Best Polishing Cloth for Stainless Steel Apple Watch

ipaine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2015
108
9
Any recommendations? A few micro-scratches here - nothing big. Just want something that I can use every few weeks to buff it up. Also fancy restoring my 70-year-old Omega to some of its former glory.
 

MarcW

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2011
44
5
Maryland/DC
I would probably only use a dry jeweler's polishing cloth if I wanted to remove microscratches. Cape Cod cloths have a cream in them which would be hard to keep from getting into any openings or crevices. In any case, an abrasive polishing is going to remove metal, and you don't want to do that frequently. A soft cloth or even real chamois for removing greasy fingerprints and the like is going to be gentler. And sometimes it may best to just live with the little scratches as added character :D
 

JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Nov 7, 2007
12,819
2,381
New Sanfrakota
I doubt there have been any reports of it actually happening, and I think the whole galvanic corrosion thing is just FUD at this time, and probably will remain that way... aluminum pretty much instantly coats itself with an oxide which prevents such corrosion. However, acidic solutions (even sweat) will dissolve this and allow the corrosion to take place. However again, the Apple Watch Sport has an anodized aluminum acts similarly to the oxide layer and prevents corrosion, but it is not susceptible to being easily removed. Since Apple's metal lugs have plastic/teflon/etc. contacts that help prevent metal to metal erosion in the lug mating area, it will probably be a lot of mating operations to wear down the anodizing in this area. Damage to the corners might speed the process though.
It's not FUD but basic chemistry. Apple doesn't have the magical ability to defeat basic chemistry, just as they can't do the same with physics. While it's true there are plastic nubs in the connectors, sweat can easily form direct conduit between the metals via capillary action.

Just don't get it soaking wet with sweat and it'll be fine.
 

iBlazed

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2014
1,594
1,247
New Jersey, United States
Not likely, as long as you don't leave it outside in a marine environment or wear it while working out (subjecting it to salt from sweat).
Ahh, good to know. I'll switch to the sport band for working out. But sweating can happen any time, especially in the summer. Maybe I should rinse it off daily during the hot months?
 

JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Nov 7, 2007
12,819
2,381
New Sanfrakota
You must have missed the part in basic chemistry where anodized aluminum doesn't exhibit galvanic corrosion. :D
Wrong. There's no such thing as unanodized aluminum. If you cut aluminum, the new layers will eventually oxidize to form a thin protective layer that acts as its own anodized coating. As such, the galvanic corrosion can occur between anodized aluminum and stainless steel. Perhaps it's less likely to be an issue due to the added artifical coating, but we all know how easy it is to induce scratches or wearing away of anodized aluminum (if the Black and Slate iPhone 5 is any indication).

Better be safe than sorry and refrain from wearing it while working out.
 

JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Nov 7, 2007
12,819
2,381
New Sanfrakota
I'm pretty sure you shouldn't just say "wrong" when it seems you don't have experience in the area. I could understand if you said "I don't think so" or something like that, but you're just repeating something inaccurate.

Naturally occurring aluminum oxide is a thin layer on the aluminum. Galvanic corrosion DOES NOT occur with the oxide coating. What happens is that an acidic solution must dissolve the oxide first, allowing corrosion to occur with the non-oxidized aluminum. Sweat easily dissolves this natural oxide layer. Naturally occurring oxide layers also develop fissures, which reoxidize, or if in the presence of an electrolyte, will corrode. Naturally oxidized aluminum is not generally referred to as "anodized". "It's basic chemistry." :D

Commercial anodizing processes introduce other more chemically stable compounds to the oxide layer and also help prevent the fissures from forming. They also call filling the pores of the oxide "sealing". The process also produces oxide layers that are much thicker than occur naturally. Being thicker and filling the pores with other material are the primary reason the commercially anodized products are corrosion resistant.

There's a reason the process is called "anodizing" and naturally occurring oxide layers are not called "anodizing", it's because the results are quite different. Anodizing is primarily for corrosion resistance and appearance, and not for wear resistance.

I have spec'd many instances of anodized aluminum fittings in direct contact with stainless steel braid shielded hoses in aeromarine environments, and they don't necessarily suffer from galvanic corrosion, and that's at the California coast.

p.s. Also Apple's 7000-series aluminum has an inherently higher level of corrosion resistance than other alloys such as the more common 6000-series.
If you have any expertise in this area, you'd know that anodized aluminum and stainless steel together pose a bi-metallic corrosion risk. However, the risk is totally dependent on the relative amount of each metal and the conditions they're exposed to. For example, small stainless steel screws on aluminum iPhone do not pose a great risk unless you somehow drop it and leave it out on the beach for about a month or so. An example of a safe use of stainless steel and aluminum together is where SS fasteners are used to secure a large aluminum body, and there should be little risk of corrosion even with un-insulated SS fasteners (probably the same as what you've spec'd). On the other hand, small aluminum bolts holding large stainless steel parts together pose a much higher risk. Everything is relative.
 

rhsmd1

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2015
94
2
Central Florida
I would probably only use a dry jeweler's polishing cloth if I wanted to remove microscratches. Cape Cod cloths have a cream in them which would be hard to keep from getting into any openings or crevices. In any case, an abrasive polishing is going to remove metal, and you don't want to do that frequently. A soft cloth or even real chamois for removing greasy fingerprints and the like is going to be gentler. And sometimes it may best to just live with the little scratches as added character :D
actually the cape cod clothes are impregnated with chemical, so it would not get into openings. as for BRUSHED SS, not SHINEY SS, that can be buffed with a dry scotchguard pad to remove any microscratches in the brushed finish.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,225
Jacksonville, Florida
I would probably only use a dry jeweler's polishing cloth if I wanted to remove microscratches. Cape Cod cloths have a cream in them which would be hard to keep from getting into any openings or crevices. In any case, an abrasive polishing is going to remove metal, and you don't want to do that frequently. A soft cloth or even real chamois for removing greasy fingerprints and the like is going to be gentler. And sometimes it may best to just live with the little scratches as added character :D
If you are going to get rid of scratches in stainless steel you have little choice but to "remove a little metal". No other way to remove the scratches except to fill them in with new stainless.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.