A Watch Owner’s Guide to Cleaning Metal Bracelets

As seasons change and the weather fluctuates, almost everything we wear changes as well.

From wearing coats in the winter months to opting for a cool and crisp polo and shorts in the summer, there’s no doubt that the weather plays a significant part in how we dress ourselves up. Although nearly everything we put on changes depending on what time of year it is, the same can’t necessarily be said for the watches on our wrists.

Whether you’ve got a PADI Turtle, a Sumo, or a Grand Seiko, you will want your watches to stay the same all-year-round. In the case of watches with metal bracelets, in particular, no changes need to be made at all solely because they fit in with any outfit at any time.

Now, while it’s easy to see why metal bracelet watches are a mainstay in any outfit regardless of the time of the year, one aspect isn’t as straightforward: the need to clean it regularly.

Why it pays to clean your metal bracelet

Compared to other types of straps, metal bracelets are prone to becoming dirt magnets of muck, sweat, and grime that get picked up over regular use.

Unless you change your straps every day, your metal bracelets have probably reached that point where they’re faded, a little beat up, and packed with unsightly and foul-smelling grey spots in between the links. Although many wearers love to claim that such problems can be taken care of with a full service every five years, there’s no excuse for being complacent in between that period.

All you need to know about proper cleaning

If your Seiko timepiece has been experiencing unsightly changes that may be permanent if you don’t act fast enough, you may be thinking about a thorough clean. Thankfully, you won’t need to go through some unwanted trial-and-error experiences because we’ve got you covered with this quick and easy guide:

What to avoid

Generally, there are two types of substances that you’ll want to avoid when cleaning your watch’s metal bracelets: lye and ammonia. Seeing that these two substances are quite abrasive when they come into contact with stainless steel and metal, they’re a must-avoid if you don’t want to end up giving your watch an unsightly finish.

Prepping the surface

When it comes to deep cleans, no session should stop without having a full prep of the surface before applying other cleaning chemicals or solutions.

First, rinse your metal bracelet under running water so that you can ease up the dirt on the surface and make it easier to remove. After a proper rinse, dry and wipe the bracelet with a soft cloth to remove the black deposits and other bits of grit that can act like sandpaper on the finish of your metal bracelet.

(It’s worth noting that this same rinse-dry-wipe technique is also great for a regular daily cleaning session so that you won’t have to worry about the pains of long-term accumulation!)

Looking into the details

After a general rinse and wipe, you can start working on the spaces between your metal bracelet’s links because these portions are the most susceptible to storing grime and dirt.

Usually, a q-tip in between the gaps can help remove a buildup of sweat and regular wear elements. However, you can’t be too intensive because it can result in an abrasion if you aren’t careful.

Once you have a soft soap that doesn’t have any harsh ingredients, you can use a one-part soap and three or four parts water solution to scrub the links clean with a soft brush. With the soft brush, make small circles for even coverage, go in between the gaps again, and then wash all the suds off with a light rinse of warm water!


When it comes to keeping watches clean, remember that you’ll need to do the cleaning quite frequently if dealing with a timepiece with a metal bracelet. With the help of this quick and straightforward guide, you’ll be able to keep your beloved Seiko timepiece in perfect shape without doing anything drastic or risking high repair and cleaning costs!

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