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How to Clean Your Rolex Watch

How to Clean Your Rolex Watch

Please note: Happy Jewelers recommends getting your watch professionally cleaned. 

The price of a Rolex is enough for anyone to treat this luxury watch as a prized possession. Owning a Rolex watch means you have to take care of it the best way you can to ensure that it remains well-maintained, functional, and beautiful for many years. Owners should know how to clean a Rolex because this is one of the best ways to preserve its beauty and value.

The build-up of dirt, grime, and tiny particles in your watch make it look old and ugly. It also affects the functionality of the watch, especially if these particles enter the watch’s mechanism. To ensure that your Rolex is kept in its finest condition, follow our simple guide on how to clean a Rolex:

How to Clean a Rolex

Periodic maintenance of its movement should be done by professionals at a jewelry store or trusted Rolex watch repair. You can get it checked every 10 years or so. In the meantime, the owner can do the external watch cleaning. Here are the steps to clean your Rolex:

Things You Need:

  • Bowl of warm water
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Mild soap


  1. Check if the crown is screwed down. If not, press the crown down with light pressure and screw it clockwise until it is tight. If not properly screwed down, the watch is not waterproof. Water, dirt, and moisture may enter and damage the timepiece.
  2. Prepare your materials. Fill a bowl with warm water. Add a drop of mild soap to your soft-bristled brush. Simply, wet one end of the Rolex bracelet with the warm water and lather the soap on the soft brush. If a bowl is not handy, you may directly hold one side of the bracelet under the faucet with running warm water.
  3. Scrub the surfaces of the Rolex. Make sure to clean the small gaps in the middle of the lugs and bracelet links. Repeats steps 2 and 3 on the other side.
  4. After thoroughly scrubbing and cleaning every area you can reach, rinse the watch with warm running water from the faucet. This is to further remove any loose particles and soap residue. Ensure that no soap is left on the watch as it may tarnish the steel and make it look dull. Rolex watches with a rotating bezel such as the Submariner and GMT-Master should be rinsed properly as well. To do this, rotate the bezel several times while the watch is under running water. It further ensures that no soap residue is stuck under the bezel assembly.
  5. Dry the watch with a clean microfiber cloth. Using a microfiber cloth will let you dry the watch without scratching it or upsetting its natural surface finish.

Cellini Collection and Other Vintage Rolex Watches

While the above steps highlight the things you need to do when cleaning a Rolex watch, they do not apply to all Rolex watches. Watches from the Cellini Collection are not equipped with Oyster cases that provide the waterproof feature of a Rolex. Similarly, vintage models may have needed some parts replaced to guarantee that they did not lose their waterproof ability.

If you have a vintage Rolex watch or one from the Cellini Collection, the best way to clean it is not to use soapy water at all. Just use a dry soft cloth to wipe away loose dirt. If the dirt is built up or stubborn and won’t come off, you may wet the cloth slightly and wipe the watch meticulously. Never submerge it in water.


Cleaning a Rolex watch is a must-have skill for every Rolex owner. It also helps if you know how to polish your watch. Cleaning and polishing will guarantee that your Rolex watch will not lose its luster and value no matter how many years go by.

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