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Thread: Rolex Watch Cleaning OCD!

  1. #1
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    Rolex Watch Cleaning OCD!

    I am a bit OCD when it comes to my Rolex (I am sure others are the same).

    I have a full gold Rolex Submariner. Anyone who knows gold knows that 18K gold is very soft and can scratch easily (especially on the polished parts of the watch). 18K gold also wears quickly compared to steel and the biggest contributor to 18K gold wearing away is a dirty watch - dirt, dust and sweat sticks together in-between the links etc and acts like a grinding paste and wears away at the gold - which is why it is important to keep it clean.

    Below is my process for cleaning (everyone has their own method but just wanted to share mine).

    IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER METHODS FEEL FREE TO SHARE THEM OR CRITISISE MY PROCESS SO WE CAN ALL LEARN. ANYWAY, HERE GOES:



    1. SCREW IN THE CROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Double check step 1.

    3. Run the watch under a luke warm tap to soft any dirt (a really dirty watch can be left to soak in luke warm water)

    4. I use plant based dishwashing soap and massage it into the watch with my finger and thumb making it really sudsy. Some people use a babies tooth brush for this step but it can actually leave micro fine scratches to 18k gold

    5. Rinse watch under luke warm tap

    6. Repeat steps 1 to 5

    7. Final rinse watch with bottled water (i.e not hard water) THIS HELPS PREVENT HARD WATER SPOTS ON THE WATCH.

    8. Dab dry with microfibre cloth (some people use a hairdryer to speed this step up. If you do then TAKE CARE! ONLY USE A GENTLE AND VERY LOW HEAT FROM A DISTANCE

    9. Stare at the beauty of your watch!


    Anyone have any other methods or tips?

  2. #2
    Bleach and a Brillo pad will do it mate. Seriously though. Some enthusiast believe any detergents may have a negative affect on the seal.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Any respectable full gold Rolex owner should have the following cleaning regime. Hand to butler and say clean it.

  4. #4
    Always use a soft paint bristle brush - find toothbrush too abrasive.And use decent car shampoo instead of fairy liquid as it does not contain salt.

    Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Put it in the dishwasher and pretend it's an ultrasonic clean.

  6. #6
    Jet-wash for those persistent bits of dirt?

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Just stick mine in a pillow case in the washing machine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles View Post
    Bleach and a Brillo pad will do it mate. Seriously though. Some enthusiast believe any detergents may have a negative affect on the seal.

    LOL! What about a wire brush for the really dirty bits?!


    I have heard this too - that's why I opt for plant based washing up liquid. I heard that some people use babies shampoo which I may try

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpjsavage View Post
    Jet-wash for those persistent bits of dirt?

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    good idea that! I wonder if the local car wash guys can do it for me. I may strap the watch around my alloy wheel and get them to do it for free when I get my car cleaned next!

  10. #10
    Grand Master
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    I don't bother cleaning mine.

    please bear in mind, this is not TRF or WUS.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcneill View Post
    Always use a soft paint bristle brush - find toothbrush too abrasive.And use decent car shampoo instead of fairy liquid as it does not contain salt.

    Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk

    ah that's interesting. I understand that the worry with soaps is the negative effect it can have on the seals. I assume they could perish.


    the Rolex manual states clean with "soapy water" - we just need to know what kind of soap!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadog1408 View Post
    I don't bother cleaning mine.

    please bear in mind, this is not TRF or WUS.
    Does it stink? lol.

    I remember one of my old daily wearer casios I had from age of 15- 25. I never cleaned that and every so often it would STINK!!!!

  13. #13
    Grand Master
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    It gets enough in water time not to smell.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadog1408 View Post
    It gets enough in water time not to smell.

    so did mine but it still stunk after all those years! I did wear it for sports though! you should treat yours to a special Easter wash!

  15. #15
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles View Post
    Bleach and a Brillo pad will do it mate. Seriously though. Some enthusiast believe any detergents may have a negative affect on the seal.
    You're about as funny as a burst lip.

