Anyone know whats the best thing to use to clean a dial?
In reply to jp if its not too much by jfoley
Please PM me as I don't think it is correct to post a dealer on this web site. I will be very happy to give you the information since it does work quite well but I don't put the dial in the jar and shake it. I clip the dial by a peg and swirl it in the solution for about 4 miinutes and then rinse it with warm water and simply lay a paper towel gently on top of the dial. Do not wipe as it will possibly take off the black writing and registers.
Damn That's what I should try. I've been putting the entire watch in a sock and running it throught the washing machine. I take the band off first. The darned things come out w/ cleaner dial, but even after I shake the excess water out the stem they won't run for some reason. :)
If there is a really good way to clean old (non enamelled) dials, I haven't come across it. I can clean them only up to a point, it depends why they are dirty, whether the crystal has been gone for years and it was rattling around in drawer, or corrosion, or what have you. I can tell you what NOT to do. Don't use alcohol of any kind, nor ultrasonics. I strongly advise that no one attempt to clean a radium dial. Contamination of everything in the vicinity is usually the result. The half life of Radium is 1600 years, so just because it isn't glowing anymore doesn't mean it is harmless. The Zinc Sulfide has simply decayed and no longer flouresces. I've had old watchmakers tell me they sometimes use saliva, but I have had minor success with a very soft brush and pledge furniture polish. This is an old watchmaker's trick, and it doesn't always yield great results, but works fairly well sometimes. You take a really soft bench brush, and spray the pledge onto it, and then with quick lengthwise strokes, you brush the dial across the surface, and rotate it as you do.
There is always a chance you will ruin a dial by attempting to clean it, so unless you are prepared for this, don't touch it. I have seen some excellent results from International for refinished dials.