How To Clean Your Wallet? [Easy Guide For A Shiny Wallet]

If you don’t learn the proper way to clean your wallet, you may end up damaging it or shortening its lifespan. There are a lot of things that could cause harm to wallets that seem like good cleaning solutions at first, like alcohol or acetone, for example.

Things you should know about cleaning your wallet

Andar Denner size

Wallets are something we use every single day. We touch them multiple times a day, and they gather bacteria, dirt, viruses, and oils which can harm the person who uses the wallet, as well as the wallet itself. This is why it is important to learn how to properly care for and clean your wallet.

Why is it important to clean your wallet?

Apart from wallets getting dirty, a very good reason to clean them is that by doing so, you will ensure that it has a longer lifespan.

Cleaning your wallet of clutter will ensure that it is used properly. This is especially important for leather wallets since they have the tendency to tear if they are overstuffed.

Taking care of stains in the early stages will make sure that the wallet material isn’t damaged, while cleaning and conditioning your wallet will make sure that the material maintains its form and shine.

Which cleaning method is best for wallets?

The best cleaning method largely depends on the type of material the wallet is made of.

For leather wallets, it is recommended to wash them by hand. You should avoid using baby wipes for getting rid of stains.

Metal wallets are very easy to clean, and it is best to use metal polish and a soft cloth for this purpose.

What type of cleaning do wallets require?

For the best results, it is good to declutter your wallet once a week, deep clean it from time to time, and take proper steps for regular maintenance.

Weekly decluttering

Decluttering your wallet might seem like an easy task before you see the pile of receipts, cards, and the occasional gum wrapper. Since your wallet is something you carry around with you everywhere, it’s no surprise that it has all these unnecessary things inside it.

Getting rid of the clutter in your wallet will ensure that it doesn’t get bulky and damaged. This is why it’s important to clean your wallet pockets at least once a week from anything that shouldn’t be there.

Deep cleaning

From time to time, wallets gather dust, oils, and maybe even a stain or two.

Stains are something that should be treated immediately upon happening since this is the time that it’s easiest to get rid of them.

Apart from stains, you should deep clean your wallet from time to time, so that it can maintain its good form. The best way to do this is to gently wash them by hand in order not to cause any damage to the material.

Regular maintenance

Wallets also require some maintenance which will ensure that they stay in good shape.

For example, you should keep leather wallets out of the sun, and immediately wipe them if they get drenched in water.

Metal wallets are more durable compared to leather ones when it comes to sun and water exposure, but you should always be careful not to overstuff them, as this is something that causes the biggest damage to them.

Can you wash wallets in a washing machine?

Never try to clean your wallet by washing it in your washing machine. You can even put the settings on the washer on delicate, and this could still potentially cause damage to the wallet. The washing machine causes constant motion that can break down the material and ruin your wallet.

As I mentioned before, the best way to go about cleaning your wallet is to wash it by hand. By using delicate motions when cleaning it you can ensure that no harm comes to the material. This is especially important for leather wallets since they can’t be wet for a long period of time.

Can you use alcohol to clean your wallet?

Alcohol seems to be something that a lot of people use to clean their wallets. However, this isn’t a cleaning option I would recommend. Acetone and alcohol are the two chemicals that are used the most for this purpose and both of them can potentially cause severe damage to your wallet. If you want to disinfect your wallet I would suggest using soap and water instead.

Cleaning leather wallets

Credit Card Holder front view

Leather wallets have different cleaning methods than ones made from metal. Leather as a material is tender so you need to be extra cautious when cleaning it.

Leather wallet cleaning methods

There are four different ways you can clean your leather wallet.

Wiping it with a cloth

The easiest and fastest way to clean a leather wallet is to just use a microfiber cloth to wipe it. You should be careful not to rub the leather roughly and instead use gentle circular motions to clean it. Keep in mind that this will not get rid of germs or stains, it’s just a way to keep your wallet clean on a daily basis.

Use leather conditioner

For this cleaning method, you will need a leather conditioner and a soft cotton cloth. The main function of a leather conditioner is to moisturize your wallet. Grab the cloth by the edge and dip it in the leather conditioner so that it has a thin layer of it on the edge.

The next step is to put the conditioner on the wallet. You should do so by using circular motions so that you can cover the whole area of the wallet. Don’t rub the surface of the wallet roughly or you might damage the leather. After going over the surface at least 2 times, your wallet should be well-cleaned.

Next, you should use a dry cloth to wipe the leather until it gets a good shine. You should use conditioner on your leather wallet every 4-6 months so that it will last longer and maintain its quality.

Deep clean it with soap

In my opinion, deep cleaning your wallet by using soap and water is the absolute best way to clean it. For this, you will need saddle soap and two clothes.

The first thing you should do is wet one of the cloths and use it to wipe away any dirt or grime that is on the surface of the wallet. Right after this, dip the cloth in saddle soap to get a small amount of it and gently rub it on the leather.

Right after you have applied the soap to the surface you should try to work along the grain of the leather. By gently rubbing the leather with circular motions, the dirt will transfer to the cloth.

