How To Remove Scratches From Stainless Steel Watches?

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You are probably not expecting your newfound piece of love to look forever shiny without deep scratches. However, the first scratch and the one after the last one are what hurt. As it keeps going, you might start looking for answers to the big question, How do you remove scratches from stainless steel watches?

If this is you, trying to restore that shiny first-day look on your stainless steel timepiece, then read on to discover how to remove scratches from stainless steel watches.

Most importantly, this is a do-it-yourself walkthrough. Also, the best part is that you can achieve these using materials that lay around your home.

Ascertain the Finishing Details of Your Watch

To get started, learn about the finishing details of your watch.

Every watch has specific details and design, usually done by watch experts and experienced jewelers. If you do some minimal repair, you need to first determine what kind of surface you will be dealing with. 

Think of it this way. Imagine a painter given a job to repair a small patch of a house, which was previously painted with yellow matte paint. Then, he goes ahead and uses a blue oil paint over that small patch. 

The same applies to your stainless steel watch bracelet: you need to use the same finishing you use, so your repairs can blend in easily.

Ensure You Have the Right Tools

A craftsman is only as good as his tools. Every experienced jeweler has the right tools to get rid of minor or deep scratches. Since you are adopting a do-it-yourself approach, you need to start by getting the accurate materials.

Do note that using the wrong materials might worsen things. Experimenting with just any cleaning agent or metal polish could harm your stainless steel watch.

For instance, while some may suggest using toothpaste to clean your watch, applying it wrong on your steel watch could do more harm than good. Toothpaste is a mildly abrasive substance that can be used for minor scratches if applied mildly and cautiously.

Otherwise, it could make the surface of the watch dull. If you do decide to use toothpaste, be sure to first test it on a small area. 

Gently rub it on the affected area, applying mild pressure. Do this continuously until the scratch begins to fade off. You can put a watch polish afterward.

Most of these materials can be purchased in local stores or e-commerce sites. Using these materials correctly, you can give your stainless steel watch a redefined look with our step-by-step guide below.

A Simple Guide to Removing Scratches from Your Stainless Steel Watch

How To Remove Scratches From Stainless Steel Watches

1. Jeweler’s Rouge Polishing Cloth 

Also known as polishing cloth, this is the first item you need to bring back the shine on stainless steel surfaces. To remove light scratches, it might even be the only thing you need. 

A jeweler’s cloth usually has two sides. One side contains a compound cleaning agent, which can rub off stains and dullness from precious stones, minerals, or metal.

The other side is plainer and is meant for you to wipe off the agent previously used, polish the metal and bring back the shine. It is highly recommended for removing scratches like light scratches and fine scratches on a stainless steel surface.

2. Soft Cloth 

If you do not have a jeweler’s cloth close by, this is a second option you can use. It can be used as an applicator for your watch polish or stainless steel powder.

As long as you apply an effective cleaning agent to it, you can get good results. Gently apply pressure on it and rub in a ring-like motion to remove the scratches.

You can also use it to clean the entire watch first, removing any stain, dust, or debris on the surface.

3. Stainless Steel Powder 

This powder has a grainy texture which allows it to rub off rust, scratches, dirt, or corrosion from any steel product.

Simply make a thick paste, then use the soft cloth to apply it to the steel watch and rub off the scratches.

4. Scratch Brush

You only need this if your stainless steel watch has a satin surface. With protective hand gloves on, you can simply follow the existing patterns on the wristwatch. Use the scratch brush to gently erase the scratches on the steel bracelet.

5. Watch Polish 

This is quite similar to the jeweler’s cloth. You can use it after applying the paste of the stainless steel powder. This is to give it a sophisticated finishing.

On the other hand, it could also be that all your watch needs are good old polishing. In that case, you simply need to clean the entire watch with a soft wet cloth, then apply the watch polish.

Most watch polish products come as polishing kits to contain all you need to make the job easy, such as an applicator and a buffing pad.

6. Sand Paper

This is also an abrasive that can get you satisfying results. Aside from being affordable and accessible, it is also easy to use. Simply make the sandpaper wet, then gently rub it against the affected areas of your watch. 

Repeat this until you get a satisfying result. You can use a watch polish afterward to give it a finished look.

7. Baking Powder 

Baking powder or soda is another mild abrasive you can use, similar to toothpaste. It can be effective when used correctly for mild stains. Simply add a little water and form a thick paste.

Next, use your soft cloth to rub it gently on the scratch till it fades off. You can use a soft wet cloth to wipe off the paste. Once it is completely wiped off, apply watch polish to get back that polished finishing. 

For deeper scratches, repeat the process and apply a little more pressure to get your desired result. However, we recommend you take them to an expert or professional jeweler.

It might be necessary to determine if the stainless steel watch can be cleansed. If it cannot, you might want to consider changing the parts and save yourself time and trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers that address some of the many questions you might have, especially now that you want to adopt the do-it-yourself approach.

Can you get deep scratches out of stainless steel watches?

Yes, you can, depending on the severity of the scratch. It also determines what method you should apply to get rid of the scratch. We suggested several techniques above help you with this process.

What is the best way to remove scratches from stainless steel?

This all depends on the type of scratch. 

We recommend using mild abrasives like toothpaste, baking soda, a jeweler’s cloth, or watch polish for minor scratches. There is no need to use any hard abrasive, so you will not end up inflicting more scratches on your watch.

Meanwhile, we recommend using a scratch brush, wet sandpaper, or stainless steel powder for deeper scratches. 

However, it might be best to give the watch to an expert or a jeweler to determine if the scratches can be removed, then handle it professionally.

Can scratches be removed from watches?

Yes, they can. Whether your watch is silver, gold, titanium, or stainless steel, a good option for minor scratches is to use a jeweler’s cloth. You can also use a polishing kit specifically made for your type of watch.

Our Final Thoughts

How To Remove Scratches From Stainless Steel Watches

Stainless steel wristwatches are one of the most loved timepieces among watch lovers. Aside from their glossy looks, they blend well with any outfit, and most importantly, they last long enough.

If you must clean your stainless watches yourself, you should also know that every attempt to clean the steel watch reduces its chances of looking brand new. Nevertheless, you can get satisfying results by using some of our suggested methods.

Lastly, if you want to prevent your watch from getting scratched, it might be good to wear it less often. You should also consider avoiding rigorous activities like intense physical sports while wearing your stainless steel watch.

Although these methods might not give your stainless steel watch case the original factory-finished look, they will reduce scratches. 

This would make your stainless steel watch bracelets look much better than before you attempted to clean them.

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