How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior

Going travelling or on holiday is always a great way to break the routine, but when you return and after all the hustle and bustle you need to organise clothes and clean the suitcases to store them again, it's likely that laziness takes over you. After all, travelling has its consequences. And, of course, cleaning should be different depending on the type of luggage you have. So, at, we offer a good guide for you to discover how to clean a suitcase exterior depending on its material.

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  1. How to clean a metal or polycarbonate suitcase
  2. How to clean a leather suitcase
  3. Cleaning a canvas suitcase
  4. Cleaning a waterproof fabric suitcase

How to clean a metal or polycarbonate suitcase

Good quality metal suitcases are strong and resilient -a perfect option for frequent travellers. However, you also need to clean them occasionally to prevent dirt from accumulating irreversibly.

To clean a metal suitcase you must first make sure it is securely closed. Then mix hot water with detergent in a bowl and use this mixture to clean the suitcase using a soft cloth or sponge. This will help you to remove all the dirt. Then you must rinse it well and allow it to dry fully before storing it again.

How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior - How to clean a metal or polycarbonate suitcase

How to clean a leather suitcase

Leather suitcases are usually the preferred choice of many because it is a very elegant quality material. However, you should know that this type of material requires care so that it doesn't rapidly deteriorate with use, and, of course, it also deserves occasional cleaning.

To clean a leather suitcase easily you only need to take a soft cloth, preferably lint-free, and moisten it with facial cleanser. Rub it gently into the suitcase and you'll see how it slowly becomes cleaner. If necessary, with another clean cloth, dampened only with water, rinse the suitcase and remove the remains of the facial cleanser.

In the event that you use suitcases a lot, we recommend that you buy a special cream to protect the leather in shops specialising in the sale of bags made of that material.

How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior - How to clean a leather suitcase

Cleaning a canvas suitcase

Canvas suitcases are perhaps the most common that we usually find. This is because they are durable and easy to maintain, but they should be cleaned occasionally depending on usage.

To do so, mix lukewarm water, ammonia and a drop of washing-up liquid in a bowl. Get a soft-bristle brush and scrub the suitcase with the mixture. Cet rid of the foam with a clean cloth and let it dry in the shade.

To make sure your canvas suitcase doesn't accumulate dust, keep it in a plastic bag.

How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior - Cleaning a canvas suitcase

Cleaning a waterproof fabric suitcase

Waterproof fabric is especially popular in travel bags, but, despite their resistance, we often ask ourselves how to clean them properly.

A simple mixture will help you clean your waterproof fabric suitcase. You just have to mix a tablespoon of washing powder, a tablespoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of powder. Sprinkle the suitcase with this dry mixture and leave it on for 30 minutes.

Then clean the suitcase with a brush, remove the excess powder and rinse only if necessary. You will see how your waterproof fabric suitcase ends up perfect and very clean.

How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior - Cleaning a waterproof fabric suitcase

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior, we recommend you visit our Travel category.

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Steve Roper
Here’s a fail-safe method for removing minor scuffs and airline stains on soft luggage (e.g. ballistic nylon). Takes ~15 min labor per bag, but 1-2 days total (to dry).

Mix common dish detergent (e.g. Dawn) with hydrogen peroxide from the drug store…about 2 tblsp soap plus 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (proportions not terribly critical), no water. Apply with stiff brush (e.g. a dish brush) to entire suitcase exterior. Work up a good lather. Let the bag sit 10-30 min. Then spray thoroughly with garden hose, brushing if you like to help rinse out soap. Yes, bag will get thoroughly wet! Probably won’t get all soap out. Don’t worry. Now set bag out in sun to dry. Open (unzip) all compartments. Stuff paper (e.g. newspaper) loosely in unzipped outside pockets to help keep them open for drying. Takes 1-2 days to dry, but my 3-4 yr old case looks like this year’s model, despite multiple international trips to Europe and Asia!
OneHowTo Editor
Thanks for the tip on how to clean a suitcase exterior!
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How to Clean a Suitcase Exterior