How to Clean a NATO Watch Strap

Clockwork Synergy How to Clean a NATO watch strap tutorial comparison

A question we get asked all the time is about care instructions and how to clean our nylon NATOs. While your strap may not initially seem too dirty, we recommend washing your strap at least every 1-2 weeks. This will help remove dust and dead skin cells (1x every week especially if you wear your NATO every day.) Below are 3 different ways you can refresh your NATOs.

First of all, we recommend washing your NATO straps every 1-2 weeks (1 week if you wear the same NATO strap every day). The most common way is to simply use lukewarm water and either hand soap of Castille soap. Wet the strap and lather the soap into the stitching using your thumbs. Due to extra tough build-up, you should probably use a toothbrush to speed up the process. Press the strap in between your fingers to wring out excess water and let air dry flat overnight. Do not use a blow-dryer, as this could potentially melt the nylon!

Clockwork Synergy How to Clean a NATO watch strap tutorial sock option
Clockwork Synergy How to Clean a NATO watch strap tutorial sock option

Sometimes you don’t want to be bothered with hand washing your straps.  Simply insert the watch strap into a sock or a pocket in your jeans, and toss in the washing machine. Make sure to use cold water, and do not put in the dryer (air dry on a flat surface like above).

Many people think it’s ok to throw their watch strap in the dishwasher. We have tried it ourselves, and trust us when we say it is definitely something we will never recommend!

Clockwork Synergy How to Clean a NATO watch strap tutorial sock option
Clockwork Synergy How to Clean a NATO watch strap tutorial sock option

Finally, if the two previous steps don’t do the trick, how about letting your NATO soak in ice water with a mixture of OxiClean!  This is a great option to do when you want to do intense strap cleanings every few months.  As a result, this will help brighten the white accents on the strap, without the use of bleach.  However, do not let soak in hot water, as it can damage and potentially melt the nylon weave!

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