If you’ve discovered a scratch on the face of your watch – known in the wristwatch world as the crystal – it can bum you out quite a bit, but your crystal doesn’t have to stay scratched for long. The first thing you should know is that crystals can be made out of many different materials, and if your watch face is made out of sapphire, you’ll need to trust the job to the experts because sapphire glass is super hard and requires special tools to remove the scratches. That being said, typical glass crystals can be “un-scratched” and made smooth again by a variety of methods, and if one of those methods doesn’t work for you, you can always try another one. Here is a list of some of the methods proven to make watch crystals nice and smooth again.
To use toothpaste on a crystal that has been scratched, the first rule of thumb is to use a non-gel toothpaste; in other words, use an actual paste. To start with, take some masking tape and place it around the bezel so that it isn’t damaged in the process. Next, place a small amount of toothpaste on the watch glass and rub it in with your finger. After a while, you can take a soft cloth and wipe the watch face to get it clean. If it hasn’t removed the scratches completely, you can go ahead and try the process again.
Use Rubbing Alcohol
If you have a crystal made out of plastic, you might want to go with another method, as rubbing alcohol can ruin certain types of plastic. Glass faces, however, sometimes do well with this method. Never dunk the watch in alcohol but instead, take a cloth or paper towel, put a very small amount of rubbing alcohol on it, and rub the face gently. Make sure the towel is damp, not wet.
Any petroleum jelly or petroleum-based lotion will work in this method, although it does tend to work better with plastic crystals as opposed to glass crystals. Nevertheless, you can use a petroleum-based product on both types of crystal, and all you do is put a small amount of it on a dry towel or washcloth and rub it gently on the crystal. This is an old method used many years ago by computer technicians who needed a safe way to clean computer monitors, but it works on watch faces as well.
Use Auto Cleaning Products
Believe it or not, some cleaning products made for automobiles will work on watch crystals. The most successful products seem to be products to clean and polish the body of your car and products made to clean your windshield. In fact, as long as the product isn’t too abrasive, it might very well work on your watch crystal. If it’s also a polish, it will give the crystal a layer of protection that just might protect it from future scratches.
Use Baking Soda and a Banana Peel
Okay, this is a weird one, but it does work on some watch crystals. All you have to do is dip part of a banana in some baking soda, and use the banana to rub the baking soda on the face of the watch. Both the baking soda and the banana have ingredients that are known to help smooth out certain glass products. While it may not work for everyone and every crystal, it is certainly inexpensive and easy enough to give it a try.
Use a Pencil Eraser
For this method, you can use any type of pencil eraser because after all, they are all alike. It’s yet another “old school” method that works great on tablets and smartphones, as well as on watches. Gently rub the eraser on your watch face and see what happens. One word of caution, however – this method usually works best for small and light scratches, so if the scratches on your watch are deep or severe, this method may not work. But again, it’s worth a try because it is both simple and inexpensive.
Regardless of which method you use, keep in mind that it may not work for your particular watch. But not to worry because you can always try another method listed here. After all, you won’t lose much time or money trying any of the methods on this list.