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Spring Luggage Cleaning

It’s that time of year when many of us are thinking of tackling spring cleaning around our house.  As you are cleaning your closets, attics and garages, don’t forget that your luggage needs some special cleaning as well. In fact, it is recommended to clean your luggage after every use. From cars, airports, airplanes, hotel rooms and more, your luggage is put in many different environments where it could have been exposed to germs and more. A recent spot on the Today Show featured Budget Travel Editor Nina Willdorf and she featured her tips on keeping your luggage clean.

Here are a few tips shared on the show on little things to do after a trip to your luggage:

1) The Once-Over: Purchase some Lysol wipes and and wipe down your bag including the wheels and handles. Make sure to spot test your luggage first with a wipe to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric.

2) Wine spills: Ever had a wine bottle or some other liquid spill over your luggage? First make sure to use a hand vacuum to clean up any glass that may be in the suitcase. Use newspaper to absorb the liquid. Leave the rolled up paper in your closed bag for 2 – 3 days. Wine Away is a great tool for dissolving red wine stains. Febreze Auto is also great for removing odors. Avoid mishaps like this by purchasing the Vinnibag which keeps your fragile items safe and secure.

3) Bed Bugs: Think your bag may have been exposed to bed bugs? Immediately, dump everything washable into your laundry on a hot wash and dry cycle. Wipe and spray down your bag with 91 percent isopropyl alcohol which will kill any bugs on contact. Vacuum all the crevices in your bag. If all else fails, you can use a product like Nuvan Prostrips. Simply place your luggage in a garbage bag with one of the strips  and the strip releases a gas that kills the bugs. Make sure to put your case in a plastic bag for storage afterwards.

4) Grease stains: Grease stains may occur after having your luggage go through a baggage carousel. Hard case and nylon cases, you should be able to clean but leather and canvas bags will require professional treatment.

5) Shampoo explosions: Use a spray bottle with water and spray it on the saturated area. Use a wet/dry vac to suck the moisture out. Try not to get your case too wet. This will only drive the soaps deeper into the fabrics. Try to avoid this hassle by putting your liquid items in ziploc bags or toiletry bags.

Other great products to invest in for cleaning your luggage:
a) Aluminum luggage: use a mild cleanser and gently go over the entire bag. Rinse and dry of with clean towels.
b) Ballistic Nylon luggage: Use gentle soap and water to wipe away stains.
c) Hardware: Using oil on hinges, handles or locks will cause more harm than good. To maintain the luster of the hardware, best to polish them lightly with a good quality steel wool and “re-seal” them with a clear nail polish or by using lacquer.
d) Hardside luggage: Use a gentle soap and warm water and rinse well. Cleaning erasers, mild abrasives and toothpaste can work well to remove scuffs and scratches. Use any good silicone-base automobile or furniture polish to preserve the luster of the covering. Do not use a combination cleaner-polish.

Before cleaning any luggage, make sure to read the instructions provided by the luggage brand. Certain solutions may not be suitable in particular brands of luggage. Always spot test an area of a piece of luggage before cleaning all of it. Always make sure to use mild soaps and wipes when cleaning. Harsh chemicals can destroy the beauty of your bag.

When storing your luggage, make sure you allow it to air out regularly. This will help prevent mildew from forming as a result of humidity. Extreme temperatures can also age your luggage as well.

How do you keep your luggage fresh and clean? We would love to hear your tips. Happy Spring Luggage cleaning!