How to Clean a Leather Wallet

pink suede leather wallet on grey background

Leather wallets are a popular accessory for men and women alike. They can be used to hold money, credit cards, identification cards, and other important documents. Over time, however, leather wallets can become stained and dirty. In this post, we will provide some tips on how to clean a leather wallet naturally and restore it to its former glory.

What are the different types of leather and how do they differ in appearance and durability?

Leather is a type of material that is made from the skin of an animal. There are different types of leather, each with its own unique appearance and durability. The most common types of leather are cowhide, sheepskin, and goatskin.

Cowhide is the most common type of leather and is usually used to make boots, jackets, and purses. It is thick and has a rough texture. Sheepskin is thin and soft with a suede-like appearance. Goatskin is thin and delicate with a shiny finish.

Leather can be slit into five grades depending on the layer of the hide, the tanning process, and the material combination.

  • Full-grain leather: A cut of full-grain leather is crafted using the outer layer of the hide. It contains densely packed fibers. Although the hair is usually removed, natural imperfections in the material will remain. Full-grain pieces of leather are used to make boots, jackets, and bags and are renowned for their durability.
  • Top-grain leather: Top-grain leather is also taken from the top layer of hide. However, unlike full-grain, top-grain leather is sanded or buffed to remove imperfections. This means the leather can be dyed and shaped easily.
  • Genuine leather: Genuine leather can be crafted from any layer of the hide. Like top-grain, genuine leather goes through sanding and buffing to remove any imperfections.
  • Split-grain leather (Suede): Suede or split-grain leather is taken from the bottom levels of the hide. Although less strong than cuts taken from the top of the hide, its flexibility makes it a good candidate for coloring and embossing.
  • Bonded leather: Leather can be combined with polyurethane or latex to create filler materials. Bonded leathers can comprise anywhere between 10-90% of leather scraps. The quality of bonded leather, therefore, varies depending on the ratio of materials used.

black blue beige and pink wallets on grey background

BONUS: What is vegan leather?

Vegan leather is an ethical alternative to animal-based leather. It is made from a variety of materials, including polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane that are combined with plant-based alternatives to animal skin such as apple pomace and peel, as well as pineapple and cactus leaves.

How to clean a leather wallet naturally

Leather wallets should be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their best. You can clean a leather wallet naturally at home with a few simple steps.

First, remove any loose dirt or dust from the wallet with a soft cloth. Next, mix a small amount of warm water with a few drops of dish soap.

Dip a soft cloth in the mixture and wipe the wallet down in circular motions. Be sure to clean all surfaces, inside and out. Finally, rinse the cloth in warm water and wipe the wallet dry.

You should always test out your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area before proceeding. If any color loss or damage occurs in the test spot, do not use this method to clean your entire wallet.

If in doubt about how to care for your wallet: ask. It’s better to take extra time now than have regrets later when you find out something was damaged beyond repair.

Can I use soap to clean a suede wallet?

Suede can be easily damaged by soap and water.  The process for cleaning suede is a little different from cleaning leather because of the delicate nature of the material.

Instead, blot a few drops of white vinegar on a soft cleaning cloth and pat gently over the areas of your wallet that need cleaning. Leave to air dry overnight and repeat if necessary to remove any stubborn marks.

hands cleaning black leather wallet with white cloth

Cleaning your leather wallet often can prevent it from becoming stained or dirty

Your wallet is an important accessory that you should take care of. Not only does it hold your money and credit cards, but it can also say a lot about you as a person. By following these simple tips, you can keep your wallet clean and in good condition for years to come.