Stainless steel is the most commonly used material for watchmaking because of its sophisticated surfaces and tough exterior. Still, this hard material also requires love and care for a fresh and bright look. As watch technicians, we consider regular cleaning to be an essential part of maintaining your watch’s look and function. In this article, we will discuss how to clean your stainless steel watch to maintain its polished shine.
Why do stainless materials need special care?
After some time, the polished look of a stainless-steel watch becomes dull. The small opening between the joint of metal bracelets is also known to catch dust and dirt that can cause corrosion. Even with water-resistant designs, stainless steel watches can be susceptible to rust due to frequent swimming, saltwater exposure, or even regular sweating.
You need to give special care if you use your dive watch frequently in salt water or even in freshwater lakes.
How to clean your stainless-steel watch:
Wipe it down
Wipe your watch with a soft cloth to remove initial layers of dirt, dust, or grime. You can use a paper towel, but we recommend microfiber or chamois cloth for this. A clean dish towel or t-shirt hem will work just fine in a pinch, but a softer material won’t remove as much grime.
Dip the watch in warm soapy water
The first important thing to remember is to use lukewarm water, not hot or steaming water. Temperature fluctuations can cause the gaskets that keep water out to expand or contract, potentially allowing water to penetrate the watch itself and damage the delicate components inside. Even the most robust and water-resistant dive watches can fail in a hot tub or sauna. That’s why most watch manufacturers (including the Depol watches team) advise against showering with your wristwatch because of the exposure to water above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fill a sink with lukewarm water, then soak a cloth and wipe your watch gently. This usually removes most grime from your watch. If your watch does not clean thoroughly, add a drop of antibacterial dish soap to the water. Dish soap is also used to dissolve grease, remove oils and debris from stainless steel. If your watch is not water-resistant, be careful only to dip the strap in the water.
Gently scrub the stainless-steel bracelet
Use a clean, damp toothbrush to get into the crevices of the stainless-steel bracelet. Apply light pressure since a heavy hand can cause unwanted scratches.
Rinse with warm water
Dip the chain in warm water and run it under the faucet to rinse away the soap. Since soap on the steel may cause it to tarnish and look dull, thoroughly rinsing will help preserve those fresh brushed, or polished surfaces to look like new.
Dry with a soft cloth
Use a dry bath towel to dry your watch. You can also use a hairdryer on a low-heat setting to dry in between the joints quickly.
Add sparkle and shine
To clean the watch face, use spray glass cleaner on a soft cloth, the case, and the bracelet to refresh the shine. If cleaning is long overdue, use a soft brush to clean the bracelet and gently scrub while not leaving a scratch. If you are comfortable enough to remove the chain, remove it from the case, soak it in glass for 15 minutes, and then rinse with clean water. After this, make sure to finish it off by wiping it with a clean, soft cloth.
How often should you clean your stainless-steel watch?
If you use the watch daily, you have to clean it monthly. Many watch wearers will wipe down their timepieces daily. It can be a routine like brushing your teeth before bed or taking a shower in the morning. Your watch can benefit from regular cleaning with an increase in longevity and a shiny look. Try to use a soft cloth to wipe down the inside of the band, plus the back and front of the case. This will help your watch by removing any excess moisture or lotion that rubbed off your skin throughout the day.
Once in a while, take your watch to get professionally serviced and cleaned. There are some things they can do that your toothbrush can’t.