How to Restore Leather Wallet

If your leather wallet is starting to show signs of wear and tear and you are the corners and seams splitting open, and the leather becoming brittle and dry, don’t despair – you can restore your leather wallet to its former glory with a few simple steps. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to restore leather wallet step-by-step. So read on for instructions on how to bring your old wallet back to life!

How to Restore Leather Wallet

Leather wallets are a great fashion accessory – they have a classy look and can fit in nicely with your corporate attire, or dress down a bit with a pair of jeans. The trouble with leather is that it is a natural material that wears out over time due to wear and tear from being used daily. If you use your leather wallet every day, it will have been subjected to 365 days of wear and tear by the end of each year.

Things You’ll Need

  • Leather cleaner
  • Soft cloths, toothbrush or old cotton socks
  • Wax and Conditioner or Leather grease. These are oil-based and will keep the leather soft, pliable, and waterproof.
  • Natural Beeswax or a commercial beeswax conditioner
  • Strong white vinegar
  • Soft terrycloth towel or old cotton socks
  • A small clean paintbrush

How to Restore Leather Wallet Stepwise Guide

Step 1: Determine the Type of Leather You Have

It’s easy to know that the wallet is made of genuine leather just by touching it. If you are not sure, then scratch it with your fingernail. If the color comes out quickly, it probably indicates the presence of other materials used to boost its durability. So this type of leather is not genuine.

Scratch your wallet with fingernail

If the wallet is made of synthetic leather instead, you won’t be able to scratch it with your nails because it’s a fiber-based material that prevents your fingers from making indents.

Step 2: Clean the Surface

The cleaning process helps to make it appear like the original leather. Hence take a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply soap and water to its surface. Now rub the wallet with your fingers in a circular motion several times. Then moisten a small portion of your cloth in vinegar and use that part to remove any dirt you see on the wallet.

You can also use some lemon juice or strong white vinegar instead of using a soap solution. These are more potent than soap, so be careful while applying them over leather surfaces.

Note: If you have already purchased your favorite new bag, skip this step since it is a 3rd part cleaning process. But if you have bought a used bag, this step is suggested.

Step 3: Clean the Wallet’s Interior

To clean the interior of a wallet, you can use either of these two ways.

Put some rice inside it and keep it upside down for several hours. Later empty the rice and wipe out any dirt or grime present inside. Rice is an efficient yet gentle cleaner that works on leather fibers without ruining its texture, color, or shine.

Mix one part of water with three pieces of white vinegar in a bowl until they become mild enough for cleaning dirty wallets. Now moisten your fingers with this mixture and rub them gently over all tabletops with visible stains like ink etc. After applying, let the wallet dry. It will help remove any stains and make the wallet look fresh!

Step 4: Restoring the Leather to Its Original Condition

Take the soft cloth and rub some wax or leather grease. Hold that wallet in your hand and apply the melted wax to its surface with gentle circular motions three times. Wait till each application gets entirely dried before applying other wax on it because if you don’t wait, the other portions will get sticky by sticking to earlier used areas.

Apply melted wax to leather surface

Now take an old cotton sock or terrycloth towel and buff the entire wallet until it shines like new. You can also use a small paintbrush instead of cloth. But this is not suggested since the bristles are rough, which might scratch your wallet’s printed surface!

Don’t forget to clean all crevices using a toothbrush, big hard eraser, cloth, or cotton sock.

Step 5: Cleaning Stains

To remove tough stains, take a colorless spot remover or mineral spirits to clean your leather purse. It is beneficial in removing ink, nail polish, paint, etc.

But if it’s not working correctly, you can choose an option by rubbing colorless dish detergent over the stain with your fingers. Afterward, you have to wipe it off with a damp cloth and let it dry naturally by leaving it untouched for some time.

When you keep this wallet under the sunlight after treating it with lemon juice or vinegar, its natural glow will be restored automatically. This process, called tanning, makes leather hard to get affected by water and other substances because accidents are also prevented while using the wallet in the rain.

Step 6a: Apply Beeswax and Conditioner (Faux Leather)

If the wallet contains synthetic materials like plastic and PVC, then use a conditioner meant for synthetic leather. If you plan to use wax, remove any dirt or dust from its surface while applying it evenly all over the wallet lengthwise with your fingers.

