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    Rollink » Community » Packing » How To Clean Luggage After A Trip [From Handle To Wheels]
    how to clean your luggage

    How To Clean Luggage After A Trip [From Handle To Wheels]


    Whether you’re hitting the open road, flying above the clouds or cruising out at sea, traveling can give your luggage a real beating

    From conveyor belts and tight travel compartments to a bumpy ride, your luggage has quite the experience throughout your journey. 

    As tired as you might be when you return home from a trip, and as tempted as you might feel to drop your luggage back into your closet until next time (we get it), cleaning your luggage after each adventure is key to helping it remain in tip-top shape, and also to get rid of any germs that may have hitched a ride!  

    We’ll explain how to clean your luggage from handle to wheels, share tips on how to show your luggage a little extra TLC, and introduce our own easy-to-clean bags at Rollink — sure to be your new favorite travel companion! 

    Our water-resistant luggage makes cleaning a breeze.
    Check it out!

    Luggage Cleaning Checklist 

    Before you get down and dirty, make sure you have the following ready to go: 

    • Microfiber cloth 
    • Disinfecting wipes 
    • Paper towels 
    • Sponge 
    • Gentle soap 
    • Water 
    • Wet and dry vacuum 
    • Upholstery shampoo 
    • Fabric protector 
    • Wax 

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    How To Clean Your Luggage, From Handle To Wheels 

    Whether you’re traveling by bus, boat, plane, car or train, you’re likely not the only person who will come in contact with your luggage. 

    Cleaning your luggage after every trip can help you ditch germs that might make you sick, and keep your luggage looking brand new. 

    Here’s how to clean your luggage and get it ready for your next adventure! 

    How To Clean Luggage Handle 

    On a scale of one to 10, the handle on your bag is a solid 10 when it comes to high-touch surface areas that could end up riddled with germs. 

    Here’s what you’ll need to clean the handle: 

    • Disinfectant wipes 
    • Microfiber cloth 
    • Paper towel 

    To clean the luggage handle: 

    1. Fully extend the handle 
    1. Wipe down the sides of the handle using a disinfectant wipe or microfiber cloth 
    1. Wipe the top of the handle using a stronger solution designed to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi 
    1. Keep the surface wet for at least three minutes before wiping it dry with a paper towel 

    Sustainability cleaning tip: Thank Mother Earth for providing such beautiful places to explore by using reusable disinfectant wipes! 

    How To Clean Luggage Interior 

    Once you’ve emptied the contents of your luggage, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig a little deeper to make sure the inside of your suitcase is clean and ready to go when you pull it out for your next trip. 

    Here’s what you’ll need to clean the interior: 

    • Wet and dry vacuum cleaner 
    • Disinfectant wipes 
    • Microfiber cloth 
    • Stain remover 
    • Fabric and upholstery spray 

    To clean the interior of your luggage: 

    1. Use a vacuum with a crevice nozzle (a narrow nozzle to direct the vacuum’s power to corners) to get rid of dust and crumbs in every corner of your luggage 
    1. Vacuum the pockets 
    1. Use a disinfectant wipe or a microfiber cloth to clean lingering dust and dirt 

    What about spilled shampoo or coffee stains? 

    • To clean stubborn stains (think coffee or wine spills): Soak a microfiber cloth in upholstery shampoo, sponge the area lightly and pat dry with a paper towel 
    • To clean surface-level cosmetic stains: Soak a microfiber cloth in soap and water, sponge the area lightly and pat dry with a paper towel 
    • To clean shampoo, lotion or soap residue: Loosen the residue by applying a tablespoon of water to the area and suction it up using a wet vacuum cleaner 

    Pro packing hack: To prevent stains and spills, pack your liquid cosmetics and toiletries into packing cubes! 

    Our Rollink Packing Cubes are water-resistant, so if a spill does happen, it saves you from the hassle of a messy clean up post-travel. 

    How To Clean Luggage Exterior 

    Compared to the interior of your luggage, the exterior is a breeze to clean — when you’re using durable, water-resistant luggage like Rollink

    Here’s what you’ll need to clean the exterior of hard shell luggage: 

    • Mild dish soap and water solution 
    • Water 
    • Microfiber cloth 

    To clean the exterior of hard shell luggage: 

    1. Create a mild dish soap and water solution by mixing half a cup of mild dish soap with a liter of water 
    1. Dampen the exterior of your luggage with the mild dish soap and water solution  
    1. Using a microfiber cloth, rub using small circular motions to lightly buff the exterior 
    1. Wipe clean with a clean and damp microfiber cloth 

    To remove hard shell luggage stains: 

    1. Mix a non-abrasive cleaner with water to create a stain-removing solution 
    1. Apply the solution on the affected area using a microfiber cloth 
    1. Rinse and dry with a clean microfiber cloth 

    After your luggage looks good as new, take your cleaning routine a step further by checking your bag for scratches, and shining it back up, good as new. 

    To treat hard-shell scratches: 

    1. Rub a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on your suitcase 
    1. Add a layer of protection by applying one coat of silicone-based wax 

    Made from durable, polycarbonate hard shells, our Flex Vega luggage is available in three different sizes, each scratch, water and impact-resistant and ready to withstand even your most exciting journey. 

