How to Clean Metal Watch Bands: A Detailed Guide

Aug 18, 2022
How to Clean Metal Watch Bands: A Detailed Guide

Of all the many parts of a watch, the bracelet is probably the one that acquires dirt most easily. Over time, it accumulates dust, sweat, oil, and many types of stains in its crevices, especially if you wear your watch every day. Since watch bracelets are usually made from metals like stainless steel, this grime can eventually create a buildup that causes cosmetic wear to the bracelet. This may result in corrosion and rusting, which would be a true hassle to clean. If left ignored, this might eventually lead to permanent damage being done to the metal watch band.


To prevent these types of blemishes, it is important to clean your watch at least once a month, particularly if you wear it on a daily basis. We have prepared a handy guide on how to clean metal watch bands anytime you want. It is a trouble-free activity and you can swiftly carry it out by using any number of common household products. 


Without further ado, let us delve into our step-by-step guide on how to clean metal watch bands and the kinds of materials you will need. 

Materials Needed to Clean a Metal Watch Band

Materials Needed to Clean a Metal Watch Band

When cleaning a metal watch band, you can opt to remove it from the watch case or to wash it while it is still attached to the case. In order to properly clean your metal watch strap, you must prepare the following materials. You will not have any trouble acquiring these items because you can easily find them within the confines of your home. 

1. Lukewarm water

First things first, you have to make sure the water you are going to use is not too warm or not too cold. It is recommended to use lukewarm water when cleaning a metal watch band. This is the ideal warmth of the water to prevent further damage to the watch band. This is because metal bracelets can be warped by extremely cold or warm temperatures.

2. Soft-bristled brush

A soft-bristled brush is the best tool to use for removing the stains on a watch band. It can be a new, dedicated one that is primarily designed with soft-bristled ends. Alternatively, you could also utilise a used toothbrush that has completely softened its hairs. The soft-bristled ends are hard enough to remove grime but also soft enough to not scratch the surface of the watch band. 

3. Liquid hand soap or dishwashing liquid

Make sure to use a gentle and hypoallergenic liquid hand soap. This prevents any allergic reactions to the skin. You can also opt to use dishwashing liquid, as it can help remove the grease and oil buildup on your watch band.

4. Small bowl 

Prepare a small bowl where you will place the lukewarm water. It should be clean and spotless, so as to avoid any dirt getting into the water and onto the watch band.

5. Clean cloth or paper towel

Lastly, do not forget to prepare something that can be utilised to dry off the wet watch band. This is mostly used when all the washing is done. You can either use a clean cloth or grab one or two pieces from a paper towel roll.

How to Clean Metal Watch Bands: Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Mix the liquid hand soap or dishwashing liquid with lukewarm water in the small bowl

Start off by pouring lukewarm water into the bowl. Mix this water with a few drops of liquid hand soap using the soft-bristled brush. Follow the same procedure if you choose to use dishwashing liquid. This mixture will be your primary source of cleaning substance for the metal watch band. 

2. Rinse the metal watch band 

Next, rinse the watch band under running tap water. This allows you to remove sweat and grease from its surface while also drenching the watch band in water. The tap water should be at room temperature. 

3. Dip the soft-bristled brush onto the mixture or dip the metal watch band itself

For this next step, you can either dip the soft-bristled brush into the mixture or dip the entire watch band in. Whichever you prefer, make sure that the brush or the watch band is completely wet in order to create a perfect lather of the mixture. 

4. Brush the metal watch band thoroughly 

Now, it is time to scrub the watch band using the soft-bristled brush. Remember to apply pressure to thoroughly remove all unnecessary dirt buildup. You will not have to worry about using too much force and scratching the surface of the watch band because you are using a soft-bristled brush. 

5. Rinse when done

When you are done brushing the watch band, rinse it once again under running tap water. Meticulously wash each link of the watch band to ensure that there is no leftover mixture on it.  

6. Pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel

After you have rinsed the watch band, pat it dry using a clean cloth or paper towel. Make sure to wipe off all the remaining liquid from the surface of the watch band.

7. Place against the clean cloth or paper towel and leave for air drying

When you are done drying it, place the watch band against a new piece of clean cloth or paper towel. Leave it there for air drying. This allows you to completely dry out the inner watch band parts that your cloth cannot reach. 

8. The metal watch band is finally clean and ready to be used again

After 30 minutes or so, your watch band is now totally dry. It is not only absolutely clean and free from any dirt buildup, but it is also gleaming with a remarkable lustre.

Final Thoughts

Through this guide, we hope that we have helped you with the necessary materials and steps in how to clean metal watch bands. It is actually quite an easy and enjoyable task that requires only a small amount of effort and time. Always remember to clean your metal watch band on a regular basis so as to avoid any permanent damage to it. 


Featured image courtesy of Marek Prygiel on Unsplash. 


On the hunt for an all-stainless steel timepiece with an eye-catching dial? Check out our review of the Grand Seiko Lake Suwa!

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