So you have a Louis Vuitton bag and want to care for the vachetta leather. Vachetta leather is the light colored leather that the brand uses in many of their styles, but it can be tricky to own as it is an untreated material. While it is meant to patina— darken and richen in color over time from the environment and handling— it can also become dirty-looking, dull and stained easily.
It’s important to note that Louis Vuitton does not recommend doing anything to your vachetta, encouraging owners to let it naturally darken, and specifically warns against using cleaning products at all. However, many LV owners (like myself) find that the occasional cleaning and conditioning can help your bag look newer longer, and keep dirt from staining the leather long-term. With that said, I’ll be sharing my tips on how to clean Louis Vuitton vachetta leather and product recommendations, but please use at your own risk.
Every six(ish) months, I do a 3-step routine to clean the vachetta on my Louis Vuitton Neverfull. These products are surprisingly affordable and effective. When cleaning your vachetta, you want to make sure you do so evenly, on every piece entirely. Do not spot clean. Treat every piece exactly the same to maintain even coloring and avoid uneven spots.
I start out with Kiwi Saddle Soap, which I picked up in the Shoe Care section of Walmart. This is a cleanser specifically made to remove dirt and grime from leather, while also maintaining the softness and adding protection. I use a damp cloth on the soap to create a mild lather, then run it over all leather pieces of the bag. Be sure your cloth isn’t soaking, as you don’t want to saturate the leather. Once I’ve gently rubbed the soap in, I wipe off excess with a clean damp cloth. I let the leather dry completely before moving on to the next step. This can take about a half hour.
After the leather has dried, I move on to conditioning to help boost the softness and shine. On the recommendation of many LV owners, I use the Apple Brand Leather Care Conditioner, which does not darken the leather, nor does it leave a residue behind. This helps any dull or dry looking areas on the leather come back to life, and keeps it looking newer. I use this by dispensing a generous amount onto a soft cloth, then rubbing over all of the vachetta. Let this completely dry.
Finally, I like to finish with Apple Garde Rain & Stain Repellant. This helps your vachetta act more resilient when it comes in contact with water or other staining substances, which would usually seep in immediately on the untreated material and leave a permanent spot. This product dries clear and won’t affect the color of the leather long-term, and doesn’t leave any residue or finish. I spray this evenly over the vachetta, and wipe the excess off the canvas.
As mentioned, this isn’t a routine I do super often, but I do wipe down my vachetta bi-weekly with WaterWipes. These are very gentle baby wipes that only contain 99.9% purified water with a drop of fruit extract. This helps get surface dirt and oil off the leather and canvas, and does a great job to maintain the results of my deep cleans. I also use these all over the canvas (especially the bottom) to get any dirt off.