By: Susan Sherren for Couture Trips Published: 6/20/22 1:20 PM
The last thing on your mind after returning home from a trip is how to care for your luggage post travels. If you've hauled your luggage around the planet, it could probably deserve a good cleaning and prep for the next trip. Here are our best tips and tricks for keeping your bags in good shape.
First Things First Empty your suitcase and avoid placing it on your bed, couch, or other soft surfaces during unpacking. You've hauled this bag many places and don't want to risk dirtying your home surfaces. It's best to unpack in your garage, porch, or utility area and don't procrastinate emptying our your suitcases!
Step Two Place the bag on a towel on the floor or counter to sort it out. Remove your clothing and other items. Put your soiled clothing directly into the washing machine. If you have used packing cubes on your travels, you can hand wash them in the sink with warm detergent, rise, and let them air dry, preferably in the sun.
Open up all the compartments of your suitcase to let them air out. Then gently wipe the hard surfaces like handles and wheels, or lock with an alcohol-based cleaner to kill any germs. Shake out any leftover bits of dirt or debris. You can also take a damp towel and wipe out the compartments.
Hard Side Luggage Care Depending on the bag you have- hard or soft side- you will want to clean the outside. Samsonite, a leading luggage manufacturer, suggests: "To clean hard side luggage, we recommend using a gentle soap and warm water and rinsing well. If you want to wax the case after cleaning, any good silicone-based automobile or furniture polish will preserve the luster and add resistance to the covering. We do NOT recommend, however, that you try to clean the luggage with a combination cleaner-polish."
Soft Side Luggage Care Samsonite also recommends," spot cleaning with mild soap (i.e., dish soap) and water if you have a soft side bag. If this is unsuccessful, try a product used for spot removal on clothing, such as Spray 'n Wash or a foam-type cleaner used to clean car mats or automobile carpets (sold at car parts stores). If the luggage has an offensive odor, use a mixture of vinegar (1 part) and water (5 parts). This may take the odor out, but it will need to be aired for a few days".
Let The Sunshine In Sunshine or direct sunlight will help dry your bag out and will kill most germs. If it is wintertime, find a nice sunny spot in the house to let your bag thoroughly air out.
Once your bag is dry and cleaned, you might consider placing a fragrant sachet inside your bag to keep it smelling fresh. Store your luggage in a dry space free of bugs or other critters. You may also want to wrap it up in plastic -once thoroughly dried to keep it dust free.
Inspection Time Inspect your bag's wheels or other mechanical parts to ensure it will be in top shape for your next trip. Never take a piece of luggage in marginal condition on vacation; it could spell disaster.
Time To Buy A New Piece of Luggage If you need to invest in a new piece of luggage, March is an excellent time to purchase as new inventory is coming out and at the end of the summer travel season when demand for luggage is less intense.
If you have any luggage cleaning tips or tricks to share please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message us on Instagram @couturetrips.