However, one of the best ways to clean a stainless steel watch is very cheap, involving only water and vinegar. Squeeze out any excess water from the cloth. Ryan also mentioned that a hesalite or acrylic crystal — found most often on vintage timepieces — can easily scratch as compared to something more durable like sapphire, so you will want to opt away from abrasive brushes while cleaning these facets, and again opt towards something very soft like a microfiber cloth or your hands. Genuine leather will react differently based on factors like how long you wear it, what kind of activity you do while wearing one, as well as exposure to different environments. After removing from the wash, follow steps 6 and 7 above. Thankfully, they are really easy to wash. Both of these factors contribute to the effective water resistance of a watch, as older pieces and those that have gone a long time without servicing will have diminished water resistance as a result of aging and drying gaskets. If you're not sure, you can always consult with the manufacturer of your rubber strap to see if there are any specialized cleaning needs. Some brands recommend servicing once a year, others every two years, some every three years or more, so it’s best to consult your dealer and watch brand directly on how often to have your watch professionally serviced and checked for water resistance. Pro Tip: Swap straps (and/or watches) frequently as day-to-day use of a single leather strap leads to considerable wear and tear. Ultimately, she told us, “it’s a good idea to maintain the surface of your strap by wiping it so every so often to prevent any hard to remove dirt from settling,” which is good advice not only for your luxury leather strap, but for metal bracelets and the watch itself. For extreme-smelling leather watchbands, proceed to Step 4. That being said, keep in mind that "rubber" is a bit of a blanket term and is often used to describe a range of straps rather than ones that are exclusively made from real rubber (many are silicone, for example). Wipe with a cloth or even a very soft brush (if suede or nubuck, a suede brush or suede eraser is a good option, if needed). Or, for a more natural approach, use plain white household vinegar. Give the example of ice watches. Dip it into the mixture and rub it gently across the watch band. This should be done without rubbing hard, and is acceptable on leather like alligator, shark, grain calf.”. This cleaning information applies to Apple-branded bands only. Wipe down the watch strap with a dry microfiber cloth. If you’re cleaning with the watch case still attached to the strap: be careful with the water. A watch you love can last you decades if you take good care of it, and that means proper cleaning! Wipe with a cloth or even a very soft brush (if suede or nubuck, a suede brush or suede eraser is a good option, if needed). Keep your timepiece looking fresh and working well by giving it a good cleaning. In a suitably-sized dish, mix a soft soap (I commonly use dish soap) with warm water and submerge your strap for a few minutes. Manipulate the pin to line up with the other end of the pinhole on the other side of the watch case. For more precious metals, such as gold or platinum, Ryan recommends cleaning the bracelet with just your hands, or if available opting for an extra soft brush, as a too rigid brush can scratch the metal. Insert one end of the spring bar into the case lug. For all other bands, follow the care information provided with the band. Pour 1 cup warm water and 3 drops dish soap into a bowl. Once a week wash the strap with a soft soap with filtered water it can help clean the accumulated oils and improve the longevity of the strap. As far as straps go, rubber is the easiest to clean and maintain. Claire Humen, the Technical Director and Production Manager for Jean Rousseau US — a French-heritage luxury strap maker based in New York City — recommends addressing the surface debris first. Some Notes When Cleaning the Watch The other, and possibly more relevant for this year, is to reduce the chances your watch can itself become a vehicle for the transmission of the coronavirus and other pathogens, both to yourself and to others. Some leathers deal with water better than others, so while a shell cordovan is quite easy to keep clean and conditioned, suede or nubuck-finished straps will require more specific care. Use a watch spring bar tool to pull those spring bars back from the watch arms and free your band… (if these spring bars break or bend, go see a jeweler) Once the band is free, put it into a jewelry ultrasonic cleaner with hot water (like coffee hot), and a dash of Mr. Clean. Humen went on to tell us that extra care should be used when approaching leathers that are super matte or dyed with tannins, “as they are naturally more susceptible to absorbing natural oils and water from a too damp cloth.” For these, she recommends, use only a lightly damp cloth or a dry microfiber cloth. Roll the strap in a hand towel and compress to remove as much water as possible. Any lower than this and you will want to take some special considerations while cleaning, but by and large most watches offer some degree of water resistance. