleaning.

The joints on the straps or bracelet will accumulate dust and dirt that will lead to tear and wear that ends up as corrosion. Although stainless steel has a waterproof design, saltwater exposure and frequent sweat will damage the strap.

Five Steps to protect your watch from damage

  1. Screw down the crown: Most diving watches have crown screws. Make sure you have screwed down the crown all the way so that you’re sure no water will enter inside your watch. Do this before you start swimming. Although there is a gasket there, screwing down will ensure no water will get inside your watch.
  2. Know your water resistance: Make sure your watch has a 100-meter water resistance before you start swimming with it. Even if you are not diving to 100m ensure that your watch has that recommended water resistance by ISO standards.
  3. Deepwater is fine, heat and grease are not: Although your watch has water resistance, don’t allow heat or grease near your watch as this will damage the gasket and allow water to enter inside the watch that will damage the movement. Avoid steam rooms with your watch as this will make the gasket expand and allow water inside your watch.
  4. Give your watch a freshwater bath: After diving with your watch, dip it in freshwater. It will remove salt, grease, and dirt from accumulating in your watch. Turn the bezel to free any dirt from beneath it so that it can’t freeze inside. After that dry it with soft tissue paper or a towel.
  5. Service and protection: Most watchmakers have different recommendations on how often you can service your watch. The common is between three and five years but will depend on how you use your watch. If you often dive with your watch and you bought it secondhand, you need to have it pressure tested to ascertain its water-resistance capabilities. Experts pressure test watches in a vacuum pressure tank to check the strength of the gaskets. Gaskets are on the crown and the back case.

How to clean a watch : stainless steel

  1. Wipe it: Wipe your watch with soft tissue paper or a piece of cloth. It will remove the initial layers of dirt and dust. You can also use the recommended microfibre or chamois. You can use any cloth, but this may not remove all the dirt.
  2. Dip the watch in warm soapy water: You need to use lukewarm water. Do not use hot water. Hot water will make the gasket expand and contract to allow water inside your watch. Most diving watches fail after use in a steam bath. It is because of the same problem. Use a soft cloth or towel to clean your watch inside the basin of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap as this removes grease and dirt easily. If your watch is not water-resistant, take care and dip the strap. Don’t put it in a glass of water. Wipe it carefully with a wet cloth.
  3. Scrub the stainless-steel bracelet gently: You can use a soft toothbrush or a damp cloth to clean your watch. Be gentle. Be careful of how much pressure you apply. Using force may cause scratches on the shiny metal.
  4. Rinse in warm water: Dip the watch in warm water and then rinse it with running tap water to remove any soap residues. If soap residues are left behind, they will dry on the metal and cause it to look dull. The use of running water makes the metal look polished and like new.
  5. Wipe it dry with a soft cloth: Wipe it thoroughly with a dry cloth. You can use a hairdryer at a low heat setting to dry between the metal links. If you wear your watch immediately, your body temperature will help in drying it.
  6. Spray sparkle and shine: Use glass cleaner spray on a cloth and wipe the bracelet thoroughly. If you know how to remove the bracelet, you may remove it and keep it in a glass full of cleaning solution for fifteen minutes. Then wipe it and keep it dry.

Stainless steel cleaning intervals:

Depending on how often you’re using your watch, once a month is the recommended interval for cleaning your watch. Most watch lovers wipe their watches daily. It makes the watch look new all the time. By using a dry clean cloth every day, it will not accumulate any residues of sweat or dirt. It may not require a monthly cleaning interval.


Watches have become very expensive. Taking care of your watch guarantees many years of enjoying your precious watch. If you keep your watch in top-notch quality, it will appreciate in value and can fetch a lot of resale money, more than most investments. Take care of your watch daily.

If you are asking the question of how to clean a watch….now you know.

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