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How To Remove Scratches From A Stainless Steel Watch

Stainless steel watches, like everything else that we buy, are only as good for as long as we take good care of them. No matter how well you protect a stainless steel watch, though, a bump here and hit there are enough to put a scratch on the frame.

That is not the cue to abandon your wristwatch. Fortunately, you can remove scratches from your watch and watch bracelet and even have the watch polished to look new again.

Let's get into it, then.


How do you get scratches out of polished stainless steel?

Whether dealing with minor scratches or deeper scratches on your stainless steel watches, the methods we have described here should get your timepiece looking better in no time.

While they work best for minor scratches, deep scratches will also benefit from the facelift that this method brings.

Let's get to it.


Things you'll need

  • Lint-free, soft cloth
  • Stainless steel powder
  • Formulated watch polish
  • Polishing cloth/ microfiber


Steps to removing stainless steel watch scratches

Now, you have the materials mentioned above, you have your watch with a couple of scratches, and we're ready to go.

  1. Start by wiping the watch strap with a soft cloth. This gets rid of any debris, dust, grease, or dirt that might have collected on the watch bracelet. If the scratch is present on the watch case/ frame, too, take the cleaner there.
  2. Mix the stainless steel powder with water to form a paste. The grain form of this powder supplies the friction that we need to get this refinishing done.
  3. Apply the wet stainless steel powder to the soft cloth. Rub the fabric (in circular motions) on the scratched part of the timepiece.
  4. Depending on how deep the scratch is, you might want to keep rubbing the agent into the scratched region to buff out the scratch.
  5. Remove excess stainless steel powder paste with another lint-free cloth. Since you didn't put the paste on all of the first cloth, you can use the unused parts to remove the rest of the paste.
  6. When you're done, apply some watch polish to the surface of the watch.
  7. With the polishing cloth, gently rub the polish on the affected watch part. You can also choose to polish the whole watch at this time.
  8. Polish gently till you get a smooth, shiny finish.
  9. Another round of cleaning should be done with a soft cloth to remove the excess polish and buff the watch.

P.S. Make sure to use a lint-free, dry, clean, soft cloth here. Otherwise, lint might get into the face of the watch, the scratch, making the methods harder than normal.


How to remove scratches from watch glass

Besides the watch stainless steel jewelry, you could also get scratches on the glass.

This is a sore sight for any watch lover and might make you not want to stare at your watches as much.

Fortunately, you can always get the scratches out in some cases too.

Here's how to get that done.


Things you'll need

  • Diamond paste
  • Clean cloth


Steps to removing scratches from watch glass

  1. Cleaning the watch glass with a clean cloth is the first place to start. We don't want any dirt, dust, or grease to interfere with the process.
  2. Put some diamond paste on the clean cloth and take that to the glass. Make sure you get the right grit size (measured in macrons), depending on how deep the scratches are. Otherwise, this process won't work well.
  3. Clean the glass around where the scratches are ever so gently. You might have to apply some pressure, but not too much pressure.
  4. Once you're done, wipe down the glass with another clean cloth to remove the excess paste.


Some Nordgreen watches use a specially treated sapphire glass crystal that holds up to bumps, nicks, and scratches better. Thus, these watches will protect themselves against such cases and only fail under extreme conditions.

Pick a Nordgreen watch today to enjoy the uncommon protection advantage that we provide on the watches that we ship.



How does toothpaste remove scratches from a watch?

For starters, toothpaste will not remove scratches from your watch.

While they apply to remove scratches from some glasses and mirrors, they are not as useful when it comes to metals.

The sad part is that the compounds in the toothpaste could react with your watch metal or watch face crystal and cause more damage than when you started.

Some people also claim that toothpaste works as a fine polishing agent. The truth is that toothpaste doesn't have the same grain and grit level as a diamond paste or other specially formulated watch polish.

Since the real deal isn't expensive, it is better to go with them rather than gamble with an option like toothpaste which might just ruin your fine watch – from the case to the watch bracelet.

P.S. If you have minor scratches on the watch face, you can use toothpaste to get it out, following the same steps as above but replacing the stainless steel powder with toothpaste which serves as a mild abrasive for the glass.


Can stainless steel watches be buffed?

Stainless steel watches come with glass crystal that can suffer from scratches, so they can be buffed.

Buffing gets the scratch out, but it does not get the entire job done. That is why every buffing operating should be followed by polishing to get the right shine on the outcome of this cleaning method.

The stainless steel case itself can also be buffed. Here, the buffing is to take care of the scratches, too, but there is just how far you can go.

Removing scratches is a nice way to describe the friction that goes into the process without being uncomfortable about it. With deep scratches, buffing becomes chipping away the metal so much that it becomes unsafe for the watch's level of quality.

So, while they can be buffed, be careful and sure that you know what you are doing before buffing them.


Fixing Deeper Scratches on Stainless Steel

Despite our best efforts, as watch owners, our timepieces can get serious scratches that no amount of DIY cleaning at home can fix.

If you get a deep scratch on any part of your stainless-steel watch, then it is important to take it to a professional watchmaker/ jeweler. The professional can advise on whether they can repair it or if a replacement of materials is in order.



How Can I Avoid Getting Scratches on My Watch?

Removing scratches can be tricky, so the best way to avoid them appearing on your timepiece is to be careful and aware of what you're doing when wearing it.

Here are some pointers to keep the scratches away from your beloved timepiece:

  • Make sure that you don't wear your timepiece during exercise, especially during a contact sport or whilst using heavy gym equipment, as this will heighten the risk of knocking it on something.
  • Remove your wristwatch when you are doing anything very physical at home, such as repairing broken furniture or moving heavy items.
  • If you have more than one watch, you could alternate between wearing one or the other, deciding which one to wear based on the activities you do that day.
  • If you have an expensive watch that is particularly important to you, it's best to avoiding donning this one if you plan to do something that could result in your wristwatch getting knocked.


Scratches are inevitable, and if they appear, they are likely to be small and removable. As long as you check your watch often and try to be careful when possible, you can wear your watch without constantly having to worry about scratching it.

September 03, 2020 by Christopher Day

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