How to Restore a Watch Face

Written by samantha volz
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In general, people who own watches will wear them almost every day, and the faces on these watches can show the abuse. Watch faces can scratch easily and will certainly collect dirt, dust, oil and other debris through general wear and tear. While you can always go out and get a new watch, it may be worth it to simply give a good clean and shine to your watch face, restoring it to its original beauty and extending the life of the watch for a long time to come.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jeweller's polishing cloth
  • Plain white toothpaste
  • Soft cloths
  • Water
  • Small bowl
  • Dish detergent
  • Jewellery brush
  • Soft towel

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  1. 1

    Apply a small amount of plain white toothpaste to a soft cloth or jeweller's polishing cloth.

  2. 2

    Gently rub the toothpaste over the scratches on the watch's face. The toothpaste will help to lighten or completely get rid of small scratches on the face.

  3. 3

    Dampen a soft cloth in plain warm water and wipe away remaining toothpaste.

  4. 4

    Fill a small bowl with warm water and mild dish detergent such as Dawn or Ivory. Mix these together in the bowl until they form suds.

  5. 5

    Dampen a soft cloth or the soft bristles of a jewellery brush in the soap and water mixture. Gently rub at the watch face, removing surface dirt and dust. If you can see dirt in crevices or creases on the watch face, you can use a toothpick to dislodge them, but be careful not to scratch the face.

  6. 6

    Dampen a clean soft cloth in plain warm water and rinse the surface to remove any residual soapy water. Dry with a soft towel or allow the watch face to air-dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are dealing with an heirloom or expensive watch, or deep damage done to the watch face, consider taking the watch to a professional jeweller for restoration instead of attempting it yourself.
  • A light buff with silver or brass polish can restore some shine to the watch face.
  • Be careful not to saturate the watch in water or soap, as too much moisture can damage the band and internal workings of the watch.

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