Here’s Exactly How to Clean a Watch

Unless you are a horology enthusiast, it’s likely that watches aren’t something you think a ton about. Sure, you’re well aware of their aesthetic value, and maybe you layer them with your everyday bracelets to add a bit of polish to your arm party (but likely still look at your phone when you need to know the time, no shame here), but when was the last time you really looked at your go-to timepieces? Just like any other piece of jewelry, your watch is exposed to huge amounts of daily wear and tear. All of this is to say that the watches in your collection could likely use a bit of TLC. So we did the work for you and broke down how to clean watches of all kinds.

There are a few blanket things to keep in mind before we dig in: First, double-check if your watch is waterproof. If it is, you shouldn’t have a problem using most of these methods, but if it isn’t, you’re going to want to be extra careful—and no matter what, you should always make sure the crown is screwed down as tightly as possible before you get started. That way you won’t get any cleaning products onto its face. Second, if you can remove the band from the face of your watch, do it. This will ensure that the heavier methods you can use on the band don’t accidentally cause any damage to the actual mechanical portion of your watch. And, third, remember that the jeweler is your best friend. If you are feeling nervous about accidentally ruining that vintage Cartier watch your grandmother left you, take it to a professional.

If you are willing to roll up your sleeves for a bit of DIY, read on to discover exactly how to clean a watch.