06 May 2022

How to clean a stainless steel watch?

Jewelry, Watches & Accessories

Cleaning and maintaining your watch is essential to preserve it over time. However, the watch is sometimes made of many different materials and it becomes difficult to know how to take care of it properly.

In this article, we explain how to clean your stainless steel watch to preserve its shine for as long as possible.

Why does stainless steel need to be cared for? 

A stainless steel watch tends to tarnish over time. In addition, the inside of the bracelet links are prone to the accumulation of dirt and dust, which can cause your watch to wear out more quickly.

Even though they are designed to be water resistant, steel watches can be vulnerable to rusting from frequent swimming or even just sweating.

If you have a steel dive watch and use it frequently in salt or fresh water, you will need to pay special attention to ensure that it remains clean and functional over time.


How to maintain your steel watch? 

If you wear your watch every day, clean it thoroughly at least once a month. The most meticulous will clean it daily.

Your watch can also benefit from an express cleaning to give it a little shine. Simply use a soft, suitable cloth to wipe the strap and the back and front of the case. This will help to remove any moisture or cosmetics that may have been on your skin that have settled on your watch.

Regular care of your jewellery will make it easier to clean it every month.


A soft cloth to clean your stainless steel watch 

Hagerty recommends cleaning your steel or metal watch with the Stainless Steel Cloth, a specially impregnated cotton cloth. The chamois makes your accessory shine quickly and removes embedded dirt.

Take care of your watch daily without damaging it with the Hagerty Cloth.

How do I clean the case of a stainless steel watch?

Before cleaning the case of your watch, you should first find out whether it is water-resistant or not, as the cleaning will be different. You should also make sure that the crown (small button on the side of the watch) is well pushed in to prevent water from getting into the mechanism.

To clean your watch with low water-resistance, in steel or gold, use a soft cloth (such as Hagerty Stainless Steel Cloth) or a dry toothbrush. On the other hand, if the water-resistance of your watch allows it, clean it with soapy water, rinse with clear water and buff with a soft cloth.

We recommend that you do not use chemical cleaners as this may damage the material or the seals. If over time your watch has become covered with micro-scratches, do not hesitate to have it polished by a watchmaker, as this will restore its shine.

How to clean a stainless steel watch strap? 

Just like the case, it is important to clean the bracelet of your watch. Indeed, dirt and bacteria accumulate and therefore maintenance is necessary. Please note that different types of cleaning are recommended depending on the material of the band.

To clean a steel bracelet, you can proceed in the same way as for a waterproof watch case. Indeed, metal and stainless steel can withstand water. So don't hesitate to use a damp cloth, warm water and soap.

For a rubber bracelet, simply rub it with soapy water, then dry it.

For a leather bracelet, it is best to avoid cleaning it with water. Leather is a living, delicate material, so getting it wet can damage it or cause it to change colour. You can simply rub it gently with a soft cloth or use Hagerty's leather cleaning and maintenance cream, the Leather Care.

Finally, for a watch with a wooden strap, you can simply clean it by using a soft, slightly dampened cloth and gently rubbing the surface for a few seconds. Don't forget to dry it well afterwards. Alternatively, you can use Hagerty's Wood Care nourishing and cleaning cream.

How to remove scratches from a watch 

Over the time, your watch gets banged up and sometimes scratched by being worn and handled. Small scratches can easily be treated by yourself at home with a suitable product. However, if they are too pronounced, you should consider having the glass repaired by a specialist jeweller, who will polish the watch completely.

How do I clean a watch crystal? 

Watch glass can be cleaned like any other glass surface.  A soft, clean cloth is soaked in a cleaning agent and the glass is gently rubbed in small circles. This should be carried out by an experienced watchmaker or jeweller.

Now you know how to take care of your steel watch. Do not hesitate to contact us for further information: hagerty@hagerty.world.

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