How to Clean Fabric Luggage

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Taj Uddin Ahmed

Have you ever thought of cleaning your precious luggage? It is necessary if the suitcase gets stained on the surface of the dirt. Anyways, do you know how to clean fabric luggage? Well, if you don’t know yet, don’t worry. We will guide you today on how to clean fabric luggage. While traveling, ergonomically designed luggage plays the best friend’s role. You can keep a lot of stuff in it especially if you are planning to tour for more than a couple of days. A fabric suitcase is also preferable if you are going abroad. You can even store your carry-on bags in the luggage. You will understand its importance once you start to use it.

However, owning luggage is easy if you have money but to keep it clean, shiny, and smooth, you must have to invest some time in it. Proper maintenance can keep your fabric luggage as like is new. So, you may start reading this article on how to clean fabric luggage and you can learn a lot.

I discussed earlier a useful and effective guide on How to Wash North Face Backpack. Here you can find some important and secret tips. This article and “how to clean fabric luggage” are very similar that would be very helpful to all of you.

Cleaning fabric luggage is not that easy you are thinking of. You have to pay attention to different parts of the luggage such as fabric, hard shell, interior compartments, liner, crevices, down parts, and others. Each section needs a different treatment. So you have to be very careful about cleaning your luggage. Enriching your knowledge on washing backpacks or luggage would make you smarter.

So, as I have practical experience in washing my backpack, I decided to let you all know. Besides, I will share some tips so that it becomes helpful to you.

How to Clean Fabric Luggage

Still, wondering how to clean dirty fabric luggage? Well, cleaning a dirty fabric suitcase is super easy if you follow some steps. If you don’t put your hand on it, you better search for – luggage cleaning service near me. You will find a luggage cleaning shop and they will clean it for you. In that case, you have to waste your money, energy, and valuable time. How can you clean your fabric luggage? Let’s dig deeper.

Remove everything from the Luggage

Removing items

First of all, what you need to do to clean fabric luggage is clear out all removable items from your luggage. This is the first step to begin your luggage cleaning procedure. Make sure all the tiny pockets are checked and no important documents, papers, electronic devices like pen drives, mobiles, chargers, and other belongings are in there. Now you are ready to jump for the next step. If you need you can shake it well holding the suitcase upside down.

Clean the Interior of the Suitcase

clear out all items from inside

After removing everything from the suitcase, check first where to clean with the most attention. Use a bit of soapy foam and rub inside with a sponge or soft bristle brush so that no tearing happens. Use a brush to clean the zip liners and narrow spaces where usually one cannot reach. Use water if needed. Then wipe clean the interior of the luggage with a soft towel. If the stains are stubborn use a little bit of detergent to remove them.

Pro Tip: you are highly suggested not to use any bleach.

Clean the Exterior of the Suitcase

exterior cleaning of the luggage

Cleaning the exterior of a suitcase is another important job to do. A professional luggage cleaning makes the suitcase stain-free, dirt-free, and looks like new. We are discussing here “how to clean fabric luggage” and now is the time to clean the outer part of the luggage.

If you have black sticky grease on your suitcase, just go for detergent (no bleach) and lukewarm water. Put some detergent mixed water on the stain and rub softly on it and clean it with fresh water. If the spot still doesn’t go away, use the same process.

In terms of normal stains, soapy water would work. Remember, a frequent stroke on the stain may damage the fabric. This is why you must be careful while you clean your fabric luggage.

What to do after cleaning the luggage?

hang the luggage to dry

Cleaning luggage is not all. You need to take care of it. After cleaning your suitcase, put it somewhere to let it dry. Make sure the luggage is absolutely open while you are putting it to dry. Wait until it dries perfectly. And it would be great if you use a waterproofing spray. When the luggage dries completely, now is the time to use zipper lubricants so that they work smoothly and easily. Take care of your luggage properly and it will last longer.

How to Clean Soft Fabric Luggage

cleaning soft fabric luggage

A soft fabric suitcase can be made of nylon, polyester, or other different fabrics. Cleaning any of them would not be that difficult if you follow some easy steps.

At first, what you need to do is remove all the items from the luggage. If needed, hold the suitcase upside down opening the zipper. Now is the time to apply techniques in order to clean soft fabric luggage.