But make sure not to apply wax over metal parts such as zippers and buttons because these move after some time due to constant friction. Moreover, avoid putting polish in areas with wrinkles on the wallet since it will only add more wrinkles every time you open and close it.

Step 6b: Apply Beeswax and Conditioner (Genuine Leather)

If the wallet is made of genuine leather, it’s better to use natural beeswax or petroleum jelly for conditioning. Apply it with your fingers just like you used to do while applying wax. Ensure that every part of the wallet is covered by either one of these two elements. However, avoid putting polish on metal parts, as stated above.

Step 7: Buffing Waxed Leather

Once the process of applying wax and conditioner finishes, let it dry for a couple of minutes so that all the impurities are obliterated from its surface. Then take an old cotton sock and buff the entire wallet once more but this time in a circular motion instead of rubbing its surface lengthwise. Once done, wipe it off by letting it dry for more minutes.

Buff the entire wallet

The whole process is quite simple and can be done at your home. So, if you want to restore the look of your favorite leather bag, go for this 7-step process and get rid of all your worries forever. These steps will help in how to restore leather wallet.

Why Wallets Get Dirty?

All leather gets dirty. How quickly and easily it does so depends on the quality and type of leather and how well you take care of your wallet. Leather is made from animal skin and is subject to all the problems associated with dead animals: bacteria, germs, smells, etc.

How much you should worry about this depends on whether or not the animal was cleanly killed before its skin was removed for tanning. How long ago that was can be a problem, too; older animals have had more time accumulating dirt in their skins than young animals.

Suppose you’re still reading after hearing all that gore, then good for you! Your wallet is in safe hands (though just in case, it’s nice if you don’t put it down anywhere too dirty for the next few moments). But, of course, how you clean your wallet depends on what kind of leather wallet you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Leather Restorer?

The best leather restorer will depend on the severity of the damage, your specific needs, and your location. However, some general tips that may be helpful include:

  1. Use a professional restoration service – If you’re not comfortable doing any kind of repairs yourself, it’s best to seek out a professional restoration service. These professionals have years of experience and will be able to handle even the most severe damage with ease.
  2. Get a restoration kit – When you’re choosing a restoration service, make sure to get a kit that includes all the necessary tools and materials. This way, you’ll be able to get your item (or items) back to its pre-damage state without any troubles.
  3. Beware of low-cost Restoration Services – While there are definitely some good low-cost restoration services out there, be sure to do your research first. Often times, these services lack the experience and equipment needed to properly restore an item.

What Home Remedy Can I Use to Restore Leather?

Leather is a durable material, but it can sometimes become dry and brittle. If this happens, you may need to restore your leather with a home remedy. Some of the most popular include using a proteolytic enzyme (such as bromelin or chymopapain), balm, butter, horse chestnut oil, beeswax paste/ointment, or cream. Some people also use natural dyes that are designed specifically for restoring leather such as black walnut hulls or catechins from green tea extract.

Leather is a Durable Material

Before using any of these remedies on your own leather goods, be sure to test them out on an inconspicuous area first to make sure they won’t harm the fabric.

Is Vaseline Good for Old Leather?

While Vaseline may be good for keeping your skin hydrated, it is not a recommended product to use on old leather. Old leather is often treated with chemicals and other substances that can damage the surface and cause it to become brittle and dry. Instead of using Vaseline, you can apply a moisturizer such as coconut oil or Shea butter to keep the leather soft and supple.

Can Dried Out Leather Be Restored?

Yes, leather can be restored if it is properly cared for. It’s important to avoid exposing the skin to moisture or sunlight while the leather is drying out as this will damage it further. You can speed up the process by using a hair dryer on low heat, but avoid over-drying your leather as this can cause wrinkles and other damages. Once your leather has reached its desired dried out state, you should buff it with a soft cloth or use a polishing compound to restore shine and luster.

Use a Polishing Compound


There are many ways to restore a leather wallet, but the most important thing is not to get it wet if you have a special occasion and want your wallet looking nice for photographs! You might also find that restoring your wallet will help prevent unnecessary wear and tear in the long run. We hope our article on how to restore leather wallet will solve your problem.

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Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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