How to Clean a Rolex?

Rolex, a name synonymous with luxury and timeless elegance, is more than a mere wristwatch; it’s a statement of sophistication. Crafted with meticulous precision, Rolex watches require regular maintenance to keep them functioning optimally and maintain their luxurious allure. A crucial part of this maintenance involves proper cleaning.

A Rolex watch is a delicate and intricate device that requires meticulous care. Routine cleaning helps preserve its elegance, ensures its mechanical precision, and prolongs its life span. It eliminates accumulated dirt and grime that could impact its performance and ultimately affect its value.

Getting into the habit of regular cleaning can enhance the longevity of these horological marvels. This article will provide a detailed guide on how to clean your Rolex watch without causing harm, ensuring it continues to exude the prestige and accuracy that the brand is renowned for.

What is a Rolex?

Rolex, founded in 1905, has become one of the leading brands in the world of luxury timepieces. It’s renowned for its unwavering commitment to quality, precision, and style. Rolex watches come in a wide array of designs, ranging from the classic Datejust and Day-Date models to the sporty Submariner and Daytona.

The distinction of a Rolex watch is not merely in its elegant aesthetics but also its impressive engineering. These timepieces are mechanical wonders, hand-assembled from hundreds of tiny parts, each contributing to the accurate and dependable timekeeping that Rolex watches are celebrated for.

Why Does a Rolex Need Regular Cleaning?

As mechanical devices, Rolex watches consist of numerous moving parts. Over time, sweat, dirt, and tiny particles can accumulate, potentially hindering the watch’s performance. Regular cleaning ensures these particles are removed, allowing the watch to function at its peak.

Moreover, Rolex watches are often seen as investments. Just like any other investment, they need to be well-maintained to retain their value. Regular cleaning helps maintain the watch’s aesthetic appeal, preserving its value and ensuring it remains an item of desire for potential buyers or collectors.

How Often Should You Clean Your Rolex?

The frequency of cleaning a Rolex can depend on various factors. The general recommendation is that a Rolex should be cleaned every three to six months. However, if the watch is worn regularly or exposed to environments with a lot of dirt or dust, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.

Signs that your Rolex may need cleaning include visible grime on the bracelet or case, a clouded watch face, or a slowing of the watch’s movement. Keeping an eye out for these signs and adjusting your cleaning schedule accordingly can ensure your Rolex stays in pristine condition.

Tools Required for Cleaning a Rolex

Before you begin cleaning your Rolex, it’s essential to gather the right tools. A soft, lint-free cloth, mild soap, and a small brush with soft bristles (like a toothbrush) are typically all that’s needed. However, it’s important to avoid any harsh or abrasive cleaning products as they can cause damage to the watch.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean a Rolex

Preparation Stage

Start by gathering your cleaning tools. Ensure the watch’s winding crown is tightly screwed down to prevent water from entering the case. Inspect your watch for any visible damage before starting the cleaning process.

Cleaning the Bracelet

Prepare a bowl of warm (not hot) soapy water. Detach the bracelet from the watch case, if possible, for a more thorough cleaning. Dip the bracelet in the water and gently scrub it with the brush. Rinely thoroughly under running water.

Cleaning the Watch Case

Using the brush, gently scrub the watch case while it’s submerged in the soapy water. Pay special attention to crevices and the area around the winding crown. Rinse thoroughly under running water.

Cleaning the Watch Face

It’s crucial to be extremely careful when cleaning the watch face to avoid damaging the dial or hands. Gently wipe it with a damp cloth and then pat it dry. Avoid submerging the watch face in water or scrubbing it with a brush.

Post-Cleaning Stage

Once you’ve finished cleaning all parts, thoroughly dry your Rolex using a soft, lint-free cloth. Make sure to remove all water as it can cause damage if left on the watch. Inspect your Rolex again for any signs of damage or missed dirt.

Do’s and Don’ts When Cleaning a Rolex

When cleaning your Rolex, always use a gentle, non-abrasive cloth and avoid any harsh or corrosive cleaning agents. Scrub gently to avoid scratching the surface of the watch. Always ensure that the winding crown is securely fastened before cleaning to prevent water damage.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the bracelet, particularly the links, where grime can easily accumulate. However, don’t attempt to disassemble the watch for cleaning unless you’re professionally trained in watch maintenance.

When to Seek Professional Help

While regular at-home cleaning can do wonders for maintaining your Rolex’s shine and performance, there are times when professional help may be needed. If you notice persistent grime, fogging under the crystal, or issues with the watch’s movement, it’s time to seek professional service.

Professional Rolex cleaning and maintenance go beyond superficial cleaning, taking care of the watch’s internal mechanisms too. Always choose a reputable watch service center or an authorized Rolex service provider to ensure your precious timepiece is in safe hands.


In this section, we answer some common questions about cleaning Rolex watches:

What kind of soap is safe for cleaning my Rolex?

A mild, ammonia-free soap is typically safe for cleaning a Rolex. Always dilute the soap in warm water before using it to clean the watch.

Can I swim or shower with my Rolex?

Rolex watches are designed to be water-resistant to certain depths. However, it’s best to avoid exposing the watch to soaps, shampoos, or detergents as these could harm the watch’s seals and water resistance over time.

How often does my Rolex need professional servicing?

Rolex recommends getting your watch professionally serviced every 5 to 10 years, depending on the model and its usage.

Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to consult with a professional or an authorized Rolex service center. Regular home cleaning, coupled with professional servicing, will ensure your Rolex stays in perfect shape, serving you with timeless precision and elegance.


A Rolex is a symbol of timeless elegance and a testament to masterful craftsmanship. Ensuring its meticulous upkeep, including regular cleaning, is part of the journey of owning such a luxurious item. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics and precision of the watch, but it also helps maintain its value, longevity, and the proud sense of owning a Rolex.

Cleaning your Rolex doesn’t need to be a daunting task. With the right tools, gentle handling, and regular care, your Rolex can continue to dazzle, accurately telling the time while being a perfect accessory for any outfit or occasion.

Sherry's editorial journey seamlessly merges with her passion for horology at WatchReflect. As a seasoned editor and watch enthusiast, she curates insightful guides that cater to novices and connoisseurs alike. With a penchant for research and a flair for storytelling, Sherry transforms horological complexities into engaging narratives. Her mission is to illuminate the path for those navigating the multifaceted realm of timekeeping.

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