How To Clean Your Luggage And Make It Look New Again, According To Samantha Brown

If you don't already clean your luggage after every trip, it's time to start. A study conducted on behalf of Aqaint sanitizer found that luggage comes into contact with up to 80 million bacteria during an average journey (via Daily Mail). And besides the germs you can't see, there are often stains, scrapes, and other signs of damage that you can.

If you invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars into your travel suitcase, you'll want to keep it looking fresh for years to come. Thankfully, Samantha Brown shared a TikTok full of tips for cleaning even the dirtiest luggage.

Starting from the outside, give your suitcase a good scrub using a mixture of dish soap and water. For hard luggage, a towel or cleaning cloth will do the trick, while soft-sided cases will require a brush. To remove scuff marks from your favorite luggage, Brown suggests using a melamine sponge (often known as a Magic Eraser) to buff them away. Finish off by giving the wheels a thorough cleaning. In her clip, the travel guru puts on some cleaning gloves and wipes the wheels with soapy water before spraying them down with a bleach cleaner — as she puts it, "use the stuff they clean crime scenes with."

Don't forget the inside

The outside of your travel luggage might be the dirtiest part, but the inside is just as important. After all, dust, dirt, and other debris that make their way inside can get on your clothes and personal items. Once a year, Samantha Brown uses a vacuum to clean out her luggage's interior, though you may want to vacuum yours more frequently if you tend to get sand and crumbs inside.

The travel goddess doesn't offer tips for major messes, such as exploded shampoo bottles and stained pockets, but her soapy water mixture used on the exterior will typically work for the inside,, too (just be sure to change the water to avoid transferring grime and bacteria). A stain-removing product can also come in handy for large, stubborn marks.

When you're done, dry the interior and exterior with a clean cloth and leave it open overnight. If you notice a lingering stench, this is also a good time to deodorize. Simply sprinkle some baking soda inside the case, and after a night of letting it air out, vacuum and wipe up any remaining powder.

How to deal with bedbugs in your luggage

Simple tricks can help keep bedbugs out of your luggage, but sometimes, the pests still manage to hitch a ride in your suitcase. This can put your home at risk of an infestation if you don't properly clean your luggage after your trip.

According to a video caption on a TikTok in 2023, Samantha Brown has been lucky enough to never run into bedbugs during her travels. However, she featured tips from content creator @pointsbyj in the clip, including one important luggage cleaning hack: Steam your gear once you get home.

Pest control company Orkin states that bedbugs and their eggs can be killed when exposed to temperatures of at least 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Blasting a hot garment steamer in the nooks and crannies of your luggage could stop the critters from taking up residence in your home. On that note, be sure to immediately wash any clothes from your travels using a high-temperature setting, too.