View Full Version : Louis Vuitton - How to restore sheen on vachetta

08-22-2013, 05:06 PM
Hi, first of all a big thank you to the administrators for starting this forum. My only regret is not to have found it BEFORE I took one of the recommendations I found in another site - It would have saved me some grief!

I have an old Louis Vuitton bag which I bought second-hand from the internet. It was quite cheap it's been heavily used and the handles are almost black.


I decided to clean it - taking the advice from another internet forum.The forum recommended I use an alcohol-free makeup remover wipes to clean the handle - so I went and got myself some really fancy wipes and away I went! I decided to clean only 1 handle and wait for the result. This is what happened:


The handle is still very dark and has lost its sheen. :(

I am at a lost at what to do now - instead of improving the situation, I just made it worse - now the handles don't match.

Please help.

I can attemp cleaning the other original handle using your advice on another post, but how to I clean and restore the sheen on this handle that I made a mistake on? I would really appreciate you advice.

Also, going back to old threads I note that you heald a 3-day workshop, are you planning anything similar in the near future? Or do you have a training video I could buy? I live in Sydney Australia.

Thank you very much.

Roger Koh
08-23-2013, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the pictures.

What do you think of the result from these pictures, we will then discuss how best to accomplish what you wish.

Note that the original vachetta color is a pale biscuit brown colour with no sheen.

#1 Before

#2 During

#3 After

08-26-2013, 06:19 PM
Hi Roger, thanks for replying. I think I want it close to your 'after' picture. What can I do and which products do I buy? Do I need a different product for the the other one on which I used the facial wipes?

Thanks so much.

Roger Koh
08-27-2013, 10:21 AM
The pictures I share with you are that the original Vachetta leather is an unfinished leather so there is no sheen to restore to. Sheen, infact will distort the original look of the vachetta leather.

The question on how to restore sheen on vachetta is an option, greasy hands alone will put a sheen on it too.

The pictures you see is treatment with Vachetta-2.8 for browning treatment.

Handles are almost Black – is the result of penetrated body oil, grease and sweat that will require Degreaser-2.2 follows with Acidifier-2.0 to bring it out ass the first phase, then follows with Vachetta-2.8 to do all the browning and tarnish treatment.

Thereafter the leather will need to be hydrated with Hydrator-3.3 follows with Fatliquor-5.0 to soften it up from becoming stiff that leads to cracking.

Protector-D helps to improve surface appearance by healing and concealing the leather with a non-film forming film that allows the leather to breathe (transpiration).

This is a holistic approach to restore both the appearance of the leather with leather chemistry integrity from reverting vachetta leather back to rawhide. (When leather is tacky its pH balance is out of sync, leather is an amphoteric material and therefore pH sensitive). For your information, the product suffix number denotes it pH value.

>>>I think I want it close to your 'after' picture. What can I do and which products do I buy? Do I need a different product for the other one on which I used the facial wipes?

To balance appearance for both handles, I suggest you do the wipes for the other handle as well.

Then follow these steps for both handles.

1 Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0
2 Vachetta-2.8
3 Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0
4 Protector-D

Roger Koh
Leather Care Consultant

Product Information:

Leather Doctor Kit V5.dr – Vachetta Leather Degreaser Kit
Leather Doctor® Kit V5.dr, vachetta, saddlery and veg-tan leather degreaser kit is an innovative leather-safe degreasing system for removing grease and sweat contamination. When sweat accumulates and ages it shift alkaline, besides the apparent darkening effect it will also impart a sticky feel to the leather. Leather is composed of protein fiber with other leather constituents like the tanning agents and the fatliquor. The tanning agent preserves the leather while the fatliquor softens it. The protein fiber is amphoteric while the other component is non-amphoteric. They come together by hydrogen bonding. When the pH of the leather rises due to the sweat, the protein fiber begins to shift ionic negative and breaks bond with the ionic negative tanning agent and the fatliquor. The protein fiber loosing the ionic attraction from the tannin agent denatures and revert the leather to rawhide as experience with tackiness or stickiness in extreme cases. The stiffness of the leather is due to the loss of the fatliquor that lubricates the fibers thus the fiber becomes stick together and when flex cracks. The darkening effect is partially contributes by high pH exposure, as alkaline darkens and acidity lightens the appearance of leather. To rectify the compound problem the grease and sweat contamination is remove. The protein fiber is degreased and recharged ionic positive below its iso-electric point (pI) by using Degreaser-2.2 follows by Acidifier-2.0. This combination degreasing and rinsing process should improve the darkening effect while reversing the leather to a healthy squeaky feel. Hydrator-3.3 helps rectify alkaline overexposure areas by facilitating colloidal water movement to redistribute the leather constituents from surrounding areas, while purging foreign contamination to resurface and charging the protein fiber below its iso-electric point (pI) ionic positive to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative fatliquor more effectively. Fat and oil is replenished with Fatliquor-5.0 to return the leather for softness and suppleness when dry. Protector-D heals and conceals scuff and abrasion marks; imparts a rub resistant draggy-feel against friction rubs and shield against sticky soiling while prolonging the appearance of the leather longer. Note that the mentioned products suffix numbers denotes its pH value for a safer degreasing approach to pH sensitive leather. Leather is an amphoteric material and shifting of it pH value obliviously causes the leather to darkens, denature and reverts to rawhide.

