Smelly Watchband
August 25, 2004 3:20 PM   Subscribe

My watchband is starting to stink. This happens to all of my watches. I've tried many, many things including soaking them in bleach (I usually only wear metal-banded watches. Largely because they last longer before stinking). Nothing has managed to stop the stinking. I like this watch. What can I do?
posted by willpie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total)
Soft Scrub with Bleach. Works like a charm for me.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 3:38 PM on August 25, 2004

I had that problem with a leather band. I finally gave up and just replaced the band.
posted by Nelson at 4:09 PM on August 25, 2004

Replace the band. (Although I did get a watch with a "titanium" band--according to the marketing, at least--and it seems to have avoided this problem completely, so you may want to try different materials.)
posted by LairBob at 4:30 PM on August 25, 2004

Pocket watch. Gold chain looks really cool with vest. Never stinks. Hang your Phi Beta Kappa key on it. The only gold chain a white guy can wear without looking like Vanilla Ice.
posted by jfuller at 4:36 PM on August 25, 2004

I believe this is caused by bacteria in your sweat finding a new home in the band's crevices. I've been using a little hand sanitizer alcohol spray bottle once a week, blasting the band from both sides and leaving it on a paper towel after I take it off at night. Seems to help.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2004

Stop wearing one. Why do you need a watch when odds you carry at least one gadget that can also tell time? (Cell phone, PDA, etc.)
posted by keswick at 4:58 PM on August 25, 2004

Sounds like you're working for your watch, man.
posted by holloway at 5:31 PM on August 25, 2004 [1 favorite]

Nice one holloway...

I have a Swiss Army watch and I was going through leather bands like crazy, until I stumbled on a watchband that was made of, well, sorta, rubber. It is amazing...doesn't stretch or stink.
posted by Richat at 6:51 PM on August 25, 2004

You ever thought of taking the band to a jewellers and asking to get it a run through their cleaning machine?

The other choice is to leave it in a bottle of barbicide overnight. :-) That'll kill all the nasties. Might ruin it too. Heh.
posted by shepd at 9:33 PM on August 25, 2004

If you don't mind signing up to a different website, you could ask the folks at on their Public Forum. Helpful people who know a really insane amount of watch trivia - I'm sure you'll get lots of useful suggestions.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:27 PM on August 25, 2004

I have this exact same problem and really thought I was the only one. I find that there is, on occasion, a build up in the crevices of the watchband. In fact, this builds up on the watch itself.

Far from being bacteria, I have always assumed this was dead skin. I use a small awl or a needle to scrape this out and then rub it down with bleach. PlanetKyoto's solution is actually a nice pro-active way of preventing this from happening. I am too lazy, though, so mine has worked well for me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:04 PM on August 25, 2004

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