When travelling, the number one rule you should keep in mind is to travel light. The fewer bags you carry, the easier it will be to explore the place you're visiting. And of course, fewer suitcases for you to clean afterwards. Did you know that you could be carrying bed bugs or various disease-causing germs back home in your suitcase when you return?
Here's a step-by-step guide to deep clean your luggage.
1) Empty Your Suitcase
Ensure that you've emptied all the pockets before you start cleaning your suitcase.
2) Vacuum Your Suitcase
Remove loose dirt and debris from your suitcase using a vacuum. Pay special attention to side pockets within the suitcase. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, dust with a cloth.
3) Wash Removable Storage Pockets
Read the manufacturer's instructions and wash the detachable storage pockets accordingly. Whether you're machine-washing or hand-washing, it's best to use a mild detergent with warm water.
4) Clean the Inside Linings
If the inside of your suitcase is made of nylon or some other synthetic material, gently wipe it with a damp cloth. You can also soak a sponge in a soapy solution and wipe off the insides. Later, wash it off with a fresh cotton cloth soaked in clean water. Buff with a dry towel. And let the insides air-dry to avoid a musty odour in your suitcase.
5) Treat the Stains
Mix water and baking soda, 2 tbsp. each to form a paste. Apply the paste on the stained area and let it rest for 10 minutes. Scrub with an old toothbrush and clean it off with a damp cloth. Repeat the entire step, if necessary.
6) Disinfect the Handle and Wheels
To avoid any possible transmission of germs, squeeze some sanitizer on a tissue and wipe off your suitcase's plastic handle/linings and wheels thoroughly.
7) Clean the Exteriors
Remove any dirt from the exteriors of your suitcase using a short broom or a vacuum cleaner.
8) Clean the Suitcase Body
For leather suitcases, use a leather shampoo and conditioner as per the instructions on the label. For fabric suitcases, clean with a mild detergent and a damp cloth. Lastly, for aluminium bags, simply wiping with a towel soaked in warm water is enough.
9) Clean Zippers and Latches
You need to clean your suitcases’ wheels, zippers and other hardware thoroughly. Dip a cloth in a bowl of soapy water and wipe the hardware. Use another clean cloth to wipe dry or allow it to air-dry.