Cleaning Vachetta Leather Handbags
November 20, 2023
Jane Smith, Managing Director
What’s involved with cleaning Vachetta leather?
Vachetta leather, adorning many luxury handbags, exudes sophistication with its natural, untreated look. However, maintaining the pristine condition of vachetta leather requires a specialist approach to cleaning. In this comprehensive guide, we'll unravel the secrets of caring for your vachetta leather handbag, ensuring it remains a timeless piece in your collection.
Understanding Vachetta Leather:
Before delving into the cleaning process, let's understand vachetta leather. This type of leather is untreated, meaning it lacks the protective coatings found on other leathers. It develops a patina over time, showcasing its unique character, it changes colour and gains different hues. Vachetta or Vachette as some call it, comes from a calf or sometimes a cow but only particular parts of the body are used. However, its susceptibility to stains and scratches necessitates a gentle touch during cleaning.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Ensure you have the following items ready for the cleaning process:
- Mild Leather Cleaner: An aniline leather cleaner is the best option for untreated leathers.
- Soft Cloths: Bamboo pads, Bamboo cloths or cotton cloths work best to prevent scratches.
- Distilled Water: Avoid tap water to prevent mineral deposits on the leather.
- Soft Bristle Brush: A toothbrush or a dedicated leather brush for gentle scrubbing.
- Leather Conditioner: Essential for restoring moisture after cleaning, a protection cream / leather food.
Step 2: Pre-Cleaning Inspection
Examine your vachetta leather handbag for stains, spots, or areas in need of attention. Identify any specific stains to tailor your cleaning approach accordingly.
Step 3: Dusting and Brushing
Begin by gently brushing off any loose dirt or dust with a soft bristle brush. This step prevents scratching during the cleaning process.
Step 4: Testing in an Inconspicuous Spot
Before applying any cleaner, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the handbag to ensure compatibility and avoid unexpected discoloration.
Step 5: Cleaning the Leather
- A light clean: For a light clean, apply some distilled water to a cloth and then spray on some leather cleaner to the cloth and gently wipe over the areas to be cleaned, this avoids any possibility of creating issues when carrying out a slight clean as there is no need for full strength leather cleaner. The distilled water prevents mineral deposits on the leather from happening.
- A full clean: Dampen a soft cloth with a mild leather cleaner. Gently wipe down the vachetta leather, paying extra attention to areas with stains or spots. You can spray the gentle leather cleaner into a soft bristle brush and brush in one direction only to help lift stain and grime from the leather.
Step 6: Addressing Stains
For stubborn stains:
- Ink Stains: Dab with alcohol cleaner mixed with distilled water using a cotton swab.
- Water Stains: Evenly dampen the entire surface to avoid water spots.
- Oil Stains: Blot with talcum powder, then brush off, then clean with aniline leather cleaner mixed with distilled water.
Step 7: Drying Properly
Allow your vachetta leather handbag to air-dry naturally. Avoid using heat sources, as they can cause the leather to stain and dry out quickly, do not place near heat or place in a box while drying.
Step 8: Conditioning
Once dry, apply a small amount of leather conditioner using a clean, soft cloth. This step is crucial for replenishing natural oils and maintaining the leather's suppleness.
Step 9: Protecting Against Future Stains
Consider applying a leather protector or water repellent to shield your vachetta leather handbag from future stains.
Step 10: Storing with Care
When not in use, store your vachetta leather handbag in a dust bag or pillowcase to protect it from dust and light exposure, make sure it’s a pure white cloth, not a coloured cloth, also never place your handbag away within 72 hours of cleaning.