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How to Clean & Care For Men’s Bracelets

We get a lot of questions about how to take care of men’s bracelets. From stainless steel to beads or leather, our tips below will show you a few simple things that you can do to keep yours looking as good as the day we sent it to you.

Bracelet hazards exist all year-round. From sinking to the bottom of the ocean like the ending of Titanic (sorry for the spoiler) to flying off during a killer game of beach volleyball, accidents will happen. Your bracelet needs help to protect it.

The only way to guarantee not losing or damaging your bracelet is to never wear it. But who wants to do that?

Instead of forgoing wrist candy, follow 5 simple guidelines to keep your bracelet safe and looking just as good as the day we sent it to you. And when it does get dirty, learn how to clean your bracelet with our tips below.

Know When to Remove Your Bracelet

  1. Remove bracelets before swimming in the ocean and exercising. Not only is saltwater damaging to most bracelets, but shiny objects are also known to attract sharks – another great reason for not swimming with bracelets on! Sweat isn’t great for sterling silver, leather, or beaded bracelets either.

  2. Remove bracelets before swimming in a pool or soaking in a hot tub. You may have dreams of chilling by the pool covered in bling like you’re in a rap video. But if you want to actually get in the pool, that dream needs to be edited. Chlorine is damaging and discoloring to many metals (even stainless steel) and can erode the polished finish of some gemstones.

  3. Remove bracelets before applying moisturizer, sunscreen, tanning lotion, or cologne. Think of your bracelet as the finishing touch and put it on after applying lotions and products. These have a way of getting into crevices, clogging locks, and coating beads – none of which are good for your bracelet.

  4. Remove bracelets if you’re sitting in direct sunlight. This doesn't mean you can’t wear your bracelet outside. But take it off if you’re lying in the sun at the beach or pool. Sunlight can bleach certain materials and can cause plastics (like that elastic band those Tiger’s Eyes beads are strung on) to weaken and break.

  5. Remove your bracelet before playing in the sand or gardening. No matter how cool our men’s bracelets are, they won’t help at beach volleyball. If you don’t take your bracelet off, you run the risk of the sand scratching the gold-plating, rhodium-plating, or the finish of the stones. The same is true with gardening, removing your bracelet keeps it safe from small, damaging stones and the accidental planting of it. There’s no way to grow a Black on Black tree… trust us.

How to Care for Men’s Bracelets

  1. Clean your bracelet regularly. Sweat, body oils, and fingerprints can dull the shine of your bracelet. A simple cleaning method for most men’s bracelets (except leather ones) calls for warm water with a drop or 2 of mild soap and a soft cloth or toothbrush. Carefully wipe the bracelet clean and dry it well with a soft cloth.

  2. Store your bracelet safely. Keep bracelets in a place where they won’t scratch each other. Do not pile them up on top of the dresser or stuff them in your sock drawer. Invest in a jewelry stand – we have ones that look masculine and not like the ones your aunt uses. And when you take it off at the beach or pool, do not store it in a plastic bag. Trapping heat and moisture can encourage mold and mildew to grow – especially on men’s leather bracelets!

  3. Watch for warning signs. With a little bit of care and attention, your bracelet will last a long long time. But keep an eye out for signs of vulnerability and always put your bracelet on the correct way. As shown in the sketch below, beaded bracelets should be put on by closing your fingers together and rolling the bracelet over your hand without excessive stretching or pulling. With men’s cuff bracelets, avoid weakening the metal by bending and stretching it. To adjust a cuff bracelet, put it on your wrist and wrap your hand firmly around it, and gently squeeze the ends together. Like in the sketch, put it on and take it off from the narrowest part of your wrist.

How to Take Care of Men’s Beaded Bracelets

We get a lot of questions from men about the best way to care for their beaded bracelets. Although the quality of the beads is the biggest factor in determining its longevity, you also need to consider what you can do for your bracelet to last.

