In this article:
- General luggage cleaning steps
- How to clean fabric luggage
- How to clean hardside luggage
- Frequently asked questions
GENERAL LUGGAGE CLEANING STEPS
STEP 1: DON'T BRING YOUR DIRTY LUGGAGE INTO YOUR HOME
STEP 2: BEFORE YOU CLEAN YOUR SUITCASE, UNPACK AND CLEAN YOUR CLOTHES
STEP 3: SANITIZE LUGGAGE HIGH-TOUCH SURFACES
STEP 4: CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR SUITCASE
STEP 5: CLEAN THE INSIDE OF YOUR LUGGAGE
STEP 6: DRY YOUR SUITCASES THOROUGHLY
STEP 7: BAG IT AND STORE IT AWAY FROM YOUR BEDROOM
HOW TO CLEAN FABRIC LUGGAGE
- Mild detergent or soap
- Microfiber towel
- Soft-bristled sponge or brush
- Warm water
- Vacuum cleaner with brush
- Baking soda or vinegar (optional)
- Empty the suitcase: Start by emptying out all the contents of the suitcase and remove any debris or loose dirt.
- Vacuum: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently vacuum the interior and exterior of the suitcase to remove loose dirt, dust, and crumbs.
- Spot clean stains: If there are any visible stains on the fabric, mix a small amount of mild detergent or laundry soap with warm water in a bucket. Dip a soft-bristled brush or sponge into the soapy water and gently scrub the stained areas. For tougher stains, add a little white vinegar to the solution or make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing with clean water.
- Clean the interior: Wipe down the interior lining of the suitcase with a damp towel or sponge soaked in soapy water. Pay special attention to any soiled areas or spots where spills may have occurred.
- Rinse: Once you've finished spot cleaning, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the entire exterior and interior of the suitcase to remove any soap residue.
- Deodorize (Optional): If your suitcase has any lingering odors, sprinkle baking soda inside the interior lining and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it out. Alternatively, you can use a fabric deodorizer spray to freshen up the interior.
- Lint removal (Optional): If any lint or pet hair is stuck to the fabric, use a lint roller to remove them.
HOW TO CLEAN HARDSIDE LUGGAGE
Cleaning a hard-sided suitcase requires a slightly different approach than cleaning a fabric one. When choosing the best luggage for you, note how to clean different suitcases. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean hardside luggage.
- Mild detergent or dish soap
- Warm water
- Soft cloths or sponges
- Soft-bristled brush
- Rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner
- Magic eraser
- Toothbrush (optional)
- White vinegar (optional)
- Baking soda (optional)
- Empty the suitcase: Start by removing all items from the suitcase and ensure it's completely empty.
- Vacuum: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the exterior and interior of the suitcase.
- Spot clean stains: For stubborn stains on the exterior, mix a small amount of mild detergent or dish soap with warm water in a bucket. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and gently scrub the stained areas. For tougher stains, you can use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to scrub the area. Rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.
- Clean the interior: Wipe down the interior of the suitcase with a damp cloth or sponge soaked in soapy water. Pay special attention to any soiled areas or spots where spills may have occurred. Rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.
- Remove scuff marks: If there are scuff marks on the exterior of the suitcase, you can use a magic eraser to gently buff them away. Alternatively, you can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the scuff marks, then gently scrub with a soft cloth or sponge.
- Deodorize (optional): If your suitcase has any lingering odors, leave a small bowl of baking soda inside the interior overnight to absorb any odors. Vacuum or wipe out the baking soda residue in the morning.
- Disinfect (optional): To disinfect the interior of the suitcase, you can wipe it down with a solution of white vinegar and water or use rubbing alcohol or a glass cleaner. Allow it to air dry completely before using or storing.
- Polish (optional): If your hard-sided suitcase has a glossy finish, you can polish it with a plastic-safe polish to restore its shine.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the best products to clean a suitcase?
Can you wash the inside of a suitcase?
How often should you clean your suitcase?
How can I prevent my suitcase from getting dirty during travel?
- Use luggage covers or protective shields: Invest in a luggage cover or protective shield to shield your suitcase from dirt, scratches, and other external elements during travel.
- Pack liquids in bags: Place any liquid items such as toiletries, shampoo, or sunscreen in sealed plastic bags to prevent leaks or spills from soiling the interior of your suitcase. Packing a toiletry bag will also help you with easy retrieval.
- Use laundry bags for dirty clothes: Pack a separate laundry bag to store dirty clothes during your trip. This helps keep them contained and prevents them from coming into contact with clean items in your suitcase.
- Avoid putting wet clothes in your suitcase: If you have damp or wet clothing, avoid packing them directly into your suitcase. Instead, allow them to air dry or use a separate waterproof bag to transport them until they can be properly dried.
By Michael Hodgson on June 15, 2020
A lifetime of globetrotting across all seven continents fuels Michael's ongoing passion to explore the world, all in search of a great story or photograph for the HI Travel Tales blog he runs with his wife. Join the Subscriber Club to track his global adventures.