Any type of watchband—cloth, leather, or metal—can cause the wrist to sweat, resulting in an unpleasant smell in the band. You can easily deodorize metal watchbands by cleaning them with soap and water or a jewelry cleaner. Cloth and leather watchbands, however, absorb smells and are more difficult to clean. There is a simple way to deodorize a cloth or leather watchband, though, without even wetting the surface.
Sprinkle some baking soda in a small plastic bag. Make sure the bag has a seal or can easily be sealed with a knot or twist-tie.
Place the watchband into the bag and seal the bag. Leave the watchband in the bag overnight. Baking soda is often used when cleaning laundry to neutralize pH and remove unwanted smells.
Remove the watchband from the bag and smell it. If the wristband still has an offensive odor, it may need to sit in the bag for another night. For cloth watchbands, if the odor is extreme, throw the band into the washing machine or soak it in warm water and detergent. Perform Steps 1 and 2 for deodorizing between washings. For extreme-smelling leather watchbands, proceed to Step 4.
Mix together equal amounts of distilled vinegar and linseed oil. Using a lint-free cloth, rub the mixture into the leather, then buff with a clean, dry cloth. This will clean the leather. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for deodorizing in between cleanings.