Leather Doctor Vachetta-2.8
Vachetta-2.8 is a specialty leather browning cleaner design especially for unfinished veg-tan leathers popularly known for handbag as Vachetta. This is a waterbased pH 2.8 cleaner, which is particularly effective in emulsifying oily soiling, lightening suntan, tarnish and liquid browning staining effect. Use in conjunction thereafter with Hydrator-3.3 to relax, Fatliquor-5.0 to soften thus prevents cracking and Protector-D to seal, conceal and allow leather transpiration in a holistic care system. When vachetta leather color turns to dark in extreme cases especially to constant body contact areas like handles, it will require Degreaser-2.2 follows with Acidifier-2.0 to decontaminate the oil, grease and sweat as the first phase prior to browning treatment.

09-10-2013, 12:33 AM
Thanks Roger. I am about to order the products now. I also need products for general lightening of the LV vachetta handles. I have a couple of speedys that have really dark - almost black handles (similar state as the pictures here) - some with bad water stains. Can I just use this kit and the Vachetta -2.8? Or do I need additional products as well? It would be good if I can buy everthing I need in just one go. Also, would there be instructions with the kit? For example, do I spray the products direct to the leather or do I wet a cloth and wipe it on, etc. etc? Thanks so much for your guidance.

Roger Koh
09-10-2013, 07:55 AM
General lightening of LV Vachetta handles:

Phase 1 - Stain Removal:
1] Almost Black Handles – Will require Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 > Vachetta-2.8
2] Bad Water Stains – Will require Vachetta-2.8.

Phase 2 – Leather Rejuvenating:
1] Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0

Phase 3 – Leather Breathable Protection:
1] Protector-D

Additional Products:

Additional Products that you may need for Vachetta leathers are pick from this Vachetta Leather Problem Solving Guide.

Vachetta Leather Problem Solving Guide

Besides the Vachetta leather trim the other simulated leathers component will require products add-on from this Simulated Leather Problem Solving Guide.

Simulated Leather Problem Solving Guide.

When cleaning an entire LV bags – it is practical to begin with the simulated leather, then the Vachetta leather and follows with a cleaning touch-up for the simulated leathers – Protector-B+ for the simulated leathers and Protector-D for the vachetta in the order of sequence.


Instruction for Kit V5.dr

It is important to note that Degreaser-2.2 need to be shaken to gel prior to use by a repeat shake and pause rhythm.
1. Apply and agitate to saturate the contamination with the horsehair detailing brush for penetration and Eraser-4 for surface removal.
2. Terry towel extract emulsified and suspended soiling until it shows clean.
3. Spray Acidifier-2.0 to saturate, agitate and towel extract until it shows clean.
4. Let naturally dry for soiling particulates to resurface.
5. Erase wick up soiling particulates with Eraser-4 and inspect with either repeating degreasing process or proceed to hydrating.

1. Spray Hydrator-3.3, saturating the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for effective colloidal movement to take place both redistributing leather constituent from surrounding area while purging foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
3. Remove plastic wrapping, replace with tissue paper without airspace to trap stains as it dries instead of remaining on the surface.
4. Peel tissue paper when crispy dry and erase with Eraser-4 prior to fatliquoring.

Fat and Oil Replenishing:
1. Spray Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute the entire section evenly with foam brush until fully saturated.
2. Repeat reapplication when water content evaporates until fully saturated.
3. Let natural dry for extra softness and wick up soiling particulates is erases with Eraser-4 when crispy dry.

Rub-Resistant Protection:
1. Mist sprays Protector-D foam brush or paper towel redistribute it and is ready for use when dry.

Instruction for Vachetta-2.8


Browning Stain Removal:
1. Remove dry soil prior to product application.
2. Shake well, spray and saturate with horsehair brushing for an even appearance and towel extract until it shows clean.
3. Option is to use a saturate cotton swab and clean until the cotton swab shows clean or use a terry towel.
4. Let natural drying and inspect result, repeat as necessary.

Hydrate Stiff Leathers:
1. Saturate with Hydrator-3.3 to soften and for an even appearance.

Soften Leather:
1. Saturate with Fatliquor-5.0 and as water contents evaporate, repeat application.

Protect Leather:
1. Apply Protector-D for an even appearance.

Roger Koh
Leather Care Consultant