Oops! I Forgot My Expensive Watch in the Dishwasher: What to Do Next

Imagine the sinking feeling of realizing that you’ve accidentally left your prized and expensive watch in the dishwasher. It’s a scenario that can send panic through any watch enthusiast or collector. However, before succumbing to despair, it’s essential to take immediate action to assess any potential damage and salvage your beloved timepiece. In this article, we’ll explore the steps to take if you’ve forgotten your expensive watch in the dishwasher, potential risks to be aware of, and tips for preventing similar mishaps in the future.

  1. Retrieval and Inspection:
    • The first step is to promptly retrieve your watch from the dishwasher once you realize the mistake. Avoid turning on the dishwasher or running any cycles until you’ve removed the watch to prevent further damage.
    • Inspect the watch carefully for any signs of water intrusion, condensation under the crystal, or visible damage to the case, dial, or movement. If the watch appears to be dry and undamaged, proceed with caution.
  2. Drying Process:
    • Even if your watch doesn’t show immediate signs of water damage, it’s crucial to thoroughly dry it to prevent potential issues later on. Use a soft, absorbent cloth to gently blot away any moisture on the exterior of the watch.
    • Avoid using heat sources such as hairdryers or heaters to accelerate the drying process, as excessive heat can damage the watch’s components or seals. Instead, allow the watch to air dry naturally in a cool, dry environment.

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  1. Professional Assessment:
    • While drying the watch may alleviate immediate concerns, it’s advisable to have it professionally inspected by a qualified watchmaker or jeweler. They can assess the extent of any water damage and recommend appropriate repairs if necessary.
    • Some watch manufacturers offer specialized services for water-damaged watches, including disassembly, cleaning, and resealing of the case to prevent future issues.


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  1. Potential Risks and Damage:
    • Water intrusion poses a significant risk to the delicate components of a mechanical watch, including the movement, dial, and internal mechanisms. Exposure to moisture can cause rust, corrosion, and damage to the lubricants that keep the movement running smoothly.
    • Additionally, water damage may affect the watch’s seals and gaskets, compromising its water resistance and leaving it vulnerable to further moisture intrusion in the future.
  2. Prevention Tips:
    • To avoid future mishaps, establish a routine for removing and storing valuables such as watches, jewelry, and electronics before using household appliances like dishwashers.
    • Consider using a dedicated watch box or storage case to keep your watches organized and protected when they’re not being worn. This can help prevent accidental exposure to water, moisture, or other potential hazards.


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Forgetting your expensive watch in the dishwasher can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s important to remain calm and take swift action to assess and address any potential damage. By promptly retrieving and drying the watch, seeking professional assessment and repairs if necessary, and implementing preventive measures for the future, you can minimize the risk of permanent damage and continue enjoying your prized timepiece for years to come. Remember, accidents happen, but with proper care and vigilance, you can help protect your valuable possessions and preserve their beauty and functionality for generations to come.

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