You finally have the beautiful Louis Vuitton bag you’ve been wanting. Now that you have it in your possession, you may be wondering how to clean a Louis Vuitton bag to keep it looking good and prevent it from aging.
Leather ages over time no matter what but there are some steps you can take to slow down that process.
Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent your bag from aging quickly. Depending on the type of bag you have, it may require a specific cleaning method.
Louis Vuitton makes bags out of many kinds of leather and fabric. Some types are sensitive to certain cleaners or cleaning methods. Due to this, no cleaning method is one-size-fits-all.
Why Cleaning and Taking Care of Your LV Bag is Important
It is easy to have a long-lasting bag when you take the correct steps to keep it in good condition.
Routinely cleaning your Louis Vuitton bag can help keep the bag from deteriorating and becoming damaged.
If it isn’t well taken care of, your bag will simply not last. Here are some things that can happen to your bag if you do not take care of it.
The Leather Can Dry Out and Crack
According to leather experts, humidity can severely harm your bag. Since genuine leather is animal hide, it has small pores that can collect and release moisture.
The amount of environmental moisture is what impacts your bag. If the humidity is too low, your bag could dry out and crack. Keep this in mind when storing your bag.
Cleaning the outside of your bag and using a leather conditioner can help prevent your bag from cracking.
Always clean your bag thoroughly before applying leather conditioner. After the bag is clean, you can apply a wax-free leather conditioner.
Wax clogs the pores of the bag and hardens it, so always use something that is wax-free.
Some wax-free leather conditioner options include:
If you are not comfortable using a conditioner, keeping your bag in a humidity-controlled area will help prevent some of the cracking and drying.
There is always the option of taking it to a professional to condition it for you. Keep in mind that not all leather can handle conditioners. Check the tag inside your bag before applying any leather conditioner.
The Bag Can Be Stained
Just like other porous fabrics, leather can pick up stains. If you do not blot or clean the stain right away, then it may not come out.
Keeping the bag away from any oils, perfumes, and liquids, in general, can help your bag last for a long time. The same applies to Louis Vuitton bags made out of fabric, such as canvas.
The inside of the bag can stain as well. Never leave open cosmetics, perfumes, or other liquids with no caps inside the bag.
These products will surely stain the inside of your bag. It is best to avoid putting food and drinks inside your bag to prevent spills and stains from happening in the first place.
Avoid putting pens in your bag because the ink will stain horribly.
Your Bag Can Grow Mold
Just as your bag can dry and crack, it can become too moist and cause mold to grow. Original Tuscany, a leather company, mentions that leaving your bag in a moist area can cause mold spores to start growing.
It will usually start appearing as small spots on your bag and it is sometimes difficult to get rid of. Both fabric and leather bags are prone to mold growth.
Mold growth all depends on controlling the environment that your bag is in. As a general rule, too much moisture is the culprit for mold.
Never keep your bag in a wet environment, and always dry your bag off after it has been in the rain. Allowing water or other liquids to sit on or inside your bag can cause mold to develop.
Not only will mold make your bag look old and gross, but it will trap a musty odor inside the fabric and leather.
Odors trapped within textiles are burdensome and tough to get rid of. Immediately cleaning stains off your bag will help prevent mold from growing and causing your bag to smell.
The musty smell should disappear once all of the mold is gone.
How To Clean the Outside of the Louis Vuitton Bag
The outside of your bag can become stained with food, cosmetics, oily products, and liquids. Everyday use will eventually lead to stains in some way or another.
Regular cleaning is essential to keeping your bag looking new. Louis Vuitton recommends that you alternate your bags, as using the same one every day will cause the look of the bag to decline faster.
Different leathers and fabrics require specific treatments regarding cleaning. Some can handle cleaners, while others can only handle a damp cloth.
Always look at the product tag to see if there are cleaning restrictions before applying any cleaners.
If you don’t know what fabric or leather your bag is, the tag inside will always tell you. If you cannot find a tag, look your bag up online.
Do not start cleaning your bag without knowing what material it is. Understanding how to clean a Louis Vuitton bag starts with knowing what material it is made of and using the appropriate cleaning method.
Calfskin and Cowhide
Cleaning this type of bag with a damp cloth is best. Lightly brush any dirt and debris off before using the damp cloth.
