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Thread: How to clean a leather watch strap

  1. #1

    How to clean a leather watch strap

    As the title says. I just bought a pre owned watch of which the OG strap is in great condition but does unfortunately have some sweat marks & smell of the previous owners cologne. What's the best way to alleviate this?

    It's a crocodile/alligator strap with beige calfskin lining. It's mainly the lining I want to clean.

    I considered buying a new strap but I costs £520 so that's out of the question. Yes I can use aftermarket straps but I kinda like the strap it came with.

    Sent from my SM-S911B using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    I think sticking it in the freezer for a week is supposed to help with bacterial smells - maybe not so much with cologne, but worth a try I'd say as non-destructive.

  3. #3
    A quick google search came up with this

    Might give it a go, in the meantime any other tips would he appreciated.

    Sent from my SM-S911B using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Easy answer mate, put the watch on a NATO strap.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Try some leather conditioner and sprinkle a bit of baking soda on, let it sit a couple of days, wipe off the baking soda and condition it again.

  6. #6
    Saphir has a very good range of cleaners, conditioners, colour restorers and polishes for leather. Maybe something like Saphir Renovator for a watch strap?

    Saddle soap? Susie always uses it on The Repair Shop. Then conditioner.

    I have also deep cleaned leather by slinging it in the washing machine on a cold wash with DriPak Pure Liquid Soap. Air dry at room temperature. Takes time, then in with Saphir conditioners and finishes. Used Pecard on a 1960s flying jacket which worked well.

    Have also deep cleaned leather with acetone, shoe leather specifically.

    There's a whole world with enthralling videos on YouTube about cleaning and restoring vintage shoes and boots. Seems leather stands up well to wear and robust cleaning methods. Compulsive viewing for me in recent times along with videos taste testing ancient ration packs. Am now on to videos of restoring clapped out retro mountain bikes.
    Last edited by BillyCasper; 18th March 2023 at 17:08.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    London, England
    Very careful with acetone, it will easily strip the finish/colour and the strap will want dye as well as conditioner. Getting the cologne smell out will be tricky I think. If it is really bothering you I'd try a little isopropyl alcohol. Go gentle, don't swamp the leather. Definitely condition after.
    Bick is another good cleaning product for leather.
    Try the elegant Oxford on YouTube for shoe care, a lot/all will translate to a strap.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Manxdiver View Post
    I think sticking it in the freezer for a week is supposed to help with bacterial smells - maybe not so much with cologne, but worth a try I'd say as non-destructive.
    Iíve tried that on a stinky leather strap - just came out cold, still stunk!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Derby, UK
    Another vote for saddle soap and Saphir conditioner etc

    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  10. #10
    I use renapur products on leather. Not used it to clean a watch strap but would be my go to if I did.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Iíve used baking soda in the past, which worked well.

  12. #12
    A thorough wipe down with an anti bacterial wipe to the inside of the strap followed by an application of Renapur to both sides when fully dry.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Blog Entries
    Are people routinely applying products to leather straps to keep them conditioned?

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