How to clean a watch and watch straps (Rolex, Apple and more)

A watch is the only piece of jewellery some people wear on a regular basis. That's why it's important to make time for keeping this key accessory looking sharp. Discover how to clean a watch strap here!

Updated

how to clean a watch with a black leather strap

Key steps

  • To clean an Apple Watch, use a damp, lint-free cloth.
  • Never use soap or other cleaning products on Apple Watches.
  • For a Rolex, use a mild hand soap and water.
  • Ensure the crown is completely screwed down so water doesn’t get inside.
  • For a stainless-steel watch, use water and washing-up liquid.

Over the course of the day, our watches come into contact with everything we do. That means it's crucial to keep them clean, using careful methods so as not to damage the watch face or mechanism itself – especially if it's a premium watch. This article will be a comprehensive guide to how to clean leather watch straps, stainless-steel bands, and even Apple watches.

Not sure what makes a particular watch tick? For full cleaning advice and instructions, always check the manufacturer's care instructions to prolong the life of your watch.

How to clean an Apple Watch band, and other watch parts: a step-by-step guide

Apple Watch sports bands are great as you can wear them when exercising, whether you’re swimming, working out at the gym or running. That means you may end up with chlorine, sweat, and mud on your watch strap. To clean an Apple Watch band and other Apple Watch parts, just follow these simple steps:

1. Make sure your Apple Watch is turned off and removed from its charger.

2. Remove the watch band from your Apple Watch.

3. Use a damp, non-abrasive, lint-free cloth to wipe your Apple Watch clean.

4. Avoid soap and other cleaning products as they may damage the watch.

5. To clean the Digital Crown, hold it under lightly running warm (not hot), fresh water for around 10–15 seconds.

6. Ensure you continuously turn and press the Digital Crown to clean the gap between the crown and the housing.

7. Dry your Apple Watch and Digital Crown with a dry, clean, non-abrasive, lint-free cloth. Take care to remove all traces of water.

8. Keeping your watch band separate from your Apple Watch, it’s time to clean it with these steps:

  • Wipe your Apple Watch band with a damp, lint-free cloth to clean it.
  • Not all Apple Watch bands are water-resistant, so never soak them in water.
  • Always leave your band to air-dry before reattaching it to your Apple Watch.
  • Avoid high temperatures and direct sunlight.

How to clean a Rolex: your quick and simple guide

Cleaning a Rolex is easier than you think, with these five steps:

1. Ensure the crown is completely screwed down. This will prevent water getting into the watch and damaging the movement.

2. Fill a bowl with warm water and a small drop of mild hand wash like Dove. Do not use perfumed or other, stronger products, as these could damage your watch.

3. Use a toothbrush to clean between the links and lugs. Simply dip it into your water mixture and gently clean your watch.

4. Use warm, running water to rinse your watch, taking care to remove all traces of soap.

5. Use a soft microfibre cloth to dry your watch.

Originally published