“I think it is an amazing brand, I love that it has got such a heritage and it has been around for such a long time. I particularly like their luggage and all the trunks” - Alexa Chung at the London Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison Opening.
One of the most asked questions is how to best clean a Louis Vuitton item. Officially Louis Vuitton states items should only ever be cleaned with a damp cloth. This is obviously the result of Louis Vuitton protecting itself if things go wrong. With the right approach scruffy items can be brought up a level. The wrong approach can however have ever lasting consequences.
This is the most important rule to follow. If you are careful and take it slowly the results will be outstanding. Don’t be in a rush with solvents and cleaners. Take your time and you will be happier with the results.
Although the results will be slower it is always advisable to start off cleaning the piece with a damp cloth. Whenever using a damp cloth follow up with a wipe down with a dry cloth to remove any excessive water.
If the item is still dirty – follow up with wiping the item with a soapy cloth. The importance of wiping the item with a damp (no soap) cloth is that it stops you rubbing dirt into the material. This is the reason you should always rinse your car before washing it with soapy water – this stops you rubbing dirt into the paint.
Do not ever submerge the item in water.
I find it useful to work on one area at a time. This prevents you from being rushed.
Wipe item over with a damp cloth
Dry item with a dry cloth
Wipe item over with a damp soapy cloth
Dry item with a dry cloth
Rinse/remove any soapy residue by using a damp cloth (no soap)
It is important to firstly understand the two different types of brassware.
Many Louis Vuitton handbags have a lacquer coated brassware. Therefore using a brass cleaner on these items could damage the clear laquer – which is not a good thing. Many of the hard-sided items (like an Alzer suitcase) have brassware which is not lacquered. This type of brassware can be cleaned with care.
On pieces which do not have lacquer coated brassware I have used the brass cleaning chemical solution called “Brasso.” Care should be taken to use this product sparingly – avoiding where possible getting the chemical on the canvas or leather.
I have often used a cottonbud dipped in Brasso to slowly clean the brassware. The importance of taking your time should be stressed again. This can be very frustrating however the results will be much better. Always work on one piece of brass at a time. Always have a few dry cloths available to clean up any spills.
In determiningg if the removal of a mark is possible you need to firstly work out whether the mark is on top of the canvas/leather or has it cut into the material. Marks that have cut into the material are permanent – the only hope is to reduce the impact of that mark.
Marks that are on top of the canvas or leather can be removed carefully. Hopefully you can remove this type of mark fully or remove most of it.
Steps to remove marks that are on top of the canvas/leather
1) Wipe item over with a damp cloth
2) Dry item with a dry cloth
3) Wipe item over with a damp soapy cloth
4) Dry item with a dry cloth
5) Rinse/remove any soapy residue by using a damp cloth (no soap)
6) Dry item with a dry cloth
7) Use some automotive scratch remover (like Meguiars)
8) Wipe item over with a damp cloth
9) Dry item with a dry cloth
10) Wipe item over with a damp soapy cloth
11) Dry item with a dry cloth
12) Rinse/remove any soapy residue by using a damp cloth (no soap)
13) Dry item with a dry cloth
Always take your time when using Automotive scratch remover/chemicals. Use only the smallest amount of chemical possible. Work on the scratch little by little.