How to Clean a SuitcaseAfter traveling you feel worn-out and in need of a good shower. Your suitcase travels just as far as you, but it probably never gets cleaned! There’s no doubt luggage gets dirty, whether it’s being dragged across the tarmac or shoved into a car headed for the open road. Use these tips on how to clean a suitcase to refresh your most loyal travel companion.

Suitcase Materials

Suitcases come in a range of shapes, sizes, and materials. What your suitcase is made of will affect how you can clean it. Here’s our brief suitcase cleaning guide:

Leather Suitcases: For quick cleanings, wipe using an alcohol-free baby wipe. Immediately dry with a soft cloth. For deeper cleanings, buff the suitcase with a leather cleaner. Be careful not to get the bag too wet!

Hard Suitcases: These are usually just plastic, the easiest thing in the world to clean. Spray your favorite all-purpose cleaner onto a cloth and wipe the suitcase down. Use a mild abrasive to remove scuffs (toothpaste is an option!). We always advise testing cleaners in an inconspicuous spot on an object to make sure they cause adverse effects.

Nylon Suitcases: Use the soft bristle-brush vacuum attachment to vacuum the outside of the suitcase and remove loose dust and dirt. You can wipe the suitcase down with a rag dampened with warm soapy water or your favorite cleaner. Just be careful not to get the suitcase too wet.

Canvas and Cotton Suitcases: Many of these can be machine washed. Check the label to see. If you can’t machine wash your bag, spot clean. Apply dry baking soda to stains and scrub it in with a toothbrush. If a stain persists, make a paste from water and baking soda and apply that to the stain. Try not to get the canvas too wet and dry it immediately after cleaning.

The interior and exterior of your suitcase may have different cleaning needs. Be sure to clean using the appropriate method. If you are not sure about your bag’s materials or want instructions on how to clean your specific bag, check the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Insides

Use the tips above to help you decide what cleaning products to use when cleaning the interior of your luggage. Also, don’t forget these small tasks:

  • Remove everything from your bag once you’ve returned. Check all the pockets, remove old luggage tags, and check to see if zippers still work.
  • Remove dirt from the interior of your empty suitcase by vacuuming. Use the upholstery or bristle-brush attachment.

Suitcase Wheels

Unsurprisingly, the wheels are often the dirtiest part of the suitcase. To really clean a suitcase, you’ve got to give the wheels their fair share of attention. Use a sponge and warm soapy water to wash the wheels until they look clean again. Dry them with a clean cloth.

Get Clean a Suitcase for Better Travels

You can’t control everything when you travel, but you can at least make sure your luggage looks nice! These tips will not only give your suitcase style, but they will make sure your belongings are stored in a safe clean place and will help to preserve the life of your bag. Let us know in the comments if you have any luggage-cleaning or travel tips!