Tips for Cleaning Watch Straps by Type of Material

A fine watch requires constant care and maintenance in order to be impeccable and not lose its value. A fundamental part of preserving the integrity of your watch is to clean the bracelet of the watch, in addition to proper maintenance.

Do you know what is the cleanest material to use for your watch band? According to a study conducted by Florida Atlantic University in the United States, fabric straps are considered the least hygienic, followed by plastic, rubber, leather and metal, in that order.

At Ideal Joyeros, we will show you how to clean your watch bracelet, no matter the material, so you can keep your timepiece in optimal conditions.

How to clean rubber belts

Rubber straps are known for their comfort and longevity. However, they also tend to accumulate more dirt and bacteria than other materials. Here’s how to clean them effectively:

  1. Prepare soapy water: Put a few drops of dish soap in a bowl of lukewarm water.
  2. Initial cleaning: Dip a microfibre or cotton cloth in the soapy water solution and use it to clean the rubber or silicone strap.
  3. Thorough cleaning: If the strap is not yet completely clean, soak it in water for a few minutes, taking care not to get your watch case wet if your watch is not water resistant. Then place it on the cloth and use a toothbrush to rub the strap in gentle circular motions.
  4. Stubborn stains: If there are stubborn stains, you can apply a little baking soda and scrub again with the toothbrush.

Examples of watches with rubber bracelets

How to clean leather straps

Leather is a material that also requires special care, as it is a material that absorbs sweat and also needs to be kept moisturised. Follow these steps to clean the leather strap of your watch:

1. Remove the strap: Before cleaning, remove the strap from the watch to protect the case and dial.

2. Surface cleaning: Wipe the strap with a dry cloth to remove dust and surface dirt.

3. Soap cleaning: Use a neutral pH soap and a slightly damp microfibre or cloth to clean the strap in gentle circular motions.

4. Remove soap residue: Rinse the cloth and remove the soap residue from the strap.

5. Dry naturally: Let the bracelet dry on its own, avoiding exposure to direct sunlight or heat sources.

6. Apply leather moisturiser: Once the strap is dry, apply a few drops of leather moisturiser and spread it gently with the help of a clean chamois.

Examples of watches with leather straps

How to clean stainless steel bracelets

A stainless steel watch tends to lose its lustre over time and can accumulate dirt and dust on the links of the strap, which accelerates wear and tear. Despite their water resistance, steel watches can rust if they are frequently submerged or come into contact with sweat.

If you own a steel dive watch and wear it regularly in the water, it’s important to keep it clean so that it stays in good condition over time. Learn how to clean a stainless steel bracelet the right way:

1. Initial cleaning: Wipe the strap with a microfibre cloth to remove surface dust.

2. Cleaning with glass cleaner or vinegar: Dampen the cloth with glass cleaner or white vinegar and gently rub the stainless steel in a circular motion.

3. Stubborn stains: If the stains persist, use a toothbrush and the cleaning liquid to access difficult areas.

4. Use of bicarbonate: In cases of heavy soiling, you can make a paste of baking soda and water, apply it with a cloth and rub gently.

Examples of watches with steel bracelets

How to clean ceramic belts

Nowadays there are watchmakers who innovate with new materials, as is the case of Hublot with ceramics. If you want to learn how to clean the strap of your ceramic watch, here are the steps.

  1. Remove the bracelet from the watch. This will make it easier to access all parts of the strap and avoid damaging the watch mechanism with water or cleaning products. If you do not know how to do this, it is best to consult your watch’s manual or consult a professional.
  2. Prepare a solution. Mix warm water and neutral soap in a container. Do not use detergents, bleach, alcohol or abrasive products that may scratch or discolour the ceramic.
  3. Soak the bracelet. Place the watch band under the solution for a few minutes to soften the dirt. Then gently scrub each link of the bracelet with a toothbrush or cloth, paying special attention to the grooves and edges.
  4. Rinse the strap. Rinse the bracelet with clean water and dry it with a dry cloth. Be sure to remove all moisture to prevent rusting of the metal parts of the bracelet.

Watches with ceramic bracelet

How to clean a gold bracelet

The same applies to gold straps. It is necessary to keep them clean if we don’t want them to wear out and devalue. Here we leave you the instructions so that you can easily clean your own gold strap.

1. Preparation of the cleaning mixture. Put the jewellery in a bowl of warm water and add a small amount of diluted soap. Make sure the jewellery is completely submerged in the mixture.

2. Soaking the jewellery. Let the jewellery sit in the mixture of warm water and diluted soap for up to 15 minutes. This will allow the dirt and residue to soften.

3. Gentle cleaning. If the jewellery is very dirty, you can use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the jewellery. Use circular motions to remove accumulated dirt.

4. Rinse. After cleaning the jewellery, remove it from the mixture and rinse it with warm water. Be sure to completely remove all soap and residue.

5. Drying. Dry the jewellery carefully using a soft cloth or paper. Make sure they are completely dry before storing or wearing them again.

Examples of watches with gold bracelets

Contact Ideal Joyeros technical service

If you wish, in our watch shops in Tenerife, Marbella, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura you will find the watch technical service of Ideal Joyeros to carry out the maintenance of your watch.




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