    In between uses, our smart design allows you to collapse your luggage to about 2 inches thick — simply store it under your bed or in your closet hassle-free, until adventure calls. 

    Rollink Flex Vega
    Flex Vega is made of polycarbonate hard shells to make cleaning a breeze 

    To clean the exterior of polyester luggage: 

    1. Make a solution of one teaspoon of mild laundry detergent, one teaspoon of white vinegar and one quart of warm water 
    1. Dampen the exterior of your luggage with the laundry detergent, vinegar and water solution
    1. Using a microfiber cloth, dab the exterior using small circular motions to lightly buff the exterior cycle 
    1. Wipe clean with a clean and dry microfiber cloth  
    1. Store your luggage inside a protective bag to prevent dust, until you’re set for your next adventure

    How To Clean Luggage Wheels 

    Similar to the handle, luggage wheels can be a breeding ground for all sorts of germs. 

    Here’s what you’ll need to clean the wheels: 

    • Dishwashing liquid 
    • Water 
    • Microfiber cloth 
    • Paper towel 

    To clean the wheels of your luggage: 

    1. Mix two drops of dishwashing liquid with one cup of water 
    1. Dip the microfiber cloth into the dishwashing solution 
    1. Wipe off the dirt and grime from the wheels 
    1. Rinse with water to remove the suds 
    1. Pat dry with a paper towel or dry microfiber cloth 

    Our silent, coated wheels offer smooth gliding and easy cleanup.
    Shop Rollink luggage!

    How To Clean Old Luggage 

    Whether you just scooped up some luggage from the thrift store or got it as a hand-me-down from your aunt who’s retiring from her jetsetter days, cleaning old luggage can include a few extra steps, to tackle issues like odor and old stains. 

    Here’s how to give your old luggage a facelift: 

    1. Use a vacuum with a crevice nozzle to get rid of debris or dust 
    1. Wipe the surfaces with disinfectant wipes and make sure to remove any signs of dirt, mold or mildew (repeat as needed) 
    1. Air out your luggage 
    1. Spray the interior of your luggage with a fabric refresher to eliminate any odor 
    1. Dust baby powder or baking soda in your luggage and let it absorb the odor overnight 

    Need a new suitcase for your trip?
    Check out our collapsible luggage!

    3 Tips To Clean Your Luggage 

    When packing a suitcase with toiletries and other travel essentials, follow our expert tips: 

    Disinfect Your Luggage 

    Whether you have fabric or hard shell luggage, you can use a disinfectant like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to eliminate viruses and harmful bacteria. 

    To disinfect your luggage using hydrogen peroxide: 

    1. Fill a spray bottle with 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and 4 cups of water 
    1. Liberally spray the hydrogen peroxide solution on your hard-shell suitcase. If you own fabric luggage, spray the hydrogen peroxide lightly 

    To disinfect your luggage using rubbing alcohol: 

    1. Fill a spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol and add water 
    1. Spray your hard-shell or fabric luggage with the alcohol and water solution 

    Clean a luggage with disinfectant spray
    Disinfecting your luggage can help you get rid of germs that may have hitched a ride

    Deodorize Your Luggage 

    Whether it’s the stench of dirty laundry from your recent trip or unpleasant odor picked up through years of traveling (yikes!), here are quick fixes to making your luggage smell brand new again. 

    To deodorize your luggage: 

    1. Sprinkle baking soda inside your luggage and close it. Allow it to sit overnight to absorb the odor. 
    1. Place activated charcoal inside your luggage for two to three days to absorb the odor 
    1. Use linen spray to leave your luggage smelling fresh 

    Expert tip: While these methods are surefire ways to remove any musty smell, experts say that you must never place your suitcase on your bed no matter how clean you think it is! 

    Eliminate Possible Bedbugs 

    A recent study found that 67% of American guests encountered bedbug infestations in hotels in 2018 (yuck!). Unfortunately, even some of the most prestigious hotels aren’t spared from these tiny critters. 

    Typically, bedbugs enter your luggage from the outside. They like to hang out on the seams, zippers and rubber on your suitcase’s exterior. 

    To ensure bedbugs are eliminated after your trip: 

    1. Throw all of your clothes into the washer (even the ones you didn’t get to rock during your trip)  
    1. Set your washer in a hot wash and dry cycle 
    1. Spray the exterior of your suitcase with 91% isopropyl alcohol to kill possible bedbugs 
    1. Before storing your luggage, use a vacuum with a crevice nozzle to suck out dirt and other particles from every nook and cranny 

    How To Clean Your Luggage — Key Takeaways 

    We know it’s tempting to dump your dirty clothes into the laundry and hide your suitcase away until your next adventure, but cleaning your luggage after a trip can help get rid of hitchhiking germs and keep your travel companion looking brand new. 

    At Rollink, our collapsible luggage is a breeze to clean, whether you opt for the durable polycarbonate hard shell of the Flex Vega, or the water-resistant exterior of the Flex Aura. 

    Ready to travel smart?
    Shop our collapsible luggage!