How to Remove Scratches From a Watch With Toothpaste

Got a scratch on your wristwatch? Before you decide to trade it in for something new, or spend a pretty penny replacing the glass, consider trying to remedy the problem with this unusual hack: use toothpaste. Yes, it sounds like an old wives' tale but the fact is, it really does work with some scratches. (And if it doesn't, you can always try more potent products.) Below, our favorite options to try.

The Toothpaste Method

In addition to keeping your pearly whites clean, toothpaste has other unconventional ways for solving daily issues. (Did you know it can remove pencil marks from painted walls, too?) Regular toothpaste is abrasive, containing tiny particles that lightly "sand" the surface of your teeth. Therefore, you can use it to lightly sand your watch face and take off minor scratches. To give this a try, be sure to use regular white toothpaste, not the gel form of the product.

Here's how:

  • Inspect the watch under bright light to locate the scratches.
  • Use narrow masking tape to cover up the bezel of the watch to prevent damage.
  • Squeeze a bit of the toothpaste onto the watch face. Rub it into the scratch with a finger.
  • Wait a few minutes, then remove the toothpaste with a soft cloth, using gentle, circular polishing motions.

Also, some people blend baking soda with the toothpaste before applying the cream to the watch face. Follow the same general directions, applying the mixture to the crack, then rubbing gently with a soft cloth.

Just remember, deep scratches are not likely to come off with just toothpaste, so you might want to bring out...

The Big Guns

If toothpaste doesn't work or you just prefer to try something stronger, try diamond paste. You'll need to get a small amount of 3-micron paste and also 2.5-micron paste. Apply the 3-micron paste onto the watch face with a cotton swab, then rub with a soft cloth over the face in a circular motion, concentrating on the scratch areas. Wipe this off then repeat with the 2.5-micron paste, rubbing it until the paste is entirely gone.

For crystal watch faces, you may have to try three different grades of diamond paste, 6-, 3- and .25-micron pastes. Start with the 6-micron paste, spread it around the face and use a soft cloth, or use a hand-held Dremel tool with the felt tip. If you use the tool, rotate it in circular motions, never pressing too hard in any one spot. Repeat this with the 3-micron paste, then the .25-micron paste.

If you're not ready to go the DIY route with fixing your watch, you'll also find a variety of products on the market specifically intended to remove scratches from glass and plastic surfaces. These may work well for you if you follow label directions carefully.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.