Different Types of Straps and How to Care for Them
Different Types of Straps and How to Care for Them

All focus is on the watch case, but the strap makes up just as much (if not more) of the entire ensemble.  Straps have evolved quite a bit over the years, from the traditional metal bracelet to modern straps made from rubber or fabric. Each style has its own look and its own specific care regimen. 

Different Types of Straps and How to Care for Them

Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel is one of the sturdiest materials for a watch band. It doesn’t rust or corrode and is able to withstand bumps and dings. Here’s how to care for it:  

  1. Remove the bracelet from the watch 
  2. Immerse it in a small bowl filled with soapy water or alcohol 
  3. Brush the links of the bracelet 
  4. Rinse with clean water 
  5. Dry it thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth. 

Stainless Steel Case with a Polished and Satin Finish 

If your strap has a polished and satin finish, cleaning it is just as easy as a standard stainless-steel bracelet.  

  1. Detach the bracelet from the watch 
  2. Place it in a bowl filled with soapy water or alcohol 
  3. Brush the links 
  4. Rinse thoroughly with clean water 
  5. Dry your watch with a soft, lint-free cloth 


Leather straps are very versatile. You’ll find them in many styles and colors that match your own fashion. One of the chief benefits of leather is its comfort. It conforms to your wrist and is lightweight.  It’s recommended that you clean leather straps every-other week using the following steps: 

  1. Carefully remove the leather watch strap from the watch 
  2. Wipe down the strap with a dry microfiber cloth 
  3. Clean the strap gently with a damp cloth and a small bit of soap 
  4. Make sure you remove any soap residue using a dry cloth 
  5. Let the band air-dry completely 
  6. Use a leather conditioner made for wearable weather 
  7. Reattach the strap 

Fabric Strap  

Fabric straps are comfortable, versatile, and easy to clean. Having an even wider range of colors and styles than leather, fabric straps have the added benefit of keeping the cost of the entire watch down. Fabric watch straps often show up on watches made for sports and diving, so keeping them clean is important. Here’s how: 

  1. You’ll need mild soap, a toothbrush, and a soft cloth 
  2. Wet the strap with warm water 
  3. Put a small amount of soap on the strap 
  4. Gently scrub the strap with the soft cloth or brush 
  5. Take note of the areas that appear dirtier than others and spend extra time in the tiny crevices 
  6. Rinse the strap with clean water 
  7. Lay it on a flat surface to dry 
  8. Note: Do not place the strap in direct sunlight or use any sort of heater or air dryer 


Rubber straps are also a popular choice in sports watches. Like leather, it conforms to your wrist and is lightweight. But rubber also comes with other benefits. For example, modern rubber bands are stronger than leather and holds its shape. It performs great when you go swimming, hypoallergenic, and comes in just about any color or design imaginable. It can take a good beating and still look great. When it comes time to clean it, it cleans up in a snap. 

  1. After removing the strap, rinse it under warm running water 
  2. Use a soft hand soap and rub with your fingers 
  3. If you come across stubborn areas, use a small amount of baking soda or toothpaste 
  4. Brush the strap lightly with a toothbrush 
  5. Rinse off any remaining soap and allow it to dry 
  6. Avoid direct sunlight while drying  

NATO/Nylon Strap 

NATO straps were first made for the British Ministry of Defense. Today, these watch straps, made of tough nylon, are found on watches in all price ranges. The straps are easy to swap out, keep the watch case firmly in place, and are incredibly durable.  Here are some tips to clean them:

  1. Remove the band from the watch 
  2. Place it in a bowl with a drop or two of soap 
  3. Let it soak 
  4. Use a toothbrush to scrub off any stubborn dirt and stains 
  5. Lay it on a towel to air dry 


Your watch strap is just as much of the fashion of your watch as the look of the case. Keeping it clean is always important, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can always bring your watch in to one of our Greensboro or Winston-Salem locations and we’d be happy to help you.