Well, you can use any fabric cleaner that foams up and is suitable for cleaning sofa, car seat, carpets, and so on. As this luggage is made of any of this fabric you can use this cleaner. First, clean the interior with a soft towel and remove all dirt, particles, and debris.

It is high time you started cleaning the outer side of the luggage. As you are going to clean the soft fabric luggage, spray on your suitcase and make sure the foam is adequate to clean it.

Now, brush the soft fabric particularly paying the attention to visible dirt patches. Rub it softly unless the spot or stain or dirt goes away. If needed, repeat the same process and try to clean the spot. If it is a grease patch, try your level best to remove it because it is so adamant to go away.

Wait 15-20 minutes and then vacuum off all the remaining foam on the suitcase with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming would be best to clean up the foam. Though you could use a soft towel to clean it vacuuming is preferable. Anyways, hope you already know how to use a vacuum cleaner.

After cleaning your suitcase, leave it in an open space opening its zipper under sunlight for a while. The suitcase would be ready while it dries well. You can use zipper lubricant to make the zippers smooth.

How to Clean Hard Shell Luggage

Hardshell luggage is usually made from Polycarbonate, ABS, Polypropylene, and Aluminum. Do you really know how to clean polycarbonate luggage? Due to using these elements, the surface of luggage becomes hard. And this is why the hard shell luggage is different from the soft fabric luggage considering the outer surface. Now, let’s clean hard shell luggage.

First, after removing all the belongings from the inside of the suitcase, prepare for cleaning the luggage. In this case, a dish soap mixed with tepid water would be preferable.

Now, use that soapy water and start cleaning with a sponge on the hard shell of the luggage. Well, if everything comes off smoothly, continue with the whole case. If things don’t go well, try to repeat the process so that you can remove all the scars and dirt from your luggage shell.

When you are finished with the cleaning, use fresh and clean water to wash the case perfectly so that no soapy residue remains. Now you can use a soft washcloth to wipe the luggage case clean.

Tips: If some stubborn spots don’t come off easily, try cleaning them with nail polish remover. But it is highly recommended to test on a less visible spot to see whether it works or not.

And then dry your luggage thoroughly with all zippers open.

How to Clean and Restore Leather Luggage

leather luggage

Unlike a hard shell or soft fabric luggage, leather luggage is difficult to clean as you need to be careful at different sides at a time. So how to clean and restore leather luggage? Let’s dig deeper.

First, clean the interior with soapy foam and a sponge or soft towel. It is not necessary to use water in this case. Remove all the dirt and dust from the inside of the suitcase using that method.

To reach every corner and narrow space, please use a toothbrush. It is also useful to clean the zipper liners too. Well, you can now clean the surface of the leather suitcase. Cleaning the outer shell of leather luggage is really worth the risk of damage.

However, use sofa cleaner and try removing the scratch on it. Repeated rubbing and soft touching of the luggage will help remove scratches or any spot on the leather. You can refrain from using water on it because there might be a greater possibility to get the leather damaged. One thing is if your luggage case is suede, use a special cleaner for suede leather, which’s usually applied with a brush.

How to Get Grease Stains off Luggage

Wondering, how to clean mechanical grease off luggage? This is one of the toughest jobs in terms of cleaning stains off from the luggage. So, how do get grease stains off luggage? Let’s discuss it.

It is true that most of the luggage is covered with black grease spots after being checked in. it is really bothering if you have this kind of mechanical grease on your favorite backpack or luggage. Well, let’s find out the solution on how to get the grease stains off your luggage.

First of all, to get most of the grease off you need to put some dry baking soda and cornstarch on the grease stains. Now rub it with a soft toothbrush and leave it for some time. This process will help to soak up most of the grease from the spot. Well, when most of the grease is soaked up, it is time you brushed off the elements you put on the luggage.

Next, collect a small bowl or glass of tepid water. Now add a tablespoon of detergent and a tablespoon of OxiClean. Mix it up and apply to the greasy spot. With a help of a toothbrush, rub the spot gently for one or two minutes.

And finally, use clean and fresh water to wash that soapy and dirty spot away. You may succeed at removing 60-70% and later on, you can end up cleaning with more than 10% I hope. However, if your luggage is a bright-colored one, it would be almost impossible to remove the stubborn grease stains fully.

Caution: this technique may slightly damage your luggage.

