1/14/2021 9:22 AM
How to disinfect a watch in a safe way?
A watch is not only a useful device that shows time and features a stopwatch, but also an elegant accessory that complements our outfit. Therefore, it’s good to know how to take care of our treasure, so that it serves us for years, always shines, looks clean, and at the same time is completely safe for our health.
How to take care of a watch?
We wear a watch almost every day. We wear it to work, for business and friends’ meetings, for a walk or when shopping. Changes in the watch may seem completely unnoticeable at first glance, but everything we wear (even an expensive watch) collects dust, moisture and bacteria. How to make our watch shine and look great? What cleaning products are safe for our health? Everything depends, of course, on the type of watch. Watches should be cleaned at least once every six months (unless they are very dirty) in order to maintain their shine and functionality. If you have a smartwatch, it is worth reading the specifications of this device before taking care of it. You should read about the water resistance of the watch, the bracelet and the type of crystal (mineral, polyamide, sapphire, Gorilla Glass).
A clean smartwatch
It is best to clean the smartwatch carefully with a damp microfibre or cotton cloth. The cloth can be also sprayed with a small amount of glass cleaner or soaked with a little dishwashing liquid. The watch crystal must be cleaned very carefully as mineral and polyamide crystals are not highly scratch-resistant. Therefore, polishing should be extremely gentle. After washing and gently wiping the crystal you can dry it with a cloth. The spaces by the case and on the back of the case should be cleaned gently with a toothpick or cotton buds. You should avoid opening the case to clean the inside of the watch, as you may lose the manufacturer’s warranty. If you think that there is something wrong with the watch movement, you should have your watch serviced under the warranty. If you want to disinfect your watch, you can use tiny gauze swabs soaked in alcohol. Before using the gauze swab on the proper part, however, use it first on a tiny, invisible surface to check if the silicone or rubber does not discolour or tarnish.
How to clean a traditional watch?
It is easier to clean a watch with water-resistance of at least 50m (5 ATM) because such a watch can be gently rinsed under the stream of tap water (watch out for the water pressure), dried with a cloth and left to dry.
Silver and gold watches
A 925 silver watch is soft and susceptible to mechanical damage (scratches and impacts) as well as patina (darkening). Our silver watch can be easily cleaned with a cloth soaked in a special liquid for silver jewellery. We can buy such a cloth practically in every jewellerer’s or watchmaker’s shop. The cloth is not only comfortable and safe to use, but also it can cope with patina. You will safely polish with this cloth all silver elements. If you do not have such a cloth at hand, you can easily clean your watch with water and salt (make sure that the solution is unsaturated so that the salt crystals do not scratch the silver) or a paste of baking soda, which you will make from a mixture of water and soda. Moreover, soda has strong antibacterial properties so you can, by the way, safely disinfect your watch.
Similarly, a gold watch can be cleaned with a special cloth used for cleaning gold, which is usually available in jewellerer’s or watchmaker’s shops. Gold does not react with other elements, excluding chlorine, nitrogen and hydrochloric acid. All you need to do to disinfect and clean your gold watch is to wipe it with a cloth using water and soap. It is worth remembering that there are many types of gold. The lower the fineness of gold, the more delicate the gold and gilded elements should be cleaned.
A leather strap is the most common type of strap used in watches. Leather straps shouldn’t come in contact with hazardous liquids. They should be cleaned very carefully as their so-called top coat may wear through as a result of the intense care. The top coat protects the skin from sweat, dust and grease. Therefore, the leather strap should be cleaned gently using products for cleaning leather (e.g. upholstery in the car). After drying, it is worth treating the strap with a leather impregnation product, which is available in almost all shoe and specialist shops. In summer, it is good to loosen the leather strap on the wrist to reduce the absorption of sweat.
Silicone and rubber bands
More and more watches available on the market are fastened with a strong silicone or rubber band. How to clean it after a workout in the gym or running in the park? The silicone band can be cleaned under running water with mild soap. Stronger detergents may irreversibly discolour our band. That is why it’s recommended to use the product first on a small invisible surface to make sure it won’t damage the band (e.g. at the interior side by the clasp).
Thanks to the regular cleaning, you will enjoy your watch for a long time and take care of your health at the same time. A sweaty leather strap can cause allergic reactions, while dust on the watch can have the adverse effect on allergy sufferers etc. However, if you are afraid of taking care of your watch on your own, give your timepiece to a specialist (e.g. a watchmaker or an experienced person), who will safely clean your watch and give it back in pristine condition.