How To Clean Luggage

Clean your luggage after each trip to keep it neat, tidy, and free of spots or odors. Here is how to manage some popular types.

Today's travelers have their choice of many different kinds of luggage, and during a trip, the luggage always seems to get dirty. Whether you fly, take a bus, or drive a car, suitcases and travel bags are nearly guaranteed to be dirty by the time you get back. Since they can be made of textures like canvas, leather, plastic or soft vinyl, nylon, and aluminum, you will need to find a suitable cleanser for each type.

Leather is a more popular type of material for travel baggage. Never get leather too wet, since moisture can cause damage. But you can take a damp cloth and wipe away surface spots. Then you can buy saddle soap from a shoe store, department store, or a leather goods store. Be sure to check and follow directions on the can to condition the leather and make it last.

Another widely used substance is plastic or soft vinyl. Always remove any spots as soon as possible with an all-purpose cleaner. But if that does not work, you need to use the same solution with a white nylon backed scrub sponge or a nonabrasive cleaner such as Formula 409. Then, to make it look good and protect it, try a product like ARMOR ALL or any other kind of silicone conditioner. It is a good idea to use ARMOR ALL every time you return from a trip to help make your luggage last.



The next product type is nylon or other synthetic fabrics. Use carpet or upholstery cleaner, but make sure you don't get it too wet. Sponge the solution lightly by working from the middle to the edges. Then apply Formula 409 laundry pretreatment to non-greasy spots before you wash them, and dry cleaning treatment K2R or a degreaser should take care of any greasy or oily areas.

Canvas can be laundered in the washing machine by using warm water, and then tumble dry it long enough to get the wrinkles out. Don't wad up your bag and leave it lying wet somewhere or it will become mildewed and your zippers might rust. After you have cleaned your bag, you might want to apply a protective sealer. Don't spray the black painted locks or the product will discolor them.

Clean aluminum by using a mild cleanser and gently go over the entire bag, then rinse it off and dry with clean towels. That is about all you have to do, which makes this substance nice to have with luggage.

Don't forget the inside of your luggage. If you spill anything inside, clean it up right away. You can also use a vacuum on the inside. Try carpet and upholstery cleaner and keep baking soda on hand for deodorizing the bag. Remember to carry things that can spill or leak in waterproof containers. Pack zip lock bags and keep plastic lawn bags for dirty clothes. Finally, wipe the wheels and the handle with all-purpose cleaner.

The next time you're planning a trip, wheel your bags out of the closet and they will be ready to go!

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