Stainless steel is a tough metal, which is why it’s a popular material for watches. But even though it’s not prone to scratches, it can still lose its shine when dirt builds up on the surface. Fortunately, with a few household items and regular cleaning, you can remove the grime and keep your watch looking new.

Things You'll Need

Rub the surface of the watch with a soft cloth to remove dirt. Often, grime collects in crevices in the band and around the watch face. If this is the case, use a dry toothbrush to reach into the spaces and dislodge dirt.

Apply glass cleaner to a soft cloth and thoroughly rub all sides of the watch face. Or, for a more natural approach, use plain white vinegar.

Then, dip the brush into the glass cleaner or vinegar and scrub the band on the top and bottom. Wipe clean with the cloth.

If the watch band is removable, pour glass cleaner or vinegar into a cup. Remove the band from the face, and soak the band in the cleaner for 15 minutes. Remove the watch band and scrub with brush.

Rinse the watch band with water; be careful not to get the watch face wet if the band is still attached and the watch is not water-resistant. Apply a small amount of water to the cloth, wring it out, and wipe the face clean.

If these steps aren’t sufficient, apply a small amount of baking soda to a clean, wet cloth and rub directly onto the band, avoiding the watch face. Rinse the watch band thoroughly, and wipe it dry with a cloth.


  • If you’d prefer to purchase a cleaning product for your jewelry, use one that specifies it’s made for stainless steel.

References and Resources

Tips for cleaning jewelry