How to clean a leather band for a wrist watch

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning the leather wristband on your watch is an essential maintenance procedure to keep the leather in optimum condition. The strap absorbs odour and perspiration from your skin that causes unsightly damage to the leather, such as stains and cracks. In addition, air pollutants and grease marks cause discolouration and a grimy look to the leather. You can avoid premature wear on your leather wristband by maintaining a weekly cleaning procedure that helps to extend the longevity of the leather.

Remove the leather band from your wristwatch according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wipe both sides of the leather with a lint-free cloth to remove loose dirt and dust particles.

Rinse out the cloth under running water and wring the cloth until only residual dampness remains. Cover your index finger with the cloth and dip the tip of your finger into a jar of saddle soap, lightly smearing the cloth with the leather cleaner.

Apply the saddle soap in a circular motion along both sides of the leather strap. Work the soap into the wristband to both clean and nourish the leather.

Dampen a clean lint-free cloth in water. Wipe the saddle soap off the leather band. Clean any stitching in the leather to ensure you remove all traces of soap.

Remove the surface moisture from the leather using a fresh cloth. Allow the strap to dry completely before reattaching it to the watch.


Remove your watch before heavy exercise to prevent build-up of grease and odour in the leather.


Ensure the damp cloth is not too wet to prevent water damage in the leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Lint-free cloths
  • Saddle soap
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About the Author

Residing in the coastal county of Devon, England, Jane Humphries has been writing since 2004. Writing for "British Mensa" nationally and regionally, Humphries has also held key roles within the High IQ Society. She received a Bachelor of Science, honors, in psychology with combined studies covering biology, statistics, economics, politics and sociology.