  • Keep your beaded bracelet dry. A little splash won’t hurt but don’t shower or swim with beaded bracelets on. And take care when washing your hands or playing in the rain.
  • Take off your beaded bracelet. Your bracelet is meant to be worn every day and to help you tell every story. However, to avoid scratching or breaking the stone beads, take your bracelet off before hitting the gym or other strenuous activities.
    And remove it while sleeping to avoid stretching as you move around in search of the perfect sleeping position.
  • Protect your bracelet from creams and oils. Remove it before putting lotion, sunscreen, tanning oil, or cologne on. Yes, men should be moisturizing and wearing sunscreen. Lotions, oils, and creams can build up between the beads and metal spacers and lead to discoloration and damage.
  • Protect your beads from harsh, direct sunlight. Not all gemstones are created equal. Some are damaged by direct sun exposure for long periods. The best way to protect your men’s beaded bracelet is to hang it on a
    jewelry stand away from direct sunlight. This also protects the elastic band inside. At the beach, keep it off the hot sand.

These gemstones are known for fading or discoloration with prolonged sun exposure: Opal, Sapphire, Amethyst, Ametrine, Turquoise, Carnelian, Citrine, Kunzite, Rose, and Smokey Quartz.

Stones that will not fade or lose color in the sun include Lava, Howlite, Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Black Onyx, Black Obsidian, Jasper, and Malachite.

  • Keep your bracelet clean. No matter how careful you are, your bracelet will need cleaning.
    To clean a beaded bracelet, gently scrub with a soft cloth or soft toothbrush dipped in warm water with a small amount of mild soap. As the sketch shows, use a damp cloth to wipe away any soap and dry with a cloth.
    For metal spacers and tags, polish them with a soft cloth. This method is safe for most gemstones and wooden beads.

Can I swim with a beaded bracelet on?

Both chlorine and saltwater can damage the beads or the elastic or metal wire that holds the bracelet together. We suggest always taking off a beaded bracelet before swimming.

Many gemstones have been treated in some way. Either by high heat (heat-treated), radiation (irradiation) or filling cracks with dyes and waxes to hide imperfections (impregnation). All of this is an attempt to get the look of a perfect stone and make the stone more affordable.

While these treatments aren’t bad, it does make the stone more susceptible to pool chemicals and saltwater. The more treated a stone is, the more likely it is to discolor or fade. At Trendhim, we use many natural stones that are simply polished – no treatments added.

Beyond the stone beads, saltwater can also weaken the elastic band holding the beads together and cause it to break. Water can also rust and deteriorate the metal wire that makes up some men’s beaded bracelets.

How to Take Care of Men’s Stainless Steel Bracelets

While stainless steel is known for being hard-wearing, durable, and rust-resistant, there are a few things you should do that will go a long way in protecting your bracelet.

  • Keep your stainless steel bracelet dry. It is safe to shower with a
    stainless steel bracelet, but you need to be careful if there is any other metal present or any plating on the steel (like gold-plating). Even gold-plating can wear off and prolonged exposure to water and the rubbing and scrubbing in the shower can make it happen faster.
    Because it’s not good to have soap and water trapped in the bracelet’s crevices or locking mechanism, we suggest always removing bracelets before showering. Do not allow water to sit and dry on your steel bracelet, cuff, or bangle – always dry after it gets wet.
  • Remove your bracelet before sleeping. While stainless steel is strong enough to survive the night, there is the risk of the plating on the metal wearing off while you sleep… after many many nights. There’s also the risk of nickel allergies with any bracelet that hasn’t been tested and approved. And even then, there’s a slight risk. Always check that the bracelet you choose is safe to wear.
  • Protect your stainless steel bracelet from oils and creams. Remove your bracelet before putting lotion, sunscreen, tanning oil, or cologne on. While most aren’t damaging to the steel, you may end up having to wipe off the residue with a soft cloth.
  • Keep your stainless steel bracelet clean. To clean it, mix a few drops of mild soap with warm water, and dip a soft cloth into it.
    As shown below, use the cloth to gently clean your bracelet. Rinse with water and dry it with a soft towel. Let it finish air-drying and then use a polishing cloth for extra shine.

Can I swim with a stainless steel bracelet on?

No, you should not swim with a stainless steel bracelet on. Yes, the metal is durable, strong, and rust-resistant, but the chemicals in a chlorinated pool and the salt in the ocean can cause your bracelet to tarnish.

