5 easy tips for cleaning your watch

July 28, 2015

Keep your watch looking shiny and new with a regular cleaning ritual of the band and crystal but leave the inner workings for a professional. Follow these steps to keep it ticking.

5 easy tips for cleaning your watch

1. Clean daily

Salt water, especially from your sweat, is one of your watch's biggest enemies, along with skin oils, dirt, lotions and insect repellents.

For daily cleaning, wipe the band and watch with a damp cloth, then with a clean, dry cloth.

2. Band aid

For more extensive cleaning, remove the band by releasing the pins on both sides of the watch.

  • Clean a leather band with saddle soap, then buff quickly with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Wash a fabric band with a bit of dishwashing liquid and water, rinse in clean water and lay it flat to dry.
  • Clean a metal band by soaking it in a solution of dishwashing liquid and water, then use an old toothbrush to scrub it. Rinse thoroughly in clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

3. Check the crystal

Have the transparent face plate replaced immediately if you notice any damage to it or to the face of the watch, which indicates moisture has entered. A jeweler can also buff out scratches in a plastic crystal.

4. Store safely

Keep your watch in an individual compartment in a jewelry box or wrap it in a piece of soft cloth.

5. Take it to a pro

To clean the inner workings, take the watch to a professional.

  • Mechanical watches (the kind you have to wind) need an overhaul about every two years.
  • Analog quartz watches (with hands and batteries) need one every three to five years, just about when you need to replace the battery anyway.
  • Digital watches, which have no mechanical works, don't need an internal cleaning, although you will eventually need to replace the battery.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu