How to Properly Clean a Rolex Watch

Rolex watches are designed to last a lifetime. However, built-up dirt will dull their look and cause the bracelet to stretch over the years. Condensation can form even on water-resistant Rolex timepieces when held underwater for an extended period. So, we created a complete guide on how to properly clean a Rolex watch.

All these things can diminish your Rolex’s natural luster and beauty. They’ll also impact the timepiece’s functionality, causing chronograph pushers to be inoperable or bezels to stick.

Therefore, regular cleaning is essential to keep your Rolex looking new for years to come. Read on as I share with you five easy steps to clean your Rolex watch properly.

5 Steps on How to Properly Clean a Rolex Watch

Step 1. Screw down the crown

Screw down the crown clockwise until it’s tight. Even if your Rolex watch is waterproof, dirt, moisture, and water may still enter and damage it if the pushers or crown are not correctly pushed in.

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Step 2. Prepare your materials

Prepare the things you’ll need to clean a Rolex, including a small bowl, soft-bristled brush, and mild soap.

Another option is to put the soap directly on the brush and run warm water on one side of the bracelet by placing it under the faucet. 

But if you have a vintage Rolex, avoid putting it under a faucet. Using a soft damp cloth and allowing it to air dry would often be enough for maintenance.

Step 3. Brush the surfaces of the Rolex

Next, gently brush the surfaces of the Rolex. The warm water will help break down dirt on the surfaces while the soft brush gets into the watch’s smallest gaps within your metal bracelet. Be sure to clean the small gaps in the Rolex bracelet links and lugs.

You may also use a Q-tip to clean hard-to-reach areas, like the Rolex Oyster bracelet and deployant clasp.

Take your time with this step, but still be careful, so you don’t damage it. Repeat the first and second steps on the other side.

Step 4. Rinse with warm running water

Make sure that all the soap is washed away from your Rolex. So, rinse it with warm or running water. If your Rolex is a Sea-Dweller, Submariner, or a GMTMaster with a rotating bezel, rotate it a few times while rinsing it to ensure that all soap residue is removed.

Step 5. Use a clean microfiber cloth

Lastly, use a microfiber cloth to dry the watch without upsetting its natural finish or scratching it. 

Aside from cleaning your watch, polishing it will also guarantee that it won’t lose its value over the years. Here are tips on How To Polish Stainless Steel Watches.

Top 3 Tips to Keep Rolex Watches in Good Condition

How to Properly Clean a Rolex Watch


Store your Rolex in its original watch box, a safe place, or a watch winder when not worn and keep it out of direct sunlight. Do not allow perfume, cologne, or lotion to come into contact with your timepiece, especially if you’ll be storing it. These things can damage the metal of your watch.


Wind your Rolex if you haven’t worn it for the last two days. Unscrew the winding crown that sticks out of the side of the timepiece and turn it clockwise 30 to 40 times to wind the luxury watch.

Rolex watches have a built-in mechanism that prevents them from being overwound. Therefore, you don’t even have to worry about possibly damaging your Rolex by winding it. 


Get your Rolex serviced every five to seven years. A professional watchmaker can ensure everything is functioning and do any repairs if needed. Vintage and pre-owned watches may need more regulation between three to five years.

Rolex’s Most Popular Watches

1. Rolex Submariner – This most popular Rolex watch was designed for scuba diving enthusiasts. However, it has transcended its purpose and has now reached sports heroes, Hollywood celebrities, hip-hop musicians, and many others.

2. Rolex Yacht-Master – The Yacht-Master was introduced in 1992. Since then, its functionality and stylish appearance have made it a favorite. It’s popular with men and women and has been produced in various finishes to suit different styles.

3. Rolex President – This is among Rolex’s most iconic and luxurious models. The model comes in different finishes, like simple stainless steel and gleaming gold, for the ultimate Rolex luxury look.

4. Rolex Day Date – This perfectly balanced Rolex model does more than just tell time. It also allows the wearer to see the entire day of the week. Its overall look and function make it the perfect addition to any watch collection. No wonder it has made its way to the wrists of business executives and world leaders.

5. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – This Rolex model was marketed to race car drivers but has now become one of the most popular Rolex models for men. That’s thanks to its masculine, bold aesthetic. Additionally, it has a sporty appearance and features a reliable chronograph and tachymeter scales.

Related: Is It Safe To Buy Rolex On Amazon?

FAQs About Rolex Care 

Why should you wash the Rolex watch regularly?

You must regularly or occasionally (depending on use) wash or clean your Rolex watch as build-ups of debris can affect its functionality. Cleaning it will preserve its luster. Before cleaning your Rolex, make sure the winding crown is screwed down.

How do you clean a vintage Rolex watch?

For vintage Rolex watches, only use a soft microfiber polishing cloth. Avoid running them under the faucet with warm water or mild soap, especially on the head of the watch. 

You may remove the bracelet from the watch and clean it using room temperature water but without soap. Another option is to use an ultrasonic cleaner for the bracelet since you can’t wash the whole watch.

How often should I clean my Rolex?

We recommend a weekly wash if you wear your Rolex every day. If it gets exposed to more dirt and filth, it may lead you to clean your timepiece more often.


How to Properly Clean a Rolex Watch

Taking care of your Rolex is an essential part of ownership. While Rolex watches need little upkeep, regularly cleaning them will deliver years of reliable performance.

Following the simple steps above and other care tips ensure that your Rolex still looks excellent and perfectly functions when it’s time to hand it down to the next generation.

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