After travel, whether it be for business or pleasure, even unpacking can feel like drudgery, so the last thing we might think of is the cleanliness of our luggage. Instead we stow those suitcases away in the closet or even the garage. But once you pull them out again for summer travel, consider giving your bags a little TLC: it may be good for your health as well.

As points out, “considering how checked luggage is handled — exposed to all kinds of stuff like dirt, grime, bacteria, and even those mystery liquids on the tarmac — there's one thing your bag is probably longing for after any trip: a good, deep clean.”

So where does one start? The New York Times offered some tips: “To clean your hard-sided luggage, rub it down with either an alcohol wipe or a rag with a mix of dish soap and water. Avoid anything abrasive that might cause scratches. That's it. If you want to restore polycarbonate to something close to its original luster, try buffing it with a wax-based furniture polish.”

To clean the soft-sided luggage you’ll need these basic things. 

  • a microfiber towel
  • soap and water
  • baking soda

Soak a soft (likely old) towel in soap and water. Wring out the excess water and wipe down the case. 

In the instance of oil-based stains, sprinkle stains with water, then with baking soda. Once the soda dries, vacuum the luggage off.

For most other stains, dilute a tablespoon of laundry soap in lukewarm water and pat the stain. If this does not work, try again using mild dish soap and warm water and blot the stains once more. 

For especially stubborn stains, consider applying a non-toxic upholstery cleaner. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

For scuffs on plastic parts of luggage, try rubbing alcohol on a cloth. 

To remove scuffs from your luggage you will need these basic things.

  • a microfiber cloth (again)
  • all-purpose spray
  • white vinegar (kitchen staple like baking soda!)
  • gentle dish soap
  • leather cleaner

For both fabric bags or hard-case luggage, use a damp cloth paired with a natural all-purpose spray, a homemade white vinegar-based cleanser, or gentle dish soap to remove marks.

For 100% leather luggage, research good leather-cleaning products. 

With running around various train stations, tram stations and airports, your suitcase's wheels might be the dirtiest part, since they come in direct contact with the ground. For this cleaning process, you will need:

  • soap and water or all-purpose cleaner
  • microfiber towels
  • screwdriver

For wheels, create a soap-and-water mixture, or spray the wheels with all-purpose cleaner, then wipe down the wheels with the cleaning solution. Roll the wheels over a microfiber cloth to dry them. 

To clean the inside of a suitcase, you will need these basic things.

  • baking soda
  • spray bottle with water
  • a vacuum

Mist the inside of your suitcase with water and then sprinkle with baking soda. Leave the case open to dry. Once dry, vacuum up the baking soda.

By following these steps and maintaining your luggage, you can keep it clean for the next time you’re ready to pack up and skip town. Have other luggage cleaning tips? Let us know! 

Also consider giving the team at 208 Cleaning a chance to show you what experts and professionals we are in the cleaning world. Contact us if you or someone you know may be in need of a residential or commercial cleaning service like ours. We can’t wait to hear from you. Give us a call or email us here. Have fun and stay safe out there!