Reviving an Old Leather Wallet

Cooking and Household

A loved one inherited this leather wallet. They like it, and, since I have the supplies, I offered to clean and condition it so that it can stay nice for longer. This process took a few days to complete.

All of my cleaning and polishing rags are repurposed, threadbare cloths that came from other things: towels, shirts, flannels pants (excellent texture for polishing!). I try to avoid using paper towels whenever I can be reusing old things. Leather conditioning rags don’t go in the wash, but general household cleaning rags can be reused and washed quite a few times before they go in the trash. This practice reduces household waste because I’m not buying as many paper towels and my completely worn-out clothes have another use.

First, I wiped off the dust that had accumulated in storage. Then, I used saddle soap and a soft cloth to really clean the leather, as it was old and well-worn. I followed the directions on the tin, then I let the wallet sit quietly for an evening, then buffed it in the morning. The small gap in the ID window was protected with an expired membership card to avoid marring the lining.

After that, I dug out my old mink oil and boot sealant. I generously applied the mink oil, taking care to work the mink oil into the seams and creases of the wallet. The leather soaked up a surprising amount of oil. I left a thin layer on it overnight, just enough to make it tacky to the touch. Almost all of it was soaked up by the next day, leaving very little for me to buff off when I next took up the project.

Next, I used my boot sealant- there was just enough left to complete this project. The sealant is a brand that uses lanolin, beeswax, and coconut oil in a thick blend to protect leather shoes from bad weather. This wallet will definitely have to earn its keep, so I think that a protective application of sealant will help it stay nice for even longer. I applied the sealant, carefully working it into the seams but not applying it too thickly, then gave the wallet a final buffing the next day.

Originally, the wallet was dull and had a dry feeling to it. After I finished working on it, the leather is pleasantly soft and has a little bit of a shine to it!

You won’t have to go out and buy more things if you take care of the things that you already have!

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