Leather cleaning products can temporarily change the color of your leather.

How to Loosen Up Stiff Leather Wallets

by Mimi Bullock

Leather accessories like wallets qualify as luxury goods, but a new one can feel stiff and hard to use. Leather wallets soften as they are handled, in part, by the natural oils from our skin. You can hasten this natural softening by treating the leather before you fill it with your necessities. By treating the leather, your make it more supple and less prone to cracking or creasing. Keep leather items like your new wallet in good shape with regular cleaning, conditioning and care.

1. Soften with Olive Oil

1 Dab the corner of a clean, white cloth in olive oil. Wring away any excess oil. You want the cloth to be oily but not dripping.

2. Soften with Olive Oil

2 Lay a towel on a flat surface, such as a table. Open the wallet and turn it so the outside of the wallet is facing you.

3. Soften with Olive Oil

3 Rub the outside of the wallet with the cloth. Leave the oil on the wallet for 30 minutes. Wipe away the oil with a clean cloth.

4. The Card Method

1 Stuff two or three cards -- credit cards work well -- into one wallet slot. Fill as many slots as you can.

5. The Card Method

2 Hold the wallet in your hands and work the leather gently. Leave the cards in the wallet for 10 minutes.

6. The Card Method

3 Remove the cards. Your wallet will feel looser and placing items in the slots will be easier.

Items you will need

  • White cloth
  • Olive oil
  • Towel
  • Credit cards


  • Treat a new wallet with a softening leather conditioner to make it more supple.

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