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How to Loosen Up Stiff Leather Wallets

by Amy Davidson

Leather wallets can last forever, but breaking in the stiff leather can feel like a lifetime as you struggle with snug pocket fits while the leather stretches to accommodate your items. Stretching out and loosening up a stiff leather wallet can be sped up with a few easy at-home methods that will get your wallet functioning properly faster.

Collect enough plastic cards to fill each pocket with three. Credit cards and similar-sized cards -- such as discount cards and library cards -- are ideal.

Place three cards into each pocket. Fill any zippered pouches with enough change so they are stretched a bit. Dab a white cloth with a small amount of olive oil. Olive oil is natural, gentle and safe for most leathers. If you are hesitant, read the wallet label to make sure it is safe or consult your local dry cleaner.

Wipe the outside of the wallet and the outside of the pockets with a light layer of oil. Use enough to get a sheen, but not so much that the wallet is soaked and slimy.

Handle the wallet over a one-hour period as the oil sets in. Open and close it, rub the leather with gentle firm strokes, and remove and re-insert the plastic cards. You are trying to unstiffen leather, and the only thing that will do that is use.

Lightly dampen a white cloth with water and wipe down the wallet. Allow the wallet to sit for thirty minutes before using it again. Repeat these steps as needed until the leather is more relaxed.

Items you will need
  • Plastic cards
  • Clean white cloths
  • Olive oil

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