Since theres so much watch talk recently, I'll toss out another one... What's the best way to clean a watch, outside of taking it to a jeweler to clean it? Is just soaking it in soapy water ok?
There are a few variables to consider when cleaning a watchcase / bracelet (watchcase that is at least water resistant for 10 meters or more). First, if your watch is made out of a solid metal (steel, gold, platinum, etc...), cleaning is a fairly easy proposition: simply fill a sink 1/2 full with warm / hot soapy water and shake watch back and forth inside the sink a la ultrasonic. Whilst shaking the watch use your thumb to rub the watches surfaces (including the crystal) to dispense with excess grime and dirt. After a thorough cleaning, discharge the water in the sink whilst, running the facet with the hottest water your hands can stand to remove all the soapy water from the watch. After the watch has been removed of foreign elements, save the water, take a clean towel and wipe down the watch to fully dry. Important tip: open the clasp of the watch when cleaning, if the temperature is too hot, clasps have a tendency to stick, and opening the clasp after cleaning the watch may require the jaws of life. If the watch has a leather (or other non-metal) strap, I would recommend that you remove it before immersing the watch in water. For watches with rubber parts (or rubber coated), I would be quite careful to read the manual and see if there are temperatures or types of chemicals (i.e. soap) that may ruin the rubber. Obviously, the abovementioned is for cleaning ONLY, if you have scratches or other types of abrasive marks on the watch, I would recommend you take the watch to the most qualified watchmaker / polisher you can find (sending the watch to the factory is usually a good proposition). Jon. EDIT: If you have a watch with a appliquÃ© bezel cover, like those found in Rolex sport watches (submariner, GMT, etc...), do not dip in hot soapy water, as they have a tendency to become dislodged, discolored or a combination of both. I would clean the bezel with just cold water and quickly dry with a clean cloth.