Brushing the dirt off ahead of cleaning will prevent scratching the bag with the dirt particles. Scratches are irreversible.
Natural leather means that the leather isn’t treated, making it much more delicate compared to other types of leather.
Use a dry, lint-free cloth to clean liquids off this type of leather bag. Blotting the stain will help absorb the liquid and prevent smearing, which will create a larger stain. Do not wipe or rub.
Do not use any cleaners or conditioners on this type of leather because they can ruin the bag. Since the leather is untreated, there is no protective layer to keep things from penetrating it.
The chemicals within the cleaners and conditioners will wear down the leather quickly, causing the bag to age much faster.
Monogram and Damier Canvas
Canvas such as this has a coating, so it can handle a little more than just a dry cloth. Clean this bag with a damp cloth and some slightly soapy water.
Do not scrub the canvas too vigorously. Simple, gentle wiping should get rid of the stains just fine.
Monogram and Damier canvas is on the sturdier side, so there shouldn’t be too many issues as far as stains go.
This canvas is quite easy to clean. However, you still need to treat it with care just like any other leather.
Printed canvas has thin layers of ink printed on it, meaning fading is more likely to happen. Due to this, it can only handle a damp cloth with soapy water. Do not use any cleaners on this type of bag.
When cleaning this bag, try to avoid the printed areas because you may scrub the ink off. If you need to clean the printed areas, wipe lightly. However, it is best to avoid cleaning the printed areas altogether.
Exotic and uniquely made bags need to be kept away from liquids and water at all costs. Liquid can change the texture and feel of the bag, creating stains or making stains worse.
If your bag comes into contact with liquid, blot the bag with a soft cloth. Do not scrub. Scrubbing can cause the stain to go deeper into the textile.
Read Also: How to Store a Louis Vuitton Bag
Products to Clean the Outside of Your Bag
Soap and water is always the best way to start cleaning your bag. It is the least abrasive way to clean without ruining the bag.
But, sometimes soapy water might not do the job. If you feel that you need something more, there are leather-safe products you can use. Always be gentle when using them because leather is a delicate textile.
These two options come in kits that include both the leather cleaner and conditioner. The conditioner helps put moisture back into the leather after cleaning it.
Sometimes cleaning the leather can dry it out just as washing your hands dries out your skin.
Only use the leather cleaner on the leather parts of the bag. If you use it on any fabric parts, the fabric will become stained.
If you have a printed canvas bag, only use soap and water on it. You can use the leather conditioner for the leather detailing. As a reminder, do not use these products on natural leather.
When searching online for other cleaning and conditioning products, websites may recommend Saddle Soap. Do not use this.
Saddle Soap is a wax-based product that can clog the pores of your bag and make a waxy residue that stiffens the bag.
While it conditions and shines boot and saddle leather, it isn’t a good idea to use on a Louis Vuitton bag.
Other leather bag brands may be able to handle wax-based cleaners and conditioners, but Louis Vuitton states not to use them on their products.
Louis Vuitton essentially says that less is more with their products. Keeping them clean with the least amount of chemicals is always best for their fabrics and leathers.
Read Also: Real vs Fake Louis Vuitton Bags
How To Clean the Inside of the LV Bag
The inside of your bag needs some attention too. Crumbs, stains, and mold can find ways inside your bag and dirty the fabric.
There are a few simple things you can do to keep the inside of the bag clean.
The first thing you’ll want to do is empty your bag and shake out any debris that is at the bottom. You can turn the fabric lining inside out to help the dirt and crumbs fall out.
Use a lint roller or vacuum inside to get any debris left behind after shaking it out.
Soap and water is your best friend for cleaning stains out of the fabric lining inside your bag. A mild laundry detergent mixed with water is also an option to clean the inside of your bag.
Do not use any soaps or detergents that have bleach or bleaching agents in them. Use a damp cloth with some soapy water to gently wipe the inside of the bag.
Never submerge any part of your Louis Vuitton bag in liquid. The outcome will be disastrous and completely ruin the bag.
Even if the bag is fabric, it still can’t handle being saturated or submerged in things like washing machines or sinks.
If you need to do a little more scrubbing for some difficult stains, make sure the bag dries out before filling it back up with your things.
