How To Clean and Disinfect a Suitcase

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Last Updated: April 26, 2022

If you are a frequent traveler, you might be curious to learn how to keep your luggage clean. When it comes to traveling these days, health and hygiene are top priorities – but how many of us actually ensure our luggage is spotless and germ-free during a trip, even before the latest coronavirus outbreak?

Consider all the surfaces the baggage may come into contact with along the way: airline and airport workers who may touch it, beverages spills, and exposures to airport germs, and in some cases, you’ll have to carry the suitcase into the toilet also.

It comes as no surprise that knowing how to clean your suitcase and keeping it looking new for a long time is beneficial.

Let’s go over all you need to know about how to clean a suitcase at home in this guide.

How Do You Deep Clean a Suitcase?

There are various steps in cleaning a suitcase to follow.

1. Disinfect the Luggage

Have you ever wondered how to disinfect luggage? Your can sanitize it the same way whether its soft or hardcase luggage: hydrogen peroxide or ethyl alcohol. Use alcohol to wipe down the entire luggage.

Refill a spray bottle halfway with hydrogen peroxide and gently apply it on hard-faced surface. If the bag has a cloth surface, it’s recommended to use only a little bit of spray.

Alternatively, it’s suggested to fill a spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol and afterward topping it up with water. This treatment will help remove all viruses or dangerous germs from your luggage.

2. Remove Those Stubborn Stains

Let’s speak about all of those annoying stains for a moment. Despite the fact that fabric bags could be able to store a little more clothes, they might be difficult to clean up after a spill.

You can use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from soft fabric surfaces by spraying or dabbing them. Leave it to sit overnight to see whether it helps to remove the stain.

That being said, it’s recommended to use rubbing alcohol and mild dishwashing soap to erasing grease-based spots, rather than water. As an additional tip, you may dilute the dish soap and water combination by adding a few tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. The soap will remove debris, as the alcohol helps cut through oil.

When it comes to hard surfaces, it’s possible to avoid stains. However, if you start to see scuff marks, it’s recommended to grab a tennis ball or a remover sponge to get rid of them.

3. Deodorize and Refresh Your Suitcase

It is possible to quickly treat the smell of luggage that has developed over time or acquired an odor from a previous traveler. For odor control, it’s recommended to sprinkle baking soda inside the suitcase and allowing it to rest for several days to remove any smell.

You may also prepare a linen spray by combining witch hazel with a few drops of your preferred essential oil, according to the instructions. If you go to use it again, spray the interior of the suitcase, so that it smells nice.

Can You Dry Clean a Suitcase?

If you’re thinking about choosing a dry cleaning service, the answer is yes. Most dry cleaning services will clean your luggage for a fee ranging between $25 and $60. The majority of services could also perform minor repairs, including repairing the plastic components, cleaning up minor rips or worn-down textiles, and repairing leather components.

To restore and or even spice up your suitcase appearance, you may take it to dry cleaners, they would almost certainly do a better job than you could. It is preferable to contact them directly, because many dry cleaning businesses do not mention cleaning suitcases on their sites.

If you want to do it yourself, then don’t worry, there are many dry cleaning kits which you can use. The majority of home dry cleaning kits include a big laundry bag, as well as a number of dry cleaning cloths. They’re designed to hold small items of clothing, and they may also be used to hold larger things such as sofas or mattresses and suitcases too.

How to Clean Luggage Interior

cleaning products

To begin, remove things like attachable pockets and anything else that can be removed. You may wash them individually in a bucket filled with water as well as laundry detergent, or you could just simply toss them in the washing machine with the rest of the clothes.

Close all the zippers on your luggage, then shake it well. Then vacuum the inside of your suitcase. That removes all of the bigger particles from it.

Using a damp cloth, wipe out all of the internal lining surfaces, avoiding the use of soap. If you find yourself using soap, try using a basic damp towel instead of a sponge.

If you still have any filthy patches after wiping off everything, make a solution of laundry detergent and water and apply it to the unclean spots with an old toothbrush to get rid of them completely. In the end, wipe everything thoroughly with a clean cloth and lukewarm water until all of the cleaning solution has been washed away.

How to Clean Fabric Luggage

Giving the luggage a nice shake can help to get rid of the bigger pieces of debris. Make sure the cleaning product is ready. This approach may be used with any textile and fabric cleaning that produces foam whenever applied. Upholstery cleaners, seat belts cleaners, and a few foamy carpet cleaners all will do the trick just as well.

Spray the foamy spray all over the surface until it is completely white and opaque.

With a brush, work the foam into the ground, giving particular attention to any apparent dirt spots. With a vacuum cleaner, remove all the foam that has formed within 5-15 minutes, based on the products you are using.

Repeat the procedure for any patches that did not come out. If you still can’t get the dirt away after the final clean, it’s most likely a greasy patch, which requires a different approach. All plastic pieces should be cleaned with water and soap as well as a washcloth.

If possible, leave your fabric suitcase (it can be polyester, canvas or nylon) in an open area with all the zippers open to allow it to dry for a few hours, ideally in direct sunlight.

How to Clean Leather Luggage

To begin, use a dry towel to wipe away all the dirt. Vacuuming the outside is not recommended since it causes noticeable scratches. Furthermore, avoid washing with a lot of water since this may cause the leather to become discolored. Make use of a dry toothbrush to clean all the edges and tight spaces.

Try using a professional leather cleaner or a leather sofa cleaning solution, because it works well to remove the most obvious blemishes once the majority of the dust and grime has been removed. Apply the leather cleaner using a soft cloth. Suede cases require a special cleaning substance designed specifically for them, which is applied using a brush to avoid scratching the leather.

How to Clean Mold off Your Suitcase

Mold is not only repulsive, but it is also detrimental to one’s health in several ways. If your luggage has been lying in the storage for a year and has become completely coated in mold, the great news is that you can clean it out quite easily. White vinegar could be used to thoroughly clean the area.

In order to avoid inhaling mold spores, it is preferable to work outside when coping with mold issues. Move your case to a well-ventilated area and wipe it off thoroughly with a wet towel. Make sure to protect your face by using a face mask.

After that, refill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Spray the vinegar everywhere around your suitcase, and then let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the vinegar’s flavor. All of this may be done with a gentle cloth and warm water. It is recommended that you perform this step a second time to ensure that all of the molds have been killed.

As a result, you may proceed with cleaning the remainder of the luggage as normal. Lastly, keep all sections open in a well-ventilated area to dry completely. Vinegar has a strong scent that will be noticeable for several weeks after it has been opened. Your luggage, on the other hand, should no longer smell like vinegar after some weeks.

Final Thoughts

A clean suitcase will always appear fresh, but the main thing is how you clean it and what products you use. Always remember to use the proper measures to avoid damaging your luggage.

I hope this guide can help anyone who wants to clean their luggage quickly and easily at home.