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Essential Tips for Maintaining and Caring for Your Leather Goods

So you just got a new kick ass wallet that says it will last a lifetime, here are some things you can do to ensure you can pass it along to the next generation. As with any family’s heirlooms, they must be well taken care of to continue their lifelong quest. With leather products this includes cleaning, conditioning, proper storage, and preventing general wear & tear.


Preventing general wear & tear can come down to simple daily choices. Since you are reading this I hope I can assume that you own an Imperial Pine Leather wallet, belt or other leather good which means you have an item made from full grain leather. Depending on it’s use case, full grain leather is generally considered one of the highest quality leathers known for durability and strength. Full grain leather items tend to stretch less and remain sturdy for a very long time (especially if you take good care of it). With that said, here are the steps you can take to make your leather last:

  • Handle the leather with clean and dry hands that are free from dirt/oils/lotions that can stain or discolor the leather

  • Keep leather goods away from direct sunlight and unnatural light for extended periods of time

  • Avoid getting leather wet or allowing it to be submerged in water

  • Avoid sitting on your wallets when possible (this will also be more comfortable in the long term), ever heard of sciatica…its not pleasant.

  • Buy several Imperial Pine Leather wallets (!) for different occasions and regularly switch them out to more evenly distribute the wear & tear among them

  • Be careful to avoid sharp items such as jewelry, large buttons, or anything else that may scratch the leather, even long finger nails!

  • Be mindful of your leather items capacity and do not overfill wallets, duffle bags or purses as it can cause the material to stretch and lose its shape.

  • Regularly using a soft bristled brush or soft cloth to remove dirt and debris as well as using a solid conditioner on will keep the leather from drying and cracking.


On a fairly routine basis and when the situation calls for it, it is a great idea to give your leather goods a thorough cleaning. Properly cleaning and drying your leather items is the first step in preserving their texture, suppleness, durability and overall quality. With each use, your wallet or other leather goods will accumulate dirt, dust, and oils from your hands that if not properly cared for, can lead to deterioration of the leather’s feel and appearance.  

  • Use a soft bristled brush or a clean soft cloth to gently remove dirt and dust from the surface of the leather.

  • There are specialized cleaners such as saddle soap that are designed specifically for cleaning leather. Do not use harsh or abrasive chemicals to clean the leather as it can cause unrepairable damage.

  • As with most cleaners and conditioners, test it on a small hidden area to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

  • After cleaning, let your wall air dry completely in a well ventilated area. AVOID UNNATURAL HEAT SOURCES!

  • Finally, apply a protective wax every so often to help protect against moisture damage and prevent scuff marks. We suggest applying a light coat of beeswax and then buffing it to a polished finish.


Less often, but after the leather has been cleaned we suggest using a conditioner designed to restore the appearance and feel of your leather items. As you use your wallet, belt, leather bag, etc. and as it is exposed to environmental factors like sunlight, dust, and dirt, the natural oils and nutrients of the product get depleted and must be replenished. Along with restoring the leather, conditioning your item will help prevent drying/cracking, improve water resistance, and act as a protective shield against future wear & tear.

  • Make sure to use a reputable conditioner that is designed for full grain leather items. We suggest using all natural conditioners that are free of harsh chemicals and made with nourishing ingredients such as beeswax and other natural oils.

  • Once you have a clean wallet, bag, belt, etc. use a small amount of the conditioner and little by little increase the amount if needed. Similar to waxing your car, apply the conditioner in gentle and circular motions to help evenly distribute across the item and ensure appropriate absorption.

  • Like with any cleaners used on leather, make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test on a small portion of the leather before using across the entire product.

Now that you’ve got your kick ass wallet all cleaned up and conditioned, make sure you are taking daily precautions when storing your wallet, it can go a long way to preserve the leather item’s appearance and extend it’s life. Leather is an organic material that stretches and molds to its environment so proper storage is key to help your wallet or bag to retain its intended shape and prevent unwanted lines, folds or warping. When storing your leather goods for an extended period make sure they are in a cool and dry place with sufficient space to allow for proper air circulation and help prevent mold from forming. Make sure your leather goods are stored in a way that is consistent with the form/structure of the item to maintain shape. Avoid keeping your leather pieces in unnaturally hot or cold areas as well as humid areas (think bathrooms)which can all affect the natural oils in the leather.


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