What time is it? Mold.
April 20, 2010 3:25 PM   Subscribe

My watch smells. Please help.

So. Today, I noticed a strange, very faint moldish/mildewish smell when I was resting my face on my hand. I thought it was something I'd touched, so I washed my hands, but the scent was still there. Further sniffing and investigation revealed the point of origin to be, weirdly, my watch. I cannot tell if the smell is more in the watch or in the band. It's very slight, but I'm sensitive to smells.

The watch and band are both metal. Here is a picture, for your reference. I am quite fond of this watch and I don't want to get a different watch or a different band.

However, I cannot go about my daily life wearing a mold-smelling watch. Upon a close examination of the watch, I did not see any mold, even in tiny crevices. Maybe it's inside the watch gears?! Ew. Maybe it's just a little mold!? How do you clean mold off metal if you can't even see where it is? What can I use to clean the watch without ruining it?

posted by millipede to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can use ammonia or blue liquid jewelry cleaner. It's mostly ammonia too. Just dip the band and maybe wash the body with a q-tip. I wouldn't dunk the whole thing though. Ammonia might penetrate the case even if it's water resistant.
posted by snsranch at 3:32 PM on April 20, 2010

Best answer: It's almost certainly the band. I'd remove it from the watch and clean it with jewelry cleaner if you have some, mild diluted dish soap if you don't, and an ultrasonic cleaner if you can do that.
posted by sageleaf at 3:34 PM on April 20, 2010

I have experienced this before, and noticed it pretty much the same way you did. It was a metal watch, the same as yours I think.

What happens I think is that the usual perspiration, hand cream, dead cells etc, get into the crevices between the links and that's what causes the odor.

All I did to get rid of it was give it a good wash with soap and water, and whenever I shower I either take it off, or wash it and ensure it dries completely. Even though you can't easily see it from examining it, it doesn't mean that the cause of the odor is internal. Just try what I suggested and let's see what happens.

Good luck!
posted by althanis at 3:35 PM on April 20, 2010

Simple Green is popular for watch cleaning. I use it with a toothbrush. However, my watch is a steel dive watch. I suggest trying a small area on the inside of the band first to make sure it doesn't damage the finish. Then clean the rest of the band, avoiding the watch itself unless it is water resistant.
posted by cosmac at 3:35 PM on April 20, 2010

Take it to a jeweler, particularly one who repairs watches. They will take off the watch band and drop it in to an ultrasonic cleaner.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:32 AM on April 21, 2010

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