How to Clean a Leather Wallet at Home – Stains and Smells Removed

by Albert Varkki updated 05-25-2023

Your wallet follows you everywhere so it's only a matter of time before it gets wrecked by a sticky stain or smell. When this happens it can be tempting to rush out and grab a new one but that’s not always necessary. If you have an expensive wallet from a brand like Fossil or Louis Vuitton, the idea of keeping it clean and getting the dirt off yourself will be far more attractive than having to just throw it away. Here we explain the steps to cleaning your leather wallet at home without ruining it. Give these steps a go before throwing in the towel and buying a brand new one.

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    • Grab a damp cloth. It shouldn't be too dry but can't be soaking and dripping wet. Rub the stain or area with the cloth repeatedly until the area is damp. Stop as soon as you think you’ve dampened it. Don't rub for too long!
        • Now you can start to rub the area with leather cleaner. Most leather stores or super stores will sell a leather bag cleaner, these will do the job properly and will help protect against color disturbance especially if your wallet is light colored. If you want to attempt the clean without leather cleaner, you can try a simple mix consisting of a little bit of dishwashing soap mixed with some distilled water.
            • Massage the solution in the stained area. Be careful when trying to rub in line with the grain of the leather. Rubbing against the grain too much can damage it as well as ruin colored leather.

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                • Now use a completely dry cloth to wipe away any excess left on the surface of the leather. Don't dry the area too much by rubbing it with this dry cloth!
                    • Let the wallet sit in a safe place for about 20 - 30 mins to dry naturally. This step is all about being patient. Don’t place it in direct sunlight and don't use any machinery in attempt to dry it faster.
                        • Once it is dry, you can apply leather cream to help restore and protect the integrity of the leather. Rub the cream in using circular motions. A purpose designed cream should be used as opposed to random hand lotions, as solutions designed for live skin can damage leather surfaces.

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                        Author: Albert Varkki
                        Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you. Connect on Linkedin

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