Always make sure your bag is completely bone-dry before putting anything back in it. Remember that dampness is the leading cause of mold. Letting it air dry at room temperature is best. Do not dry it on a radiator or with a hairdryer.
Never expose the bag to high temperatures. Louis Vuitton recommends that you do not leave the bag out in the sunlight to dry because it can cause damage. The sun can discolor both the leather and fabric.
If your bag does not have a fabric lining, then it is probably the same material as the outside. Clean the inside of the bag the same way you cleaned the outside.
Read Also: When Does Louis Vuitton Restock
How to Clean the Louis Vuitton Bag’s Hardware
The next step in the cleaning process is to clean all of the metal pieces on your bag. Some Louis Vuitton bags have chains, embellishments, and of course, the famous lock and key.
These pieces require cleaning to stop and prevent tarnishing. Surface tarnishing is usually fixable with the right tools and products.
If the metal pieces on your bag aren’t too tarnished or dirty, you can use a plain cotton towel or cloth to wipe it off.
Always use something soft because you can scratch the surface of the metal pieces. If this isn’t enough to clean the metal off, then you can move on to the polishing stage.
A polishing cloth is the best way to clean these metal pieces. Polishing cloths usually have a non-abrasive polish inside of the cloth.
This polish helps remove tarnish stains and dirt. After you polish the metal, buff it out with a cotton cloth for a final shine.
Never submerge the metal pieces in water, cleaner, or other liquids. Soaking the metal will cause damage.
Read Also: What are Louis Vuitton Bags Made of
How Often Should You Clean Your LV Bag?
The amount of time between cleanings heavily depends on how much you use the bag. If you use your bag every single day, it will become dirtier much quicker than a bag that only comes out for special occasions.
Cleaning times depend on where you take your bag and what you use it for. If you’re constantly putting your bag on the ground, it will get dirty and stained quickly.
If you’re always carrying food or drinks in your bag, which you shouldn’t, it is more likely to become stained.
The timeframe between cleanings can range from once a week to once a month. It is up to you when you think your bag needs cleaning.
Examine your bag thoroughly every once in a while to assess stains and tarnish. The sooner you get rid of the stains, the more likely they are to come out. Without treatment, stains will become deeply embedded.
Daily Maintenance of Your Bag
There are some steps you can take on a daily basis to keep your bag in pristine condition. It is a great idea to switch your bags to give them each the same amount of use.
Doing this keeps each bag in good condition because you are not overusing them. When a bag is not in use, store it in the felt bag that it came in. This prevents dirt and dust from adhering to the bag.
Do not overpack your bag. Overpacking ruins the shape of the bag, causes wrinkles, and creases the bag. Creases and wrinkles can collect dirt.
Cleaning the dirt is possible, but the wrinkles and creases are nearly impossible to flatten.
Keep your bag away from water and other liquids. Water may seem harmless, but it can be extremely damaging.
Wipe water off immediately if it comes into contact with your bag. It is best to keep the bag out of the rain and humidity.
It should also be kept out of the sunlight. Pay attention to the weather before bringing your Louis Vuitton bag with you.
Do not be too rough when handling your bag. Coming into contact with hard surfaces such as floors and walls will scratch and damage the bag.
Always spot clean anytime you take your bag out. Spot cleaning can prevent dirt buildup. Stains will also be easier to remove if you wipe them off as soon as they happen.
With all of this said, if you do not feel confident in cleaning your Louis Vuitton bag on your own, consult with an expert.
You will need a professional’s opinion if the stains do not come out after following these steps. Trying other cleaning methods outside of the ones provided can damage your bag beyond repair.
If you need your bag repaired, rather than cleaned, Louis Vuitton can take your bag in for repairs. They can fix things like threading, handles, straps, and zipper replacements.
It is best to let the experts handle repairs as they have the expertise and authentic, brand-name pieces to fix the bag.
Wrap Up: How to Clean a Louis Vuitton Bag
You now are properly armed with the knowledge on how to clean a Louis Vuitton bag. Keep your bag beautiful by taking precautionary steps and regularly cleaning both the inside and outside.
Keep it in a safe, temperature-controlled area away from sunlight. Always keep it covered if it is not in use to help protect it.
If you take care of your bag by following all of the provided information, your Louis Vuitton bag is sure to last for many years ahead.
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