How to Clean Mold off Luggage

mold infected bags

Leaving a suitcase in the basement for a while maybe infected with mold. Mold on luggage is a matter of disgusting. It gets the chance to spread on the suitcase because you didn’t use your luggage for many days. This is not only disgusting but also a hazardous risk for your health. This is why you need to clean it immediately. The question is- do you know how to clean mold off luggage? Well, don’t worry, I am here to help you by providing tips and tricks.

Let’s take your luggage outside in order to clean it easily, fairly, and perfectly. What you need to collect is white vinegar, damp towel, spray, zipper lubricant, etc. The best tip to mold off luggage is to use white vinegar. As the vinegar has a strong smell that is uncomfortable to breathe in, you need to wear a face mask for protection from bad smells and germs.

The Process

First, fill up a spray bottle with white vinegar and then spray it all over the mold-infected case. Let it soak in for a few minutes (5-10 minutes). Now is the time to clean and clear the surface of the luggage with a soft clean towel and tepid water. Use the fresh and clean water you need.

Use the process more than once or multiple times if required. After that, you should start cleaning following the usual method. Use any cleaner like OxyCleaner to make it perfect. Another reason to use the cleaner is to deodorize the luggage from white vinegar.

Once you get rid of the molds completely, let’s leave the luggage in a dry place to let it dry perfectly. Keep the suitcase dry with all compartments open in a well-ventilated space.

Remember, vinegar has a powerful smell that can be evident for a few weeks. Before using, use some good scent on it and your suitcase will stop smelling like vinegar.

Can You Dry Clean Luggage

dry clean luggage

After every trip, you should dry clean luggage for a longer time use. Hope you are quite familiar with the term- dry clean luggage. To protect from molds, dust, particles, and insects, you must at least dry clean your luggage. The question is – can you dry clean luggage? Well, it is very simple.

If you can’t do dry cleaning luggage by yourself, to have this service done from any dry clean luggage service near you would take $20-$60. They restore the plastic parts and clean the tears or worn-down fabrics, and repair leather parts if needed. so, if you have money, you can take your luggage to a dry cleaning service and they will do their best to restore it.

It is necessary to mention that a lot of dry cleaning services don’t mention cleaning luggage on their websites. That’s why it’s better to call them first. Dry cleaning luggage is all about repairing, restoring, and cleaning your luggage. It takes time.

Anyways, if you are skilled at doing this kind of job at your home, you can do this on your own. You just need to follow some steps. It is very necessary especially after coming back home from every trip.

After the trip when you come back home, you should take care of your luggage. In this case, dry clean luggage is the best option with minimal labor and time.

Put your luggage outside. Try to brush the whole surface with a gentle touch. If needed use a damp soft cloth to clean it off. Make sure no dust is in there. A toothbrush would be helpful and effective to clean the zipper liner and the narrow spaces where you cannot reach with a towel or clothes to clean.

If you need, use a bit of baby shampoo with a very little amount of water and rub the spot to remove it. Once removed you store your luggage for your next use. You can know more from here.

How to Clean Wine and Shampoo Spills in Luggage

wine spilling luggage

Cleaning wine and shampoo spills from the surface of a suitcase is super easy. What you need most are patience and time.

The Steps Begin –

  • If the wine glass is broken, first vacuum all of the broken glass shards
  • Then use a wet vacuum or soft wet towel to clean up the liquid
  • Mix up some detergent powder with tepid water (1:2 ratio)
  • Now, use the detergent mixed water on the dirty spots to clean
  • Use fresh and clean water to wash it and to see how it progresses
  • Repeat the process if necessary unless the stain is completely gone
  • Then, wipe clean with a soft dry towel

Note: if the laundry detergent doesn’t work properly, you can try dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda, but be careful not to damage your luggage.

How to Disinfect Luggage after Travel

After every travel, it is truly necessary to disinfect your luggage. This is why you need to know – how to disinfect luggage after travel. It is an important step to do. You may tour in different countries and a lot of germs may come with your luggage. You may have children and family members who are important to you. So, knowing how to sanitize your luggage after every trip is essential. Let’s do it.

Step-1: Keep your luggage in your yard

While you were traveling around, your suitcase might have been touched by numerous dirty hands and contaminated surfaces. For this reason, don’t bring your dirty luggage into your home directly. Keep at your yard and after a proper cleaning or sanitizing you can bring it home.

