When it comes time to clean your watch, you should make sure that you follow the proper procedures to prevent any damage. The good news for you is that this guide is going to teach you everything you need to know about how to clean a watch at home. You don’t need too many materials, and it’ll save you from buying a new one down the road. Let’s get to it!
Cleaning Watches: ‘How To’ Guide
Do I Need to Clean My Watch?
People often wonder if it’s even worth it to clean their watch. After all, won’t a quick wipe down with a towel work? Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than that. If you don’t clean your watch, there could be severe repercussions. Even if nothing terrible happens, bacteria, oils, and other gross substances sit on the surface of your watch throughout the day. Do you want it to hang out right next to your hand? Nope – we didn’t think so! If you have purchased an investment watch, it is more important to keep your watch clean and investment protected.
In short, you should clean your watch regularly. If you maintain a schedule and keep up with the maintenance, you won’t have to worry about it taking too long. It only takes what seems like forever when you neglect to clean it for months on end. With our quick guide, you’re going to learn the best way to clean a watch within a few minutes.
How Often Should I Be Cleaning My Watch?
The frequency in which you should clean your watch depends on how often you wear it. Some of us only wear a watch during important business meetings and formal get-togethers. On the other hand, plenty of people wear the same watch every day. If you’re someone who only wears a watch every so often, you don’t have to clean it more than once a month or so. That being said, if you don’t wear it, there’s no need to clean it other than a light dusting if you don’t have a storage case for the watch.
If you’re someone who wears a watch every single day, you’ll definitely want to clean it far more often. For those who wear them frequently, it’s recommended that you wash your watch once a week or so. Sometimes you can get away with cleaning it every other week, but you have to know the signs. If you notice your watch is getting blurry or hard to read, then it’s time for a cleaning. You should also make sure that the knobs aren’t grinding or slowing down when you turn them. These are all signs of a watch that is well overdue for a cleaning.
What Should I Clean My Watch With?
Since there are a few ways to clean your watch, you’ll be able to select from a variety of items. For starters, you could use a simplistic silk cloth to wipe off dust and light smudges. Any soft cloth will do, just make sure the cloth is clean and not abrasive whatsoever. Rough edges can permanently scratch and damage the face of your watch forever. While you can still remove small scratches sometimes, it’s quite a chore.
When it’s time for a deep clean on your watch, you’ll need more supplies than a simple cloth. You should get a bowl for the water, a drying rag or soft cloth, antibacterial soap, and a sponge.
Again, abrasiveness is a significant issue with watches. Make sure that the sponge is soft on the side that you’re cleaning the watch with. Other than those materials, you’re all set to head to the next section & learn how to clean a watch.
Before we jump right into it, though, you should also learn what you shouldn’t use to clean a watch. For example, we already know how bad abrasive towels and sponges are. That being said, you also should avoid using freezing water since it can cause internal condensation or cracks on the glass. Hot water is also an issue, but as long as you keep it from the actual timepiece of the watch, you should be fine.
Other materials to avoid when cleaning your watch include hand sanitizer (don’t substitute for antibacterial soap), dirty sponges, towels, or cloths, and any ingredients that are too acidic. You should also stay away from using baking soda since it can cut into the face of the watch.
Watch Cleaning Step-By-Step Guide
We’ll start by dealing with the easiest way to spot-treat your watch in between deep cleanings. Grab a soft towel, rag, or cloth that’s completely clean. You don’t want to add any bacteria or dirt onto your watch during the process. Next, firmly apply pressure while wiping with the cloth in circular motions. This will help remove smudges and blurry spots without scraping the surface. You can also wipe down the band of the watch, but don’t worry too much about scraping it up. The strap or chain is typically much more durable to abrasiveness.
The other way that you can clean your watch is by deep cleaning it every so often. Get a bowl of warm water and some antibacterial soap ready to use. Start by dipping the band or chain of the watch into the water. You can put a drop or two of the detergent into the water and mix it prior if it’s been a while since you last cleaned it. Make sure that your hand is underneath the watch’s timepiece to prevent it from getting wet. The easiest way is to have your index and middle finger between the timepiece and the strap. Leave it to soak for about 15 to 30 seconds, depending on how dirty it is.
Next, go ahead and grab the sponge and submerge it in the water. Wring it out, so there isn’t too much water to drip out of it. Wipe the face of the watch in circular motions, making sure to get all of the surfaces. You can also wipe the underside of the watch and the sides. The knobs of the clock are trickier than the rest. However, if you happen to find that yours are hard to turn, use a toothpick to scrape out any grime or dust that’s built up over time.
Once you’re all finished with the deep clean, you can pat the watch down with a soft towel, rag, or cloth. Don’t scrub it, as this could leave watermarks and even more smudges than you had before. Circular motions are always the way to go when you’re cleaning your watch. That’s it! There’s not much to the watch cleaning process.
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Watch
Cleaning a stainless steel watch is very similar to the method described above, aside from a few additional tips. Once you’ve wiped down the whole watch and it’s clean, you can unscrew the strap from the timepiece portion. This gives you much more mobility to move it around and get in the crevices of the band. Feel free to completely submerge the stainless steel strap in the warm, soapy water for a deep clean. Once you’re all done, pat it down and dry it using circular motions, as mentioned before.
The only downside to owning a stainless steel watch is that they tend to rust if they’re not properly taken care of. Since water and air are the two main components, you have to make sure that you don’t spill any water on the watch. Even if the company claims that it’s waterproof, it doesn’t mean that it’s rustproof. Every time that your watch gets wet, you should dry it off as quickly as possible.
With all of that being said, after you’ve cleaned your stainless steel watch, you should thoroughly inspect it for water droplets. Water seems to always get in the spaces between the strap and chains on watches. This is generally where the rust builds up, making it harder to move. The hinges become jammed, and the watch gets stuck. Fortunately, a little bit of extra care is all you need to prevent this from happening.
A special tip to keep the rust away from your stainless steel watch is to use a blow dryer or a fan whenever it gets wet. After a rainy day, swimming (if it’s waterproof), and every clean, you can feel free to dry it off with a fan. This will prevent rust, and it only takes about a minute to clean it all up.
How to Clean a Leather Watch
Cleaning a leather watch can be a bit tricky. Remove the watch band from the strap if you’re able to. Many leather watches come with tiny screws on both sides of the band. Once you have the pieces separate, you can wash the timepiece as you usually would. Refer to the guide above for further instructions.
The leather strap is a bit more challenging. You’ll need leather cleaning spray or cream to deep clean it. Follow the directions on the bottle for the best application. This is generally the best bet for leather watches since they can’t get wet. When water gets on leather, it can dry it out and make it crack. Instead, using one of the recommended treatments will help shine and prolong the quality of the leather.
When you’re finished cleaning both pieces separately, you’re ready to put them back together. Do a final pat down with a clean towel to ensure that it’s not wet at all. It’s not a bad idea to blow dry the band before connecting it back to prevent droplets from rolling onto the leather.
Learning how to clean a watch is easy once you get the hang of it. Weekly spot treatments will keep it looking shiny until the next deep clean. Good luck!