How to Clean Away Luggage

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Most people pay attention to home and wardrobe cleaning, ignoring their luggage. Yet, as a frequent traveler, you must know how to clean your luggage correctly. Though not visible, your luggage might attract dust, bed bugs, or disease-causing germs. Today, we will talk about how to clean away luggage.

Though cleaning suitcases is not something new, you might not be aware of the right way to do it. Branded luggage offers versatility and durability, and most companies customize suitcases for people who travel once a year.

Most suitcases follow the quality of hard shells and soft interiors. However, with frequent trips, the hard surface might get dirty. Here is a guide on how to clean away luggage.

How Do You Start by Cleaning Away Luggage?

Suitcases can be cleaned regularly, as they offer complete durability. Most suitcases are made from tough shells and outer coverings, completely scratch resistant. However, if you compare different brands, it depends on the material used for exteriors.

But, most suitcases have a tough outer shell, which makes them perfect for cleaning. The process of cleaning away your luggage is pretty straightforward, so it doesn’t require a lot of effort. But you might need to keep a few precautions in mind. We will further discuss the cleaning part.

Things You Need to Clean Away Luggage:

  • Washing detergent
  • Magic eraser (optional)
  • Warm water
  • Soft dry cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Fabric softener
  • Leather cleaner
  • Hair dryer

How to Clean the Interior of the Luggage?

If you want to clean your suitcase correctly, it may take about two to three days. Cleaning the interior may take time, as you’ll have to dry it overnight. Also, it is essential to ensure no mildew is left because of the moisture residue, making drying it out even more critical.

Step 1: The Starting Process

Ensure that your bag is empty. You won’t check your bag correctly if you do it in a hurry. Most people are forgetful and might think they emptied the bag only to find the old pair of socks in the bag’s corner.

So, double-check all the compartments and pockets in the bag before cleaning. Once you are sure your bag is empty, it’s time to move on to the next part of cleaning.

Step 2: The Deep Cleaning

You can clean away the inside of your luggage by vacuuming the interior. It is also the first step in cleaning. Vacuum cleaning helps remove the larger and smaller pieces of debris from the bag and ensures no residue is left.

The best part is it will help to remove all the dust from the corners of your luggage, making all the difference in cleaning.

Most suitcases come with an enclosed lining, so you cannot remove the lining. However, a vacuum cleaner ensures complete cleaning even if you can’t remove the lining.

Additionally, if the lining is removable, take it out and vacuum the interior for complete cleaning. Also, if you don’t have a handheld cleaner, you can pick up your suitcase, turn it around, and give it a good shake. Then, you can vacuum the spot as you would typically do.

How to Clean Removable Lining Using a Tag?

cleaning luggage with spray

You can clean away luggage by removing the lining. If your suitcase allows you to remove the entire lining, you can clean it your way. However, most suitcases come with a fixed lining, so you won’t be able to remove them in that case.

Start by removing the internal lining of the suitcase if possible. Next, make sure to remove all the detachable pockets of the bag. Additionally, some suitcases come with a lining tag, which gives you instructions regarding the cleaning part.

If your suitcase has the tag, read it before cleaning the lining. Spot cleaning of lining is the best way to clean, so stick to it. And if the tag says that your lining is machine washable, you can directly wash the lining in the machine using gentle wash. However, do not put the lining back until it’s 100% clean. A damp lining is an open invitation to fungus, which can damage your suitcase.

How to Spot Clean Removable Lining Using Washing Detergent?

Spot cleaning can be time-consuming, but the results are promising. It also depends on how filthy the suitcase lining is. Most bags use nylon material for internal lining, but some may have canvas material.

Mix mild detergent and warm water in a bowl to clean the lining. Then, dip a soft washcloth, scrub the spot, or clean the lining as you wash your clothes.

For canvas, you need baking soda and warm water. Dip a toothbrush in the solution or a soft cloth and rub slowly. Fabric softener ensures your material smells nice every time you use your suitcase.

How to Dry Away Luggage?

Once you’ve completed the cleaning, use a hair dryer to dry the suitcase. It’s the fastest way to clean the interiors of your luggage. For example, if you remove the lining, leave it overnight for drying and put it back the next day. When it is 100% dry, close your suitcase and move to the next step of cleaning the exterior part.

How to Clean Away the Exterior of Luggage?

Once the interior is cleaned, close the suitcase so no moisture can seep in.

Hardshell Suitcases

Begin by cleaning the luggage with a soft towel. You can dampen a towel and dry scrub to remove the dust and stains for mild stains. If the stains are tough, use cleaning detergent and a warm water solution.

Put a soft cotton cloth in the solution and clean the suitcase’s outer shell. Let it naturally dry; don’t use a hair dryer, or it may affect the material. Also, don’t use acetone to remove stains as it can damage the plastic.

Softshell Suitcases

cleaning luggage with vacuum

Remove the pet hair or debris from the exterior of your suitcase. A lint roller or a handheld vacuum will come in handy. The exterior part is made from polypropylene, similar to the other suitcases.

Dissolve mild detergent and dip in a towel, and you can start scrubbing off the stains. First, wipe it off using a soft cloth to prevent nasty outlines. Once you are satisfied with the cleaning part, let it dry naturally.

How to Clean Leather Luggage?

You can’t use detergents or abrasives for leather luggage as they may damage the leather or cause staining. Instead, use a cleaner designed for leather. A leather care cleaner is an effective option for cleaning your leather suitcase.

Spray the cleaner and use a soft cloth to wipe it off. Repeat the process until you are fully satisfied. Follow this up with a leather conditioner for extra shine. If you spray too much, it might leave streaks on the leather material, so use caution.

How to Remove Black Marks From Luggage?

Black marks are visible but may go unnoticed. For example, your luggage has been tossed around many times, so it may have black marks. But, you can remove those marks with a proper cleaning method.

You can get most of the black greases out by pouring some corn starch and dry baking soda on it. Then, rub it with a toothbrush and leave it for some time. These methods help soak up the material’s grease or black spots. In addition, you can brush off the area’s excess baking soda and corn starch.

Add a tablespoon of dish soap to a bowl with warm water. Blend it well and apply it to the black spots with a toothbrush. Again, leave it for some time. Now, clean it up with warm water and a soft cloth.

You can repeat the process until you see a lighter stain. However, if your suitcase is brightly colored, cleaning or removing the stain might take some effort. Additionally, the process can slightly change the color of your suitcase.

Can You Dry Clean Luggage?

Most dry cleaning services offer to clean away luggage, but they may charge extra. However, they do the best job of restoring the shine.

Can You Wash Your Suitcase?

You can’t completely wash your suitcase unless it’s a material that is entirely washable. However, you can use the ways above to clean the luggage’s exteriors and interiors.

Can You Steam Clean Your Luggage?

Yes, it is possible to steam clean luggage using an upholstery steamer. However, you will have to follow the proper way to clean it.


It’s easy to clean your luggage once you understand how to clean away luggage the right way. Follow the above steps and don’t forget to empty your suitcase before cleaning it. Also, disinfect the handles and wheels while cleaning the exterior for a bonus.
We hope you are all set for your next trip!

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