And remember that shiny objects are known to attract sharks? Yeah… that’s something that will totally ruin a quick dip in the ocean.

Not to mention the damage saltwater and chlorine can do to the non-stainless parts of your bracelet – the lock, etc. If you absolutely must wear a bracelet, steel cuff, or bangle while swimming in the ocean, go for one made with medical-grade, surgical 316L stainless steel and dry it completely afterward.

The main reason for not wearing stainless steel bracelets and jewelry in a swimming pool is that the chlorine can break down the surface layer of the metal. It’s the chromium in stainless steel that reacts with oxygen and forms a thin, invisible layer of chromium oxide over the surface. This ‘passive layer’ is what gives stainless steel bracelets their corrosion-resistance.

When chlorine eats through this layer of chromium oxide, the underlying structure of the steel is vulnerable to rust, corrosion, and ultimate destruction. Game over.

How to Take Care of Men’s Leather Bracelets

From suits to hoodies, men’s leather bracelets can be dressed up or worn down. Treat yours well, and you’ll find that it matches perfectly with anything in your closet. Mistreat it. and you'll end up with a dry, shriveled accessory. Or worse… one covered in mold.

  • Keep your leather bracelets dry. Genuine leather acts like skin, meaning it’s porous and will never be completely waterproof. Water can damage a leather bracelet and cause it to stain, discolor, or deteriorate.
    If your leather bracelet gets wet, the first step is to gently brush off the water. Use a soft, absorbent cloth to pat the strap (not scrub), and let it air-dry. Read more on water and men’s leather bracelets below.
  • Avoid excessive heat. It’s best to take off your bracelet when sleeping or during a heavy workout. But be careful where you place it. Leather does best in cool or room-temperature areas. Extreme heat can dry it out, so avoid radiators, stoves, or campfires.
  • Protect your bracelet from creams and oils. As with most bracelets, take them off before applying moisturizer, oils, or colognes. This includes sunscreens. While most aren’t damaging, they will build up a film on the leather that can dull the look and feel of the hide.
  • Keep your bracelet clean. To clean men’s leather bracelets, use a slightly damp cloth with a drop of mild hand soap (moisturizer-free) and gently wipe it down. Wipe with a clean damp cloth afterward and allow the bracelet to air-dry before wearing.
    As the sketch shows, always use small circles or a gentle tapping motion – never wipe aggressively. Some leather bracelets may need to be conditioned with a leather conditioner for extra protection. Follow the instructions on that product for safety.

Can I swim with a leather bracelet on?

The answer is no, you should not swim with a leather bracelet on. Don’t let the tough, rugged look of the bracelet fool you – water isn’t a friend.

Check out the top 3 reasons why you shouldn't swim with a leather bracelet (or necklace or jacket!) below.

  1. Leather will lose its natural oil and shrink if you swim with it. Wearing your leather bracelet in the shower or while swimming in a pool or the ocean can strip the oils from it. It can also happen if your bracelet gets soaked in the rain. When these rich oils are gone, you’ll find that the leather bracelet stiffens, cracks, and even shrinks.

  2. Leather can discolor if exposed to too much water. It may not happen on the first day, but prolonged soaking in water can cause the color of your leather bracelet to fade or wear off completely. Most leather bracelets are either dyed or painted with color. Constant swimming or showering with your bracelet can cause the color to fade or peel off.

  3. Leather can mold with prolonged exposure to water. If your leather bracelet gets wet and doesn’t dry properly, it can grow mold. By the time you see it, the problem is serious. Mould will obviously not look good, but it also adversely impacts the strength of the bracelet and can smell bad.

How to Stop Men’s Leather Bracelets from Smelling

With proper care, your leather bracelet shouldn’t smell. If it does, it needs a good cleaning and time to air-out. It also indicates that you’re wearing it too much without giving it time to ‘breathe’.

Leather is a porous material and absorbs sweat, oils, and dirt. This can’t be stopped… it will happen.

To give your leather bracelet a fighting chance, don’t wear it during activities where you know you’ll sweat (the gym, for example) and always take it off while sleeping.