Step-2: Unpack your luggage and clean your clothes

Before cleaning your luggage you have to do some important job. Just unpack your luggage and put all the clothes straight into the washing machine. Wash them on a full cycle and with lukewarm water.

Well, if your packing cubes look dirty or may have encountered bed bugs as you travel far distance and in many hotels, you should place them into a bathtub with tepid water and a non-detergent soap. Give them a good rinse and hang them to dry. And yes, if you don’t intend to clean them, keep them back into quarantine (24 hours at least) in the garage with your suitcase.

Step-3: Sanitize your luggage

Sanitizing is obviously different than cleaning. However, to sanitize your luggage, use disinfecting wipes. You may know a disinfecting wipe contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Now with this wipe rub and rinse the handle, hand grips on the side, and the wheels of your checked and carry-on luggage. This is how you can start disinfecting your valuable luggage.

Step-4: Clean the outer part of your luggage

To clean the outside part that means the surface of your suitcase, use non-detergent soap and warm water. A soft bristle brush and a soft towel would be helpful and effective to clean it. Clean carefully with your soft touch so that no damage occurs. Oh yes, don’t use any bleach or spot removers because it may potentially damage your luggage.

Step-5: Clean the inner part of your luggage

Well, you can use a vacuum cleaner with an edge nozzle to remove all the dust, dirt, and debris from the inside of the suitcase. Make sure no dirt is in the corners and crevices of the carry-on luggage. If you suspect any bed bugs while vacuuming, don’t forget to toss them in an outside trash can.

Step-6: Let your luggage dry thoroughly

At this stage, you can leave your precious luggage direct under sun heat for a few hours. The direct heat of the sun will serve two great purposes. One, the heat will dry your suitcase thoroughly. And two, the heat will kill any residual viruses or bacteria. More importantly, it will help to potentially eliminate any bed bug if still hiding in the luggage. Warning! If the sky is cloudy, don’t try to speed up the process by using and hairdryer or room heater as it can potentially damage your favorite luggage.

Step-7: Store it away from your living room

Once your luggage is perfectly sanitized and clean, you are highly suggested to store it in a clean, cool, and dry place where there is enough ventilation to pass the air. Or else, you may encounter molds, bugs, and insects. So, better preserve it carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Clean Suitcases with Baking Soda and Vinegar?

The straight answer is yes, you can. Actually baking soda and vinegar work well for cleaning luggage. Mixing vinegar with water at a 1:2 ratio, fill it up in a spray bottle, and spray it on the whole surface. Rub, rinse, and use fresh water to make it clean and clear. You can use a brush and a soft towel to complete the process.

2. Can You Wash a Suitcase?

A suitcase cannot be machine washed due to its size and outer shell. There are two types of suitcases; hardshell and softshell. Anyways, none of them is suitable to wash in a machine but yes, you can hand wash it. So, the answer is yes, you can wash a suitcase.

Make sure there is no wooden part in the luggage or else it may get damaged due to water running on it. Removing every belonging from the inside of the suitcase, start the procedure.

To wash your luggage, put it in the bathtub and start cleaning it with detergent mixing water. Rub and rinse. Wash the luggage with clean water. Keep in an open and dry place. Use zipper lubricant. And then store it.

3. Can You Steam Clean Luggage?

Besides traditional cleaning, steam cleaning is the best way to clean your luggage as the professional steamers use this method on sofas, mattresses, carpets, and other soft fabric furniture. So, I would say steam cleaning your luggage is probably the best and easiest way to go.

Last Words

Knowing how to clean fabric luggage is very important. By following only a few processes you can make your fabric luggage as like as new. It is not enough knowing only how to clean fabric luggage but also you must have to know about how to disinfect luggage after travel, how to clean luggage bag, how to clean hard shell luggage, how to clean suitcase lining, how to clean polycarbonate luggage, how to dry clean luggage, how to clean London fog fabric luggage, how to clean Samsonite luggage, and so on. You certainly would be a master by knowing all of these.

Well, if you don’t want to do it by yourself, you are highly recommended to search on the internet by writing – professional luggage cleaning near me or suitcase cleaning near me. Hopefully, they would solve your problem.