Simple & Effective Rolex Watch Cleaning Tips
As buyers and sellers of high-quality watches, we are well-placed to provide some general cleaning tips and a step-by-step guide for cleaning your Rolex. If you like to wear your Rolex every day, something that every Rolex watch model is designed for, it is normal for it to become dirty, greasy, or otherwise marked, smeared or streaked with bits of fleck, fluff, dust and rubbish.
Not to worry, there are a few practical cleaning tips you can try. If you want to sell an unwanted or unused Rolex watch, we can help you to avoid all auction fees with our unique private buying service. Get in touch to book a valuation with us, which is completely obligation-free.
Tips to Avoid Cleaning Your Watch Too Often
There are a few options for cleaning, some of which you can try at home and others you can do only through an official Rolex servicing, something that you should aim to do every 5 to 10 years. But, most people do not want to waste time cleaning their watch too frequently.
Cleanliness all depends on the use of your watch, so if you have a Datejust that you just wear at home it stands to reason it may stay a bit cleaner than a Submariner you take on diving trips.
However, you can reduce the need for cleaning with good habits. Top tips include the following:
- Rinse your watch in the shower: If you wear a watch in the shower you will naturally rinse the bracelet and timepiece very effectively, so this is a fine habit to adopt. If you take baths, just rinse the watch in warm and soapy water when you wash your hands.
- Take it off at the end of each day: You could sleep with your watch and it will work perfectly throughout its entire lifecycle, provided that you care for it correctly, but taking it off in bed prevents scuff marks and sweat buildup in the bracelet overnight.
- Avoid messy activities while wearing your watch: Dirt and grime will accumulate over time, which is normal and nothing to worry about. But if you are doing anything particularly messy, like cooking, it may be a good idea to take the watch off your wrist.
The Rolex Oyster case is very well-constructed and creates a hermetic seal, meaning the inside of the watch mechanism is safe in a completely enclosed environment. There is no possibility of any water ingress affecting the watch’s mechanism unless there is damage to the case.
Before You Start… Check the Crown and Make Sure It is Locked!
First off, make sure that you screw in the crown before cleaning. You will be able to clean your Rolex watch with a liquid solution or soapy water if the crown is in. In many cases, the double and triple lock systems of various diving watches will allow you to avoid any damage regardless – but locking the crown is a key best practice and an essential first step for everyone to follow.
So, once you’ve screwed down the crown, you can try some of the following methods for easily cleaning your Rolex watch at home. These simple, east tips will work well for stainless steel, white and yellow gold, rose gold, platinum and any other type of Rolex material:
- Use a Microfiber Cloth
A simple microfibre cloth, similar to what you might clean your flat screen television or other gadgets with, will make a big difference to streaks or smears on the watch’s crystal glass and can be effective for removing moisture marks and dust from the bracelet too.
Microfibre cloths are excellent when you are dealing with dust particles in difficult-to-reach places, such as the nooks and crannies of the bezel or around the screws and other bits near the winding crown. A microfibre cloth is also a completely non-invasive method of cleaning.
- Invest in a Rolex Watch Cleaning Kit
You can buy a Rolex watch cleaning kit to take the anxiety out of cleaning the smaller parts of the watch. While you should not open the case, many of these kits have ultra-small watchmaker screwdrivers, they can help you to remove, clean and retighten the screws around the bracelet.
There are many watch maintenance and repair kits, which are very useful for things like cleaning the watch straps or any loose parts. These give you a good chance for cleaning, but you should never try to perform any sort of dissection of the watch as you are likely to damage it otherwise.
- Use a Soft-Bristled Brush
A simple, soft-bristled brush will be useful for getting to all the edge areas of the watch face, between links in the bracelet and other hard-to-reach areas. It is worth investing in a brush for regular in-depth care and an occasional rummage in the nooks and crannies of the watch.
The finely-crafted Rolex watch will wow you visually, but sometimes it can feel so minute and intricately crafted that it is virtually impossible to clean. The bendy, sweeping capabilities of the bristled brush will reach every area and can provide enough force to remove any build-up.
- Use a Paper Towel
If you have an acute Rolex watch cleaning need, say you spill food on it while eating, you can take an ordinary piece of kitchen paper towelling to give a particularly dirty Rolex a good scrub. It will not harm the watch and it is a very simple practice should anything get on it in future.
For a bit of a deeper cleaning, you can try spraying a bit of lens solution or a gentle cleaner onto the paper towel. The extra moisture will create more of a clean surface after wiping, especially for things like food, so it is a good idea if you want a more thorough, but still quick, clean.
- Rinse in Soap and Water
The most tried and true method of cleaning your Rolex watch is a good rinse. You can use dish soap or hand soap, the key is simply to avoid all of the very strong chemicals that come with more rugged cleaners. Hand soap or dish soap is sufficient, and you only need a few drops.
You can use the following steps to create your soapy water solution:
- FIll a small bowl with warm water, which means lukewarm and not hot! Very hot water might damage a Rolex watch, particularly after prolonged exposure
- Add a small amount of mild soap, there is no set amount but a short squirt or little piece of soap should be enough to create an effective cleaning solution
- Mix the water a bit with your hands, so that the soap dissolves and your cleaning solution contains an even balance of soap suds
- With the watch in your hand, place it in the water for a second, then hold it outside of the water so you can begin cleaning. This allows the water to coat the watch surface
- Give the watch a good scrub, either with your soft-bristled brush, soft cloth or a piece of wet kitchen paper towelling
- Rinse the watch in freshwater, with no soap – you can do this in a separate bowl or by refilling the bowl with fresh water, or you can just rinse it in fresh water under the tap
- Dry the watch, the best way to do this is with a dry microfiber cloth or a dry piece of kitchen paper towelling. A normal towel, so long as it is clean, will also suffice
Many older models may have less water resistance, so be sure the watch is undamaged. If you are worried about water ingress, try to remember that every Oyster case is completely water resistant and models like the Submariner or Sea-Dweller withstand huge levels of pressure.
Rolex Watch Cleaning Tips from Luxury Watch Experts
We buy and sell a range of luxury watches, so we understand the best care tips for different types. As they are of such a high quality, Rolex watches are pretty simple to clean with at-home methods, notably just soap and water, but other methods can get a deeper clean at home too.
While you will typically go for a Rolex servicing only once every 5 to 10 years, you will get a professional cleaning service as part of any repairs from your watchmaker and licensed Rolex service provider. It is worth doing for more thorough cleaning of your watch, inside and out.
Remember that Rolex watch cleaning and maintenance is vital for keeping the watch in proper working order, which means good cleaning can reduce the likelihood of expensive repair costs.
If you have a Rolex watch that you no longer want or need, we will buy it with no auction fees or deductions. Please feel free to get in touch with us to book your free valuation today.
Rolex Watch Cleaning Explained
Home Rolex watch cleaning and maintenance kits can help you to more thoroughly clean the straps and external features of your case, but they are not strictly necessary and most cleaning can be done in a completely non-invasive way. Just remember to lock the crown of the watch!
You can clean your Rolex case and bracelet quite easily at home and gentle cleaning will not damage the watch in any way. For more effective cleaning, you should avoid high-temperature water and strong cleaning substances, which can potentially damage the inside and surface.
As leading buyers of a wide range of Rolex watches as part of our private buying service, we have a great experience with cleaning. Take a look at our current stock of luxury watches for more details on buying or get in touch with us to sell your Rolex watch after a free, private valuation.