Leather Care

How To Make A Wallet Last Longer: Care And Maintenance Of Accessories

Whether you got a brand new luxury wallet for Christmas, or you are using a wallet you’ve had for many years and can’t bear to part with because you love familiarity, keeping your best wallet properly cleaned and maintained will extend its longevity and usability.

Wallets are on the receiving end of a great deal of natural wear and tear. Even the best wallet will eventually show the marks of being shoved and pulled in and out of a back pocket, or bumped around with other objects at the bottom of a purse next to your sunglasses, old receipts, and used tissues. It’s not often that we take the time or energy to think about cleaning out a wallet, much less actually cleaning it, but leather experts tell us that a little thought and care can extend the life of a good leather wallet and keep it looking new for much longer—maybe even for decades.


Maintaining Your Best Wallet To Prevent Damage

We clean our homes, wash and vacuum our cars, and even clean out our refrigerators far more often than we do our wallets. Leather care experts tell us that letting a wallet become overstuffed is the fastest way to ruin it. Avoid letting your wallet become fat by stuffing it full of receipts and business cards that you will never need. It’s a good idea to go through your wallet periodically and cleanse it of old receipts, expired coupons, outdated business cards, and any other junk that’s accumulated.

Avoid sitting on your wallet! According to Men’s Health, sitting on a fat wallet can cause back pain. In a back pocket, the wallet sits directly between your hip joint and sciatic nerve which can cause pinching of the sciatic nerve and eventually back and hip pain. Sitting on your wallet also compromises the grain of the leather and can cause your wallet to become distorted.

If your wallet gets wet — such as when it’s in your back pocket during a rainstorm — you should always blot it dry with a soft towel and then allow it to air dry in a closed position. Don’t leave it open to dry or it may lose its shape. Never try to blowdry your wallet or apply heat. Wallets should always be dried promptly. Moisture can cause mold or mildew to grow on the leather.

Finally, avoid placing your wallet in direct sunlight, such as on the dash of your car. This can fade the leather.


Cleaning Your Best Wallet To Keep It Looking Its Best

Keep your wallet clean by wiping it weekly with a damp cloth, spot-checking to remove any dirt, dust, lint, or stickiness — like from bumping around in a purse next to a pack of gum. Occasionally, your wallet may require more serious cleaning. When it’s time for a cleaning, you should use a good leather cleaner made for regular cowhide. Always test your leather cleaner on a very small section of your wallet—on the inside where it won’t show— to be sure it’s safe. Some exotic leathers may require a different cleaning product. Be sure to check your cleaning cloth for any color rub-off and check the spot for fading or discoloration before continuing to clean the rest of your wallet.

After testing the leather cleaner on your best wallet, use a small amount of leather cleaner on a clean cloth and lightly rub along the surface of your wallet to clean away any dirt, dust, or grime. Any really tough stains or spots can be rubbed away with a soft-bristled toothbrush. After cleaning the entire surface, rub off the leather cleaner with a dry cloth.


Conditioning Your Leather Wallet

Just like with your own skin, using a cleaning product will not only remove dirt and grime, it also strips away natural oils. Only with your leather wallet, the moisture can’t be replaced the way it can with your healthy skin. Instead, it’s important to follow up on your leather cleaner with a good leather conditioner to replace the critical moisture that keeps your best wallet supple. Test the conditioner first, just as you did the cleaner, and then apply it with a clean cloth. Let it soak in for about five minutes and then gently buff it away with a clean, dry cloth.

Being careful to maintain your wallet, and giving it a thorough cleaning at least twice a year should make a high-quality leather wallet last for many years, perhaps even longer than your daily-driver car or best pair of work shoes.


Tips for a Shiny Belt Buckle

Choose a quality polish. Instant liquids seem convenient but are harsh on metal finishes. Find a polish that is specific to the metal of your buckle. With options in liquid, sprays, paste and even on cloths, it only takes a bit of research to find the one that suits your preference.

Sit in a comfortable spot with a towel on your lap, to catch excess polish. Dab or spray polish on the polish cloth or rag. If using a liquid, start with a little and add polish as needed. You don’t want to drown the buckle in expensive quality polish when a dab will do.

Use the rag or polish cloth to massage polish into the buckle. Be sure to work the cleaning agent into each nook and cranny of the design for real shine. This can be a trying process especially with ornate designs, but when done correctly, it will keep your buckle looking new. Leave yourself plenty of time to make sure you do it right.

Wipe off excess polish and buff the belt buckle with a clean rag or polish cloth. Work the cloth in small, tight circles to cover the entire buckle. When it shines, you will know you’ve done your job right.

Store the buckle in a safe place to avoid scratches or other damages when not in use. Also put your polishing materials in a safe place, ready for the next polishing session.