How to Clean Your Watch By Yourself

Posted by Alan A on

No matter how clean you think you are, the inside of your watch can and will get very dirty! So just like anything else, it needs to be cleaned regularly. If that sounds like a daunting task, don’t worry too much—cleaning a watch isn’t that difficult, it just requires tools, time, and patience.

But before we talk about what to do, let’s talk about what not to do. Unless you’re certain your watch can withstand it, avoid using a lot of water or liquid to clean your watch. Actions such as using wet rags, running your watch under a running faucet, or dunking your watch in liquid are not recommended.

Also, a word to the wise: before you start, be sure to check any manufacturer’s instructions that are included with your watch. Also, if you’re uncertain about any of the steps included, it may be wise to consult a professional. With that in mind, let’s look at how to clean your watch!

The Tools

You’ll need a brush. Ideally, you should use a brush that’s been designed for use with watches. Otherwise, an old toothbrush will suffice, just make sure it’s well cleaned and dried. A new toothbrush isn’t recommended, as the bristles aren’t as soft as they are on an old, used toothbrush.

You’ll also need a magnifying glass, some toothpicks, a clean microfiber cloth, a spring bar tool, and a pack of anti-bacterial sanitary wipes.

Step 1: Take a close look at the watch

Using your magnifying glass, take a good look at your watch and the condition that it’s in. Look for any damage that might allow moisture to get inside. Look at the crown and other moving parts. Also check the edge of the crystal. If the crystal has any chips or appears to be not firmly connected to the case in any way, you’ll need to have the watch professionally serviced.

Step 2: Remove the strap or bracelet

Use your spring bar tool to remove the bracelet or strap from your watch. This will make the watch much easier to clean. You’ll also likely find that the inner side of the lugs are one of the dirtiest areas of the watch.  

Step 3: Use a sanitary wipe

Using one of the wipes, carefully clean every nook and cranny of the watch, both inside and outside. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. This will do most of the cleaning, allowing you to more easily where any stubborn dirty spots remain.

Step 4: Use a toothpick

Before you begin this next step, it’s important to make sure not to scratch the watch. Some softer metals could be scratched by a toothpick. If you’re unsure, you may be better off getting the watch serviced professionally. If you’re confident a toothpick won’t scratch the watch, then continue:

You’ll likely have at least a couple of places where the wipe didn’t quite get off all the sticky gunk. For these areas, take a toothpick and cut the tip off. Wrap a wipe around the toothpick and gently clean the more difficult areas. Make sure the wipe isn’t torn by the toothpick. If any debris gets dislodged, use your brush to wipe it away. 

Step 5: Use the microfiber cloth

To finish, use a clean microfiber cloth. This will wipe up any excess moisture, including oils from your skin. Use your finger, with the cloth wrapped around it, to get into any spots that are difficult to reach. Congratulations, you now have a very clean watch!

Step 6: The bracelet

If your watch uses a bracelet, you can clean it by placing it in some warm, soapy water. Then, use your brush to clean it. Afterwards, place it on a paper towel and gently tap it to remove any extra water and dirt. To finish, wipe it with a microfiber cloth, then reattach your bracelet to your watch.

Congratulations, your watch is now clean and ready for action! In the days and weeks after cleaning, it may be a good idea to wipe it down from time to time with a microfiber cloth, just to keep it looking its best.

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