How To Clean Luggage

With the travel season here, are you all set to dust your luggage and get ready for a relaxing vacation? When you do pull out your luggage and wipe the cobwebs, you may notice that closet, basement or attic has not been very kind to it. There could be scuff marks on the outside and the interiors maybe smelling moldy. Knowing how to clean luggage can ensure your duffel bag or suitcase is all ready for your vacation.

Typically, luggage does not have cleaning instructions and even if it did, in all probability, you may have chucked it out years ago. This can put you in a quandary how to get your luggage cleaned in time for your trip. Fear not, as here are some tips that will go a long way in helping you out.


Check the Insides

Before you start cleaning your luggage to make it presentable, check the insides to ensure nothing was left behind after your last vacation. Usually, people forget small things, such as earrings, tubes of creams. Peek into all the sections and compartment to be sure.

Cleaning the Inside

Keep this just for hard-sided luggage. Use a hand attachment to thoroughly vacuum the insides, including those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. If the luggage is made from fabric or is soft-sided, use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean the outside and inside. You also can use a damp, lint-free rag to clean the insides and get rid of the dust.

Get those Stains Off

Hard-sided luggage can be washed with a mild soapy solution. Dip a soft cloth and gently clean the outside. Try not to soak the luggage in water, as moisture will percolate inside and take days to dry out. It also could cause mold and mildew.

Soft-sided luggage, like duffel bags, should be cleaned with a soapy sponge. If you cannot get those stains off, use a stain removal spray. Sometimes, carpet cleaning spray also works well. However, before putting any chemical on your luggage, do a spot check on a discreet corner to ensure it does not fade or damage the material.

Leather luggage can be cleaned with leather cleaner and then use a leather conditioner to make it shine and protect it from further staining.

Most fabric bags can be washed by soaking in your sink. Use a mild dish washing liquid to get rid of the dirt and use cold water to rinse it out. If there are cardboard stiffeners, be sure to remove them before the soaking.

Removing Stale Odors

If you haven’t used your luggage for some time, it will have a stale and moldy odor. You can use diluted vinegar to make the odors go away. Take five parts water and mix one part white vinegar. Use a paper towel soaked in the diluted vinegar solution to wipe the insides. Alternatively, you can empty out a box of baking soda into the luggage, spread it out and close it and forget about it for a week. Throw out the baking soda thereafter.

Drying Your Luggage

After cleaning, air dry it thoroughly. If there is bright sunshine outside, leave your luggage in the sun for a day or two to dry up. This also will get rid of odors inside the luggage. Once the luggage is dry and clean, you are all ready to pack for your much-awaited trip.

When you return from your trip, you can make your life easier by placing a bar of unwrapped soap inside the luggage. This will keep the interiors smelling fresh and you won’t have to worry about odors the next time you want to pack for a trip.