Cleaning Watchbands

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated December 21, 2015)

With how busy the world is today watches are increasingly important pieces of our wardrobes. But when you wear the same watch every day you may notice a build up on the band after a while that can lead to staining and it can also start to smell. The best way to get the band completely clean is to remove it so you do not have to worry about ruining the actual time piece. For some watches this may be a little tricky, but there is usually a way to take the watchband away from the watch. Here are a few way to clean your band and get rid of that gunk buildup.

  • Cloth. Cloth watchbands come in all different fabrics from canvas to ribbons. Most watchbands are made to be exposed to some water but care should still be taken when you are wearing a watch around water. The best way to clean this of kind of band is to wash it in warm soapy water and lightly scrub with your fingers or fingernails to loosen any buildup or stains. Rinse with cool water and let dry. To avoid build up on these bands you can make sure you take the watch off at night and do not wear it in water, give the band some time to air out everyday.
  • Leather. Leather watchbands are very durable and last for a long time, making them a common choice among people who need their watches to be able to take a beating and still look great. Genuine leather bands should be cleaned with saddle soap and treated with leather conditioning oil after washing. Imitation leather can be cleaned in the same manner as other fabrics. If you are unsure whether your band is imitation or genuine leather, genuine leather will usually say so somewhere on the inside of the band. But just to be safe you can take it to a jeweler and ask. Preventing a buildup of grease and other matter you should wipe off your watchband with a clean cloth everyday.
  • Metal. Metal watchbands are the most popular choice among both men and women because they are versatile and durable. There are chain like bands, solid rings to either slide over the hand or right onto the wrist, there are also more bracelet like styles with beads or charms. All of these can attract a large amount of gunk, especially chains. To clean a metal watchband use some warm soapy water and an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any residue. It is a little harder to prevent your metal watchband from accumulating debris but if you clean it regularly you should not have a problem.

Watches are considered jewelry and can be passed down as heirlooms if cared for correctly. If your watch happens to be an heirloom or an antique your best choice for cleaning is to take it to a jeweler and have it done professionally so you can preserve the history and beauty of your timepiece. Keeping your watch clean will encourage your watch to keep working as it should for a longer time. Now all you need to worry about is changing that tiny little battery.

Author Bio

Lecia DeBrine

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