06 May 2022

How do you clean a stainless steel watch to maintain its shine?

Jewelry, Watches & Accessories

Have you ever noticed how your stainless steel watch loses its shine over time? Between exposure to dust, perspiration and daily handling, it's crucial to know how to clean your stainless steel watch to preserve its beauty and functionality over the long term.

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 regular care? 

Stainless steel, although durable and corrosion resistant, can become tarnished and dirty, especially in the bracelet links. Accumulated dirt can accelerate the wear of your watch and, in the case of frequent swimming or excessive perspiration, even leave it vulnerable to rust. Regular maintenance is therefore essential, especially if you frequently use your watch in salt or fresh water.


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 benefit from an express cleaning to restore its shine or a deep cleaning when it needs it. Regular care of your jewellery will make it easier to clean it every month.

These days, we love it when cleaning is quick and easy, which is why Hagerty products are so popular.


A soft cloth to clean your stainless steel watch 

Hagerty's jewellery care range includes a 100% cotton cloth impregnated with an exclusive formula for cleaning steel or metal watches and accessories: Stainless Steel Cloth.

This fabric shines up jewellery quickly and gives it a daily polish. 

Thanks to its high-quality weave, the cloth guarantees safe, scratch-free cleaning.


A cleaning spray for steel watch straps

Give your watch a deeper clean with Metal Bracelet Cleaner, a cleaning spray that removes all the dirt that has accumulated between the links of your watch bracelet.

Simply spray the formula onto the surface to be cleaned, wait a few seconds and wipe off with a soft cloth. No rinsing is necessary.

This formula is specially designed for cleaning stainless steel and gold bracelets and accessories.


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 steel or gold watch with a low water-resistance rating, use a soft cloth. On the other hand, if the case is water-resistant, clean it with soapy water, rinse with clean water and wipe with a soft cloth.

If over time your watch has become covered in micro-scratches, don't hesitate to have it polished by a watchmaker, as this will revive its lustre.


How to clean a stainless steel watch strap? 

Just like the case, you should remember to clean the strap of your watch. Dirt and bacteria accumulate on it, so it needs to be kept clean. Different types of cleaning are recommended depending on the material of the strap.

If the case is not waterproof and if possible, remember to detach the bracelet from the case.


Steel bracelet cleaner

As previously mentioned, Hagerty offers 2 care products for your steel and stainless steel objects. A 100% cotton impregnated chamois (Stainless Steel Cloth) and a cleaning spray to remove dirt embedded between the links (Metal Bracelet Cleaner).


Leather Bracelet Cleaner 

It is best to avoid cleaning 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 polish the leather with Hagerty's nourishing cleaning cream: Leather Care.


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.

Keeping a stainless steel watch clean and shiny is not just a question of aesthetics, it's also a necessity for the longevity of the mechanism. With specialised products like those offered by Hagerty and a little regular care, your watch will remain as functional and elegant as on its first day.

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