Among the multitude of troubles faced by frequent travelers, cleaning and caring for their luggage is a quite common one. Letting your imagination loose will help you understand what your suitcase goes through during those memorable trips. And if you remember any bad experiences, know that your luggage probably went through worse.
Everyone from the airport personnel to the hotel staff to your cabbie can be accused of badly handling your luggage. Not to mention the joyride it sometimes takes on the luggage conveyor belt at the airport. And if you’re also negligent in the care and handling of your suitcase, its condition will only further deteriorate.
Your luggage deserves care and pampering for being your companion through so many journeys. Frequent travelers often develop an attachment to their luggage. The key to prolonging the life of your suitcase is regular upkeep.
Regular cleaning and airing out should keep your suitcase in top condition and free of any funky smells. Also, exercising care in where you store your luggage will help prevent mold and mildew from taking hold.
Here are the steps to easily clean your suitcase, as well as methods for removing odor from it.
Things you’ll need:
Put ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a bowl of water. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve the dish soap in the water.
Your cleaning solution is ready.
Dip the lint-free cloth into the cleaning solution. Squeeze the excess liquid out.
Wipe the surface of the suitcase clean with the wet cloth. Although most of the surface will come clean this way, the tougher dirt stains will take some elbow grease. Moisten the cloth and work it over the tough stains repeatedly until they come off.
Clean the cloth in the cleaning solution when it gets dirty. A dirty cloth will end up smearing grime across the surface, instead of cleaning it.
Most of the dirt stains will come off with the soapy cloth, but there may bea host of sticky spots that refuse to budge.These sticky spots accumulate dirt. Just raid your stationery supplies for an eraser to get rid of such spots.
Rub the eraser over the sticky spots. You’ll notice that along with the eraser dust, the spots come off as well.
Now to deal with all those scuff marks – remember the time when your suitcase slipped down the porch stairs? Yes, it left some scratches behind. You won’t be able to make them go away, but you can diminish their appearance by polishing with toothpaste.
Use plain white toothpaste for this purpose. Just squirt some paste on the surface and polish it with a clean end of the lint-free cloth and a sponge pad.
Don’t forget the wheels. The wheels of any piece of luggage suffer the most. Clean off all the visible grit and grime with a sponge soaked in water.
When not maintained properly, the wheels can get damaged even if your suitcase is in good condition. You wouldn’t want the wheels of your suitcase giving up on you in the middle of a journey, would you?
When you’re done wiping, spot cleaning, buffing and polishing your suitcase, wipe it all over with a clean, dry towel using circular motions.
Now that you’ve cleaned the exterior of your suitcase, it’s time to clean the interior. Clean the insides with a lint-free cloth soaked in the cleaning solution. Be sure to squeeze the excess water out of the cloth, as the interior fabric of the suitcase may soak up the moisture.
Finish up the cleaning by drying the fabric with a fresh towel. Let the suitcase stay open to air-dry.
Things you’ll need:
A regular cleaning routine should be maintained to keep your suitcase in top condition. Vacuuming and brushing your suitcase before and after every use also helps you avoid bulk cleaning.
Contrary to hard-shell suitcases, the soft-sided ones absorb a lot of loose dust. So, start the cleaning by vacuuming the exterior to remove all the loose dust. You’ll soon notice the difference. Vacuum the interior fabric of the suitcase as well.
Use a brush with fine bristles to clean the wheels. Brush the loose debris off the wheels.
If your suitcase is sufficiently clean, you can stop. But if it needs a more thorough job, move on to the next step.
Start by preparing the cleaning solution. Add ¼ teaspoon (about 2 or 3 drops) of dishwashing liquid to a bowl filled with water. Stir to mix the dish soap evenly into the water.
Dip an end of a lint-free cloth into the cleaning solution. Squeeze out the excess water. Keep the cleaning end only slightly moist. Remember that we’re going for surface cleaning, rather than soaking.
Clean the exterior with the wet lint-free cloth. Keep drying the area with a dry towel simultaneously. This will prevent the liquid from soaking into the fabric. Clean all the surfaces – front, back and sides as well as top and bottom.
When you’re done cleaning the surfaces, get to the parts that generally become a hub for germs. Clean the handles and the wheels of the suitcase. Clean the feet of your suitcase as well. Instead of feet, your suitcase may have base studs like the one in this example.
Give the interior of the bag a wipe-down as well. Use your fingers to get the cloth inside the crevices. Follow each cleaning with a dry towel rub.
Keep the suitcase open in a well-ventilated space to let the moisture evaporate.