Travel luggage gets dirty, it’s a fact. So, what are you supposed to do when that happens? Should you take it to cleaners or do the work on your own? Well, if you decide to pick the latter option, know that it might not gonna be a walk in a part. Sometimes, deep-cleaning the luggage requires plenty of hard work.
I’m telling you this from experience, because I used to spend literally hours cleaning stains and dirt off my carry-on luggage before I realized that there are some methods that can help quite a lot.
The most important rule to remember, of course, is to deal with the problem as soon as it appears. If you clean the luggage after each trip, you won’t have to worry about the stains becoming too stubborn.
So, without any further delay, here are top 5 tips on how to properly clean your travel luggage!
1. Vacuum It
Vacuuming seems like the only way to properly clean the inside of the suitcase or, in fact, any other type of travel luggage. Surely, you can try to do the same with a wet cloth, but my advice is to leave it after you’re done with vacuuming. This way, you will make sure no depress gets stuck at the bottom of the suitcase or in the compartments.
You might think that vacuuming won’t do any good for hard-sided suitcases, but I got to beg to differ. In some cases, the vacuum cleaner can suck away dirt and dust. It may not be enough to completely clean it, but will surely make the cleaning process easier.
2. Choose the Cleaning Solution
The fact is that not every cleaning solution is suitable for dealing with travel luggage, especially the kind with soft sides. Such items are usually made of polyester or nylon, the materials that can be ruined if improper cleaning solution is used.
My advice is to go with warm water, which will be enough to dissolve some stains and bits of dirt. However, in most cases, simply using water won’t be enough. You will need to mix it with something more potent, such as laundry soap or dishwashing liquid.
3. Cleaning Stubborn Stains
In order to deep-clean your luggage, you can simply put it into the bathtub and shower it with the cleaning solution. This way, you will be able to clean it thoroughly, but it doesn’t guarantee that stubborn stains will go away.
In order to deal with hard stains, my advice is to use a sponge (for soft materials) or a dish brush, if the suitcase is hard-sided. You can even use a toothbrush for the same purpose.
4. Dry Your Luggage Properly
The importance of properly drying your luggage is super-important. First of all, if it’s not dried in a timely manner, you can end up with luggage smelling bad. But, if you do it too quickly, by leaving it exposed to direct sunlight for example, the material might get damaged or its color might fade away.
The best solution seems to be to air the luggage out at room temperature. If you’re worried about unpleasant odor, you can put some baking soda inside the suitcase or use one of many anti-odor products available on the market. Another good tip is to put a cat litter tray inside the suitcase, which would absorb the moisture. An alternative to cat litter is, of course, silica gel.
5. Store Your Luggage the Right Way
Properly storing the luggage is equally important as cleaning it. You need to keep it in a dry spot, where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cool. What this means is that keeping it in a garage, attic, or basement, is probably not the best solution.
So, where should you keep your luggage? Well, if there’s enough room in a closet in your home, that’s where you should put it. To save some space, you can fit a smaller suitcase inside a larger one. However, if you have some frameless bags, my advice is not to fold them, as they may lose their shape. Instead, stuff them with paper or rags, and store the same way you would store hard-sided suitcases.