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The travel season is starting, spruce up your luggage


Cleaning your suitcase is not only about appearance, it’s about health too


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May 4, 2023
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The travel season is starting, spruce up your luggage

Planning your summer holidays? Ok, get your suitcase out….

When was the last time you used your suitcase? Might be a while ago. Give it a good clean and make sure you spruce it up.

Actually, cleaning your luggage should be done every time you reach your destination and every time you return home from a trip. Just imagine the kind of dirt and grime sticking to your suitcase after retiring from an overseas trip.

Cleaning your suitcase is not only about appearance, it’s about health too. During your trip, your luggage is often kept in the care of others, whether it’s an airline, a cruise ship or a concierge. Do you always know where your luggage was stored? Or who transported it? The more hands your luggage goes through, the more risk of possible infection is apparent.  

In order not to have your trip ruined, it might be wise to use some disinfecting spray on your luggage before opening it and to wash your hands before getting your belongings out. As we learned during the pandemic, hands are the most important part of the chain of transmission that can affect people from a public health perspective.

Please always note: the hand grip of your luggage can be full of germs and must be disinfected as soon as you get your suitcase handed back. 

How about the exterior and the bottom of your suitcase?  

The wheels might be visibly dirty and need a good clean once you have reached your destination. Apart from wiping down the entire exterior and wheels of your luggage with an old rag and antibacterial liquid soap, keep a towel down before landing your suitcase on the bed. A better option would be to keep your suitcase on a luggage rack; if not available, you might open your suitcase on the floor and empty it from there.  

The inside of the suitcase is often challenging to keep germ-free since it’s a porous surface. Using a vacuum to remove any dirt and dust, especially in the corners and pockets. To remove any stains, warm soap water is sufficient for cleaning. To keep the inside of a suitcase clean in the first place, use accessories such as organizers and zipper packings to pack your belongings. Ensure to single wrap some of your liquid cosmetics. Once a nail polish or a foundation leaks, it can create a big mess. Always use shoe bags! You walked the streets, fields and forests of your travel destination and you don’t want to spread the dust onto your clothes.  

All in all, hard shell suitcases are easier to clean than soft-shell ones. Hard shell suitcases can be washed down easily and they dry quickly. To remove scuff marks, an eraser sponge is practical. 

For the other component, the soft-shell suitcase, simply use a damp old rag and some warm soapy water to wash the exterior down. Use little water, as the fabric takes time to dry. After wiping the exterior down, you can still use a disinfectant spray to ensure that all bacteria and viruses are removed. 

Once the luggage is cleaned, keep them inside a dust bag. This way they stay clean until your next trip. 

Bon Voyage and safe travels!

About the author:

Tatjana Ahmed is the Director of Housekeeping at Grand Hyatt Dubai and Chairperson of the UAE Housekeepers Group.