Silver watch bands look stunning when they are new, but unless you provide proper care and maintenance, they quickly lose their lustre. If left without adequate care, silver watch bands develop a build-up of dirt and grime, tarnish forms, or the silver scratches and receives scuffs, abrasions, and corrosion. Some people use the wrong products and materials and cause even more damage. Therefore, learning how to provide appropriate care for your silver watch band ensures it stays looking like new, does not tarnish, and has a much longer lifespan.
Cleaning a Silver Watch Band
Only clean your silver watch band when strictly necessary, as frequent or excessive use of cleaning agents can cause discolouration and tarnishing. Limit the frequency with which you need to clean your silver watch band by dusting or polishing it regularly with a very soft cloth. To clean the band, dust it off, and then take a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm, soapy water with a mild detergent. Wet the cloth and wipe it over the band, and then wet the toothbrush and use it to thoroughly clean between the links, any intricate knotwork, crevices, or pierced work. Dry the band, then apply silver polish and work it in using a clean, dry, soft cloth. Do not use general metal polish, as it is too abrasive and not formulated specifically for silver. Use cloths or wipes impregnated with silver polish, as these are very soft and minimise the risk of scratching the metal. Dust using a soft cloth. Rinse and dry on a soft towel. The oils and external pollution on your hands damage silver, causing it to tarnish, therefore, if your fingerprints cover watch band, then wash them off immediately and repolish.
Storing a Silver Watch Band
When not wearing your silver watch band, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper to avoid tarnishing. Alternatively, use an undyed cotton or linen jewellery bag. For best results, store the wrapped silver watch band in an air-tight container. Never store in baize, felt, or chamois leather, as these materials encourage tarnishing and discolouration.
Preventing Damage to a Silver Watch Band
Avoid cooking while wearing your silver watch band, as it quickly builds up layers of grease and food deposits. Certain foods, such as egg yolks and Brussel sprouts, contain high levels of sulphur, which quickly cause tarnishing if the silver comes into contact with them. Since silver scratches and dents easily, avoid scraping the band against hard surfaces, dropping it, or wearing it while playing sports. Make sure you store the band properly while not in use. Never wear the watch while using chemicals such as household cleaning agents, like bleach or disinfectant, as these discolour and corrode silver.