  16. #16
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadog1408 View Post
    I don't bother cleaning mine.

    please bear in mind, this is not TRF or WUS.

    Thank you for that. I thought I'd awoken from a coma into a parallel universe.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie88888 View Post
    so did mine but it still stunk after all those years! I did wear it for sports though! you should treat yours to a special Easter wash!
    Don't get into a game of Top Trumps with him about this...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Hotel View Post
    You're about as funny as a burst lip.
    I have never heard that expression for sarcasm, but I am sat here laughing my head off!! that's awesome!! I'm going to start using that expression!!! lol!!!!!!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    Thank you for that. I thought I'd awoken from a coma into a parallel universe.
    I enjoyed WUS prior to being banned

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Hotel View Post
    Don't get into a game of Top Trumps with him about this...

    lol!!! stink level "100"

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Hotel View Post
    You're about as funny as a burst lip.
    That's a term I haven't heard before, did you make it up?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by cookie88888 View Post
    good idea that! I wonder if the local car wash guys can do it for me. I may strap the watch around my alloy wheel and get them to do it for free when I get my car cleaned next!
    Your as funny as a burst lip

  23. #23
    Master bobbee's Avatar
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    You are Philip Stahl, and I claim my five euros.

  24. #24
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    Agree with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    Thank you for that. I thought I'd awoken from a coma into a parallel universe.

    If I had a Gold Rolex - OP not sure why this is restricted to Rolex watches - there is not specific brand forums here:


    1. Detach watch head from bracelet
    2. Clean bracelet in ultrasonic cleaner
    3. Clean watch head separately with soft lint free cloth (no need for soap and/or water)
    4. Dry bracelet with soft lint free cloth
    5. Attach watch head to bracelet

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Agree with this:




    If I had a Gold Rolex - OP not sure why this is restricted to Rolex watches - there is not specific brand forums here:


    1. Detach watch head from bracelet
    2. Clean bracelet in ultrasonic cleaner
    3. Clean watch head separately with soft lint free cloth (no need for soap and/or water)
    4. Dry bracelet with soft lint free cloth
    5. Attach watch head to bracelet

    can be used on all watches I suppose. I just wanted to make it more specific to gold watches as I have seen people mess up there 18k pieces before. I like your method

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles View Post
    Your as funny as a burst lip
    it was only funny once

  26. #26
    Master endo's Avatar
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    Chuck them in an ultrasonic and have a cuppa while you wait.


  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcneill View Post
    Always use a soft paint bristle brush - find toothbrush too abrasive.And use decent car shampoo instead of fairy liquid as it does not contain salt.

    Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk
    Salt will do no harm whatsoever provided the watch is rinsed in clean water.

    Fairy liquid’s what I use, but I always rinse the watch in clean water to get rid of detergent residues.

    Best way to restore the shine on gold (even 18ct) is with a rouge cloth, but only on the polished sections. Mask off the brushed areas to avoid contact.

  28. #28
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    It feels strange at first but you soon get used to it...


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie88888 View Post
    Below is my process for cleaning (everyone has their own method but just wanted to share mine).

    IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER METHODS FEEL FREE TO SHARE THEM OR CRITISISE MY PROCESS SO WE CAN ALL LEARN. ANYWAY, HERE GOES:
    Given you owned your watch for all of two weeks, how often have you cleaned it like that?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    Given you owned your watch for all of two weeks, how often have you cleaned it like that?

    once - came up a beauty! surprising how much grease and oils get on the watch just from your skin

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Just stick mine in a pillow case in the washing machine.
    It waasn't deliberate, but I did the same thing in the pocket of a pair of jeans and it brought the watch up beautifully clean - albeit it was a gold DJ, not a Sub.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  32. #32
    Master
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    I think people underestimate the stability and resilience of nitrile ring seals. These are often used in chemical environments and dynamic service. Soap wont harm them unless they're very old indeed.

  33. #33
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    Slight deviation but as the subject of ultrasonic cleaners came up. May I ask if it is okay to use on a bracelet with screw on links. Can the process loosen the screws?