You can also use a cotton swab to clean some deep stains. The method is the same as before, just dip the swab in saddle soap and use circular motions to clean the leather.

The last step is to wrap the wallet in a dry towel for 10 hours. Make sure that the whole wallet is covered with the dry towel.

Clean it with leather cleaner

The last method on this list is cleaning your leather wallet by using a leather cleaner. The main thing you will need for this is a bottle of commercial leather cleaner. Firmly shake the bottle and spray the leather cleaner on the wallet. Spraying 2-3 pumps of the leather cleaner should be enough. You should leave the cleaner to soak in for 30 seconds.

Afterward, scrub the surface using a stiff-bristled toothbrush, again, by doing circular motions.

The inside of the wallet can be cleaned the same way by using a leather cleaner and a cloth. The last step is to get a clean cloth to wipe the cleaner off the wallet and let it air dry overnight.

Taking good care of your leather wallet is important

Apart from cleaning and decluttering your leather wallet, you should also take some steps to maintain its quality over the long run.

For example, leather wallets can’t handle water very well and will get damaged if they stay drenched for a long time. The best thing you can do when your leather wallet gets wet is immediately get a tissue or towel to dry it off. Tap the surface gently, but don’t rub it, so that you don’t damage the material.

Long exposure to the sun can also be very harmful to leather. Make sure not to put your wallet in places where it will be exposed to the sun for a long time. If your wallet gets too dry from the sun, you can try using lanolin or coconut oil to restore the leather.

Finally, never overstuff your pockets. One of the best things you can do for your wallet is to use it the way it was designed to be used. Make sure to choose a wallet that fits your needs well, so that you don’t end up with one that will get damaged because it can’t handle everything you put in it.

Cleaning a metal wallet

Metal wallets are easier to clean and maintain than ones made out of leather. You can clean these wallets in a couple of ways.

Use a metal cleaning solution

Most metal wallets you will come across are made out of either aluminum or titanium. For each material, there is an appropriate cleaning solution you can get. Find a clean cloth and put a couple of drops of the cleaning solution on it so that you can rub it on the surface of the wallet. Some dirty spots might need to be cleaned a couple of times before they can fully be removed.

Use automotive wax for cleaning

Automotive wax is used more as a finishing touch to the cleaning process of metal wallets. You can apply the wax by using a damp microfiber towel to spread it on the entire surface and just remove the leftovers with the clean side of the same towel.

Use a metal polishing paste

The best way to make your metal wallet shine is to use a metal polishing paste on it. Make sure to get some gloves so that there are no stains left on your hands. For this method, you will need a terrycloth to rub the paste on the wallet’s surface.

Never overstuff a metal wallet

You should always remember that one of the main things that damage metal wallets is overstuffing them. If you get a wallet that can handle 5 cards and some cash, don’t place more than this amount in it. The way that metal wallets are made makes them more susceptible to damage from overstuffing than most wallets.

Sitting on your wallet is always bad

This is probably something you already know, but sitting on your wallet is one of the worst things you can do to it. Not only will it get damaged over time, but sitting on it might also cause harm to your hip and back. For this reason, it is best to keep your wallet in the front pocket of your pants, or in a bag.

How to declutter a wallet?

Bellroy The Low filled with contents

There are a couple of things you should know that will make the whole process of decluttering your wallet a whole lot easier.

Think like a minimalist

Before starting to clean out your wallet you should try to think like a minimalist. This is important because if you don’t do it, you might end up thinking that everything inside your wallet is essential and you won’t clean it at all. Be a little bit strict with yourself and only leave the essentials inside your wallet.

Try to get rid of business cards

One of the things that causes the most clutter inside our wallets is business cards. You have one from your gym, your hairdresser, or maybe even one from a salesperson. All of these cards can be easily stored digitally by taking a picture of them or maybe even installing an app that is designed to store business cards. With a simple step like this one, you will free up a lot of space inside your wallet.

Try to pay the exact change

Most of the time you can’t avoid keeping change in your wallet, especially if you prefer to pay in cash. The only thing you can do so that it doesn’t take up so much space is to try to pay with the exact change every time. This way you won’t just add up more coins that could potentially tear your pocket.

Practice scanning your receipts and throwing them away

Most of us have the habit of keeping all our receipts in our wallets. This might seem harmless at first, but when you end up with a dozen receipts and can’t find anything in your wallet, you will think otherwise. You can easily solve this problem by scanning your receipts and immediately throwing them away.

One ID card is enough

If it’s possible try to keep only one identification card inside your wallet. You can just bring additional ID cards with you if you really need them.

Get yourself a good minimalist wallet

If you can’t seem to limit the things you carry in your wallet on your own, you should consider getting a good minimalist wallet. Most minimalist wallets are made to hold the essentials and have precise specifications about how much they can carry. With a wallet like this one, even if you are tempted to put something inside it, you won’t really have an option to do so.


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I love all things tech, so I decided to make a blog about technology, electronics, gadgets, accessories, and all the various items we use every day that make our lives easier. I like doing a lot of research on various models and brands, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience.