How to Clean a Stained Rubber Watch Strap
Cleaning your rubber watch strap doesn't have to be difficult or detrimental to the appearance of your watch.
5 steps you should follow to clean a stained rubber strap:
- Be aware of any skin allergies or sensitivities
- Use rubbing alcohol
- Use Acetone
- Use a soft toothbrush and baking soda
- Notice whether its worth replacing your watch strap all together
Watch straps are arguably the most visual parts of a watch. You have the style, personality and colour - all within a strap! It can become an issue when dirt and stains get in the way of a watch's design, so it's important to know how to clean a stained rubber watch strap effectively.
Organic material can often stick to rubber which causes abrasions and stains over time, and the crevices within rubber bands are extremely vulnerable. Think about it - if you wear your watch every day, your watch is exposed to sweat and oils constantly. This can lead to oxidation and decolourisation, ruining the design of your watch.
Be aware of any skin allergies or sensitivities
The placement of the watch strap on the body means you must be extremely careful about what products you use. You don't want these products to damage your skin, most importantly. Make sure to check over the ingredients of the products you use to avoid any allergic reactions.
Option 1: Use Rubbing Alcohol
Find a microfibre cloth, and apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the stained or marked area. Use circular motions around the affected area until the dirt and grime is removed. Rubbing alcohol is great to use as it will disinfect and remove the upper damaged area of the watch strap.
If you begin to see cracks within the watch strap, bear in mind that this is an indication that it may be worth buying a new one completely.
Option 2: Acetone
It is best to use acetone for infrequent deep cleans, as it is a lot stronger than rubbing alcohol. This is due to the fact that it will take off a deeper first layer than the first option. Using this option too frequently may decrease the life of your strap.
To use acetone, follow the same steps as option one but do not do this option more than once or twice a year if so.
Option 3: Soft Toothbrush and Baking Soda
Make sure to use a soft toothbrush for this option, as a hard toothbrush may damage the rubber too much.
Mix some baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste, similar to toothpaste. Depending on the amount of dirt and grime, use your fingers or the soft brush to apply the paste.
Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly afterwards to ensure no product build-up.
Option 4: WD-40 (if nothing else works...)
This is probably the least recommended method as it can potentially be the most damaging.
To carry out the procedure, follow the same steps as option one, but this should only be used as a last resort.
Make sure to use a minimal quantity until your desired outcome.
For everyday upkeep...
To ensure that your watch strap is always up to standard, clean your straps daily. Use mild soap and water to remove any oils, sweat or lotions. Avoid brushes and cloths where possible, and use your fingers as they are the softest for the watch strap material.
Not everything can live forever unfortunately...
Even if there were such thing as perfect watch care, rubber straps only last so long...
Sometimes it is definitely a better option to replace the watch strap completely. Thankfully, we have you covered if this is the case. We have a large range of rubber watch straps, available in every colour and design imaginable.
Written by Molly for Watch Obsession.