How To Clean A Stainless Steel Watch

Posted by Tertius Bester on


7 Steps to clean a stainless steel watch




1.  Use a fine cloth to wipe it down.

Start by wiping down the watch with a soft cloth to remove initial layers of dirt, dust, or grime. You can use a paper towel for this, but a microfiber or chamois cloth works best. A clean dish towel will work fine, but likely won’t be as effective as a finer, softer cloth.


2. Use lukewarm soapy water

Be careful not to submerge the watch if it is not water-resistant, only do the strap in that case.


First, it’s important to note that you only want lukewarm water for the cleaning of your watch. Temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37.7 degrees Celcius, cause gasket damage. The most robust water-resistant watches can fail after an evening in the hot tub. Saunas and showers are also not good places for a watch, as recommended by manufacturers.


Add some lukewarm water to a clean bowl. A short soak and some gentle wiping with a cloth should remove most grime from your watch. If not, you can add a drop of antibacterial dish soap to the water.


3. Scrub the stainless-steel strap

Use a toothbrush to get into the crevices of the stainless-steel watch strap. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as a heavy hand can cause unwanted scratches.


4. Rinse with warm water

Dip the bracelet in warm water or run it under the sink to rinse away the soap. Soap residue can nullify all your hard work and leave the watch looking dull.


5. Dry with a soft cloth

Pat watch dry with a bath towel. Leave it to air dry, or wear the watch immediately after cleaning. Body heat also dissipates moisture.

6. Add sparkle and shine

Spray glass cleaner on a soft cloth, and wipe down the watch face and strap to refresh the shine. If you know how to remove the watch strap soak it for about 15 minutes. You can also use a soft brush to clean a dirty strap better. Careful not to use too much pressure on stainless steel straps. Make sure to wipe it clean with a soft cloth when you’re finished.

7. Use a soft cloth for storage

If you do not use the watch all the time, cover it in a soft cloth and put it in a dry place. A wooden jewelry box is a good place to store the watch. Long term exposure to the atmosphere is not good for steel.




Clean your watch once per month if you wear it daily. The most meticulous owners wipe down their timepieces daily. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the inside of the band, plus the back and front of the case. Regular care for your watch will make your monthly deep cleaning even easier. There are times when a professional jeweler is the best option for the best care of your watch. This article offers basic cleaning tips.


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  • Thank you, Mr T, for the valuable advice!

    Jake on

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