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a fact of life for us all. Mix together equal amounts of distilled vinegar and linseed oil. This is one of the most common queries I get via my DMs or questions sent into my podcast, The Grey NATO. What about the crusty NATO you wore all summer? Then, use a piece of cotton or a soft, clean cloth to clean the band. If, after cleaning and drying, you find any frayed bits of nylon, use the heat (not the direct flame) from a lighter to ever so lightly melt away the fray and seal up the edge of the strap. To clean your leather watch strap, follow these steps: Remove the strap from your watch and use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off both sides. * Rinse it thoroughly and set it on a flat surface, away from direct sunlight, to air dry. The most obvious is to reduce any debris that may have found itself on the timepiece, whether that be hair, oil, dust, or dirt, all of which not only reduce the quality of the intended look of the watch, but could also damage the various sealants, gaskets, and finishing on the watch and its accompanying bracelet. Moisture from your wrist or the environment builds up easily on the inside of the watch strap. Please remember that some leather conditioners or supplemental oils can darken the color of the leather. How to clean? Some leathers that qualify here are Jean Rousseau’s interesting salmon leather straps, vegetable calf, and ostrich. Tags: Accessories, Luxury Watches, Vintage Watches, Wempe. Don't do this for suede or similar. Let it dry entirely before moving to the next step. Simply insert the watch strap into a sock or a pocket in your jeans, and toss in the washing machine. There are two parts of a watch you need to keep clean: the face, and the band. Remove soap residue. Albers recommends using “a soft, maybe [lightly] damp cloth” to clean, but to avoid submerging the piece lest you cause “significant damage” to the timepiece. If your watch is made of a precious metal (such as gold), you will want to use either an extra-soft brush, microfiber cloth, or just your hands to avoid damaging the softer material. For leather bands: Wipe the leather portions of the bands clean with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. To clean the watch face, fill a dish with warm water and a bit of mild detergent, like Dial dish soap. Or your favorite leather strap now that leather strap season is upon us? If your watch lacks water resistance, such as a vintage dress watch or a more fragile chronograph, you will need to clean it differently than a modern, professional dive watch or even a moderately water-resistant piece such as a field watch. As you may have guessed, the far most important consideration is knowing the water resistance of your watch. “It is best to clean the surface of any dust, dirt, etc. Here are 2 reasons why your Apple Watch band stinks (plus a few ways to fix the issue). Benefits to Regularly Cleaning Your Watch: The benefits of cleaning your watch and its strap at home are twofold. So, before you grab your scrubber and soap, here are some things to think about. Clean the band according to the manufacturer instructions—take care to spot clean leather without saturating it. Daily clean your watch strap with a soft cloth, it will help remove any dirt. If the cleaning is overdue, you can get deeper into the bracelet and its crevices by dipping the soft brush in glass cleaner and gently scrubbing the bracelet. Copyright © 2009–2021, HODINKEE Inc. All Rights Reserved. Dry the watch completely using a soft microfiber cloth. Fill the bowl with warm water and a small amount of soap to create a gentle soapy solution. Ryan recommends cleaning a watch without water resistance using only “a dry soft toothbrush” to physically brush up any debris, and then to “clean it up with a cloth.”. Some Very Important Considerations Before Cleaning: While from the instructions above it might seem quite easy to clean a watch and strap (and it is), there are some important factors to think about before you launch into the task. Pro Tip: Want a more automated option? With the New Year beginning, and many of our watches undoubtedly needing a good sprucing up, we at WatchTime spoke with a few watch and watch-strap cleaning experts, to help our readers keep their wristwear shining in a few easy steps at home. Additionally, all watches require regular servicing from time to time. Comment Along these lines, before you begin cleaning, Albers recommends double checking that the crown of your watch is pushed or screwed in completely, he also recommends not operating the pushers on the side of the case during cleaning if the watch is a chronograph, as having an unsealed case, via an open crown or moving pushers, reduces the overall security of the watch against water. To learn more about what Wempe recommends for cleaning your watch at home, click here. Re-attach the straps by inserting the spring bar into the case-end into the dry watch bands. Now, dip the brush in water and rub it again in a circular fashion. Simply use a little mild dish soap and warm water and gently scrub the strap. Again, with heat being the enemy, don't put your nylon straps in the dryer. Then lightly wipe the leather strap with the clean damp cloth to remove all soap residue from the band. Agitate the water with your fingertips to create soap suds. Remove the strap from your watch. How to Clean Fluoroelastomer Apple Watch Bands The Apple Watch Sport Band is made from a material called fluoroelastomer, which is especially durable and sweat-resistant. Those white silicone watch straps dirty easily. Every expert we spoke to stressed the importance of this factor, as the entrance of even a small amount water and soap into the case can quickly devastate a watch. If Your Watch is Water-Resistant (Approximately 50 meters and above): The most typical watch to clean is one with a good water resistance, think approximately 50 meters and above (such as the new Rolex Submariner, pictured above). Set up one bowl of clean warm water, and one bowl of warm soapy water with a small amount of antibacterial soap. White Apple Watch Sport Bands are particularly hard to clean. Ryan stressed that watches become quite slippery while cleaning, and if your timepiece accidentally falls out of your hands and onto a hard surface then it can quickly become damaged. Put your nylon straps in a wash bag (or even a spare sock) and toss them in with the rest of your cold water laundry.