Cleaning Your Luggage: Tips and Tricks

Travelling can get quite messy, and your luggage gets the brunt of it. Your luggage is dragged around and put on dirty floors or surfaces. No matter what type of luggage you use on your trip, chances are you will notice dirt and grime as you unpack.

We here at understand the importance of cleaning your luggage, and this guide will show you how to do it efficiently.

Why You Need to Clean Your Luggage After Every Trip

Cleaning your luggage after every trip ensures that you do not carry any dirt, bacteria, or viruses in your home and potentially cause infectious diseases. Other reasons for cleaning include:

  • To avoid transference of bugs. You never know what you have carried along the way, and it is absolutely crucial to clean your luggage to avoid bugs such as bed bugs from entering your home.
  • To keep mold away. Not only does mold smell bad, but it can damage your luggage.
  • For durability. Regularly cleaning your luggage will help it last longer.

How to Clean Your Suitcase

Now that you understand just how important deep cleaning your luggage is, it is time to do the actual work. One thing to note is that different types of luggage require specific cleaning methods. So, before you start the cleaning process, check to see if there are any recommendations from the manufacturer. If there are any musty smells, activated charcoal will remove the odor.


The first thing you should do before unpacking is to disinfect all the high-touch surfaces, like the handles. You can either use a cloth with spray sanitizer or disinfecting wipes. As you wipe, make sure you get to the edges of the handles to ensure you get to the edges of the handle.


The wheels of your suitcase collect a lot of dirt and should be washed properly using soap, water, and a brush.


Cleaning the exterior of your luggage depends on the material.

Hard cases

Any luggage with a hard case is the easiest to clean, and soap and water should do the trick. You can use a soft cloth to do this. Once you are done, rinse it with water to avoid any soap marks from forming. Experts suggest using a cleaning eraser or toothpaste to remove any scratches or scuff marks.

After rinsing, wipe down with a soft dry cloth. Do not put your suitcase away if it is not completely dry. If you don’t, the suitcase will become a breeding ground for mold.

Soft cases

A soap and water solution can also be used for hard cases, as long as you don’t put too much soap. If a soft cloth with the solution does not work on the stains, use a brush or stain remover to remove them. Ensure the bristles are soft to avoid destroying the fibers of the suitcase.

If there are grease stains, a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch can remove the stains. Rub the mixture on the stain using a toothbrush and leave it for a while. Clean it off and apply a mixture of warm water, detergent, and Oxy Clean. Let it rest again, and wipe it off using a soft cloth and warm water. 

Just like with a hard-cased suitcase, ensure the suitcase is completely dry by placing it in the sun. If the weather is unfavorable, you can use a blow dryer.

Leather Cases

Leather is a very sensitive material and should not be cleaned with water as it damages it. The best way to clean is to use a leather cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe down dirt or grime. You can also use a toothbrush on stubborn stains.


Before cleaning the interior, make sure that the suitcase is completely empty. Check all the pockets to make sure nothing is left. The inside of the suitcase is one of the easier places to clean. First, use a vacuum to remove any dust or crumbs.

Next, wipe down any spilled shampoo or lotion with a soap and water mixture and wipe with a dry cloth to remove the liquid. Leave the suitcase open to dry or blow dry it to speed up the process.

How to Clean a Backpack

You should also check with the manufacturer if they have a recommended method of cleaning it. If you don’t know or cannot find that information, a good scrub with warm water and mild detergent using a soft brush will do. Be gentle as you scrub to avoid ruining it.

When done, put it to dry in direct sunlight to dry it properly.

Now that your luggage is clean storing it properly ensures that it stays clean. The best way to do this is to store it covered. You can either use a garbage bag or invest in a luggage cover.

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