  34. #34
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie88888 View Post
    I am a bit OCD when it comes to my Rolex (I am sure others are the same).

    I have a full gold Rolex Submariner. Anyone who knows gold knows that 18K gold is very soft and can scratch easily (especially on the polished parts of the watch). 18K gold also wears quickly compared to steel and the biggest contributor to 18K gold wearing away is a dirty watch - dirt, dust and sweat sticks together in-between the links etc and acts like a grinding paste and wears away at the gold - which is why it is important to keep it clean.

    Below is my process for cleaning (everyone has their own method but just wanted to share mine).

    IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER METHODS FEEL FREE TO SHARE THEM OR CRITISISE MY PROCESS SO WE CAN ALL LEARN. ANYWAY, HERE GOES:



    1. SCREW IN THE CROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Double check step 1.

    3. Run the watch under a luke warm tap to soft any dirt (a really dirty watch can be left to soak in luke warm water)

    4. I use plant based dishwashing soap and massage it into the watch with my finger and thumb making it really sudsy. Some people use a babies tooth brush for this step but it can actually leave micro fine scratches to 18k gold

    5. Rinse watch under luke warm tap

    6. Repeat steps 1 to 5

    7. Final rinse watch with bottled water (i.e not hard water) THIS HELPS PREVENT HARD WATER SPOTS ON THE WATCH.

    8. Dab dry with microfibre cloth (some people use a hairdryer to speed this step up. If you do then TAKE CARE! ONLY USE A GENTLE AND VERY LOW HEAT FROM A DISTANCE

    9. Stare at the beauty of your watch!


    Anyone have any other methods or tips?
    Don’t get polishing that mate the gold plate will peel away!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  35. #35
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post
    Slight deviation but as the subject of ultrasonic cleaners came up. May I ask if it is okay to use on a bracelet with screw on links. Can the process loosen the screws?
    Far as I know ultrasonic is fine for bracelets - always worth just applying a tiny bit of tightening torque to the screwed links to be safe though

  36. #36
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    Board aeroplane turn left.

    Sip bubbly and request a vodka.

    Use the vodka and amenity kit toothbrush to clean the crud from the watch.

  37. #37
    I just give my watches to butler, don't know how he cleans them.

  38. #38
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middo View Post
    Board aeroplane turn left.

    Sip bubbly and request a vodka.

    Use the vodka and amenity kit toothbrush to clean the crud from the watch.
    PMSL.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Middo View Post
    Board aeroplane turn left.

    Sip bubbly and request a vodka.

    Use the vodka and amenity kit toothbrush to clean the crud from the watch.
    How does one achieve a clean during lockdown?

  40. #40
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    How does one achieve a clean during lockdown?
    Private jet...
    Would not want to sit with the poor in first class.
    You can social distance at 36000 feet

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    How does one achieve a clean during lockdown?
    Flights are still going.

  42. #42
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middo View Post
    Flights are still going.
    Not sure they are serving bubbles on cargo flights though?

  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    Not sure they are serving bubbles on cargo flights though?
    I normally pop down to steerage and drink the foaming handwash if the bar runs dry up front.

  44. #44
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    Liquid hand soap and a soft toothbrush for me

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Normunds View Post
    I just give my watches to butler, don't know how he cleans them.
    You don’t have a watch guy?

  46. #46
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    I accidentally put a watch though my washing machine last year, it was in a trouser pocket.

    though only rated splash proof no water got in,it only chipped the crystal a little on one edge and is still perfectly wearable

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    Far as I know ultrasonic is fine for bracelets - always worth just applying a tiny bit of tightening torque to the screwed links to be safe though
    Thank you.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    You don’t have a watch guy?
    my butler does pretty decent job, so I figured why bother.

  49. #49
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    Soft toothbrush and some soap, then a good rinse.

  50. #50
    Craftsman petay993's Avatar
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    Our rather excitable OP seems to have gone a bit quiet.

    Perhaps he is busy washing and cleaning his reps/frankens/FAKES

    Hope he has had them pressure tested

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