Hamilton - How to clean leather watch band

How to Clean a Leather Watch Strap: 5 Simple Guides

It's easy and a wise thing to do for your favorite leather strap

Date Published
March 11, 2022
Author
Gnomon Watches
Category
Shop Highlights

Part of taking care of your watches definitely includes taking care of the straps. It might seem just a mere thing but keeping your strap all clean and shiny would definitely elevate its appearance in the long run as well as elevate your style. One of the most common types of watch straps is made of leather. This type of strap material needs special care to avoid any damage or cracking. So, how to clean leather watch strap?

Versatility is one word that I’d use to describe leather watch straps. This watch accessory goes well with almost any kind of activity, be it a formal meeting with a client or daily use for hanging out with friends. Having a leather strap on my wrist is one of my favorites as it performs both chic and elegant appearance. 

Therefore, keeping the leather watch strap is as important as keeping the watch to keep functioning. The steps in how to clean leather watch straps or bands are also simple and can even be done at home. Keep reading the rest to find the best way to clean leather watch straps.

How to clean leather watch strap

The steps in how to clean a leather watch strap still can be considered easy as you can do it by yourself at home. Make sure to get a comfortable place before you clean the strap. It’s best to do it on the table so that every material you need could be easier to reach and find.

The material you need

Below is the materials you require in how to clean leather watch strap:

  1. Water
  2. Dry cloth or ideally you could use microfiber as it’s soft and safe to remove the dirt or other residue on the strap’s surface.
  3. Mild liquid soap to do double-cleansing on the strap. Make sure to choose the one without any harsh chemicals to avoid damage to your strap.
  4. Leather conditioner that works the same as a hair conditioner. Using this material, you could make a better appearance for your leather strap.

The steps in how to clean leather watch strap

1. Remove the leather strap

The first step in how to clean the leather watch band is to remove your strap from the watch. Every wristwatch has a different type of mechanism to take off its strap, whether it uses spring bars, screw-in lug bars, or simply a quick-release mechanism. 

You could use a spring bar tool to help remove them. Removing the strap from the watch is important to keep your watch case and dial safe, such as splashing water.

2. Wipe the leather strap

Now that you have removed the strap, you can start wiping the strap gently with microfiber. This process will take any dust, grime, and dirt off the surface. The first step of cleaning is still using a dry cloth because you need to make sure there won’t be any dry particles when using soapy water. 

While cleaning the strap, do it in such a gentle way because leather is a material that could easily crease and wrinkle. Leather materials are indeed flexible and pliable but when it is handled improperly you might find a crack on its surface.

3. Clean the leather using soap

Wet cleaning is the next step of how to clean leather watch bands. Use a separate cloth or microfiber, damp in warm water, and add a small amount of mild liquid soap. Always be noted that leather materials can easily be damaged. Therefore, make sure to give a gentle rub while cleaning your leather strap with soapy water. Too much soap can be harmful to the material, so use a considerate amount of water and soap. 

It is recommended to do the cleaning in a circular motion. That way, you wouldn’t damage the surface of the strap while removing the remaining dirt or grime in the leather. 

After a thorough cleaning, clean the soapy cloth or microfiber to remove the soap residue. Then, squeeze the cloth until it damps and use it to wipe the leather strap lightly. That way you could clean the soap residue from the strap. 

4. Dry the strap

The word ‘dry’ doesn’t mean that you can put it directly under the sunlight or use any other heat source. The best practice to dry your leather watch strap is to let it air-dry or dry out naturally. 

Leaving the strap to dry under direct heat would leave the same effect as using too much soap. It can make the straps crack or any further damage. 

5. Use leather conditioner

The last step of how to clean a leather watch band is to use a leather conditioner. Once your strap is perfectly dry you could apply an appropriate amount of leather conditioner on its surface or follow the instructions as mentioned on the conditioner’s bottle. 

This step is actually optional yet recommended to keep maintaining the quality of leather straps. Make sure that you use a leather conditioner specified for jewelry, watches, or clothing. Otherwise, the chemical in leather conditioner for furniture might be too harsh for your skin. 

See also: Men’s Brown Leather Watches: Strapping your Overall Look

Why leather watch strap requires special care

There are several important things to know about having leather watch straps. It’s definitely versatile for any kind of activity but taking care of this strap needs more attention rather than any other materials, such as silicone or metal. 

Firstly, a leather strap can absorb sweat and dirt from your skin. It’s impossible to not give any effect to the strap and as a result, it would make the leather worn out and discolored. Without proper care, you might find the strap looking unpleasant within a short time. 

The next thing to know about the leather strap is its sensitivity to water and sunlight. These external factors can make the material brittle and leave cracks on your strap. Definitely, you would hate that sight of cracks on your favorite leather straps. Therefore, understanding how to clean leather watch bands is crucial to keep the strap looking great and stylish for longer. Your time and effort in taking care of them would be well-paid off.

How often should you clean the leather watch strap?

As previously mentioned about leather strap’s sensitivity, it’s recommended to have a routine cleaning for your straps. Once every other week is good as it’s best to keep the strap always clean and safe from any damage. In addition to that,  your daily use and weather conditions also determine how often you should clean leather watch straps.

If you live in a tropical or humid area, I would like to recommend cleaning the straps more often, a simple wiping would do, as the perspiration could be higher. Basically, you need to keep the leather strap free from any dirt and dry from sweat. Other than that, cleaning the leather strap can simply be determined by how it looks and smells.

After all, leather’s unique characteristics are the things you should pay attention to. As you understand, you can stay with your favorite leather straps for a long time in great condition. 

Cleaning your leather watch strap regularly is crucial, especially concerning the characteristics of leather materials. After all, the steps you need to do in how to clean leather watch strap are considerably easy and can be done at home. Therefore, make sure to do it on a regular basis or whenever your strap doesn’t look and smell any good.

Curious about your metal strap? Check our guide to clean metal watch strap.

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You might also like: How to Clean Rubber Watch Band from Dirt and Grime

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.

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