For many travelers, a suitcase is a big investment. Even if you are a “once a year traveler” type of person, you probably own at least one travel bag. So, how and where should you store your luggage to keep them working in the years to come?
Consider following these smart cleaning and maintenance tips:
Your luggage can get easily dirty while you’re traveling. Though luggage are made of different materials, all types require cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, then clean each part one by one. Start on the handle, then go to the bottom, the interior, and the exterior parts (hard-shell suitcases and soft-shell suitcases).
Look for active ingredients like bleach, phenolics, and hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the handle. Liquid hand soap can do the job for the bottom since it’s not a touching point, even if it’s the dirtiest part of a bag. On the other hand, the interior should be the most germ-free since this is where you store your clothes, cosmetics, etc.
You may use a dust buster or vacuum to remove crumbs and physical dust, especially in tight areas. For minor stains, like cosmetic stains, spot clean the area with soap and water. Use a stain remover for deeper stains. Make sure to leave the remover for five minutes before cleaning it out with warm water. If there’s a strange odor, consider using closet odor removers.
Choose a place in your home that is cool and dry. Areas with high humidity can cause moisture buildup, allowing mold growth. This can completely damage the integrity of your travel bag or turn its elegant exterior ugly. Luggage with fabric-exterior and suitcases with a plastic shell and fabric zippers can be easily destroyed by mold and mildew. If you’re storing your travel bags in your closet, here’s a step-by-step guide to preventing mold growth.
Also, avoid areas that receive direct sunlight since too much sun can fade your bag’s material over time. On top of these, choose a location without bugs and pests and sharp objects that could potentially fall and rip it.
Under your bed is one of the most convenient and accessible spots to store your suitcases. If it’s high enough, you can place one or two carry-on or duffel bags. Put them inside a large trash bag to keep it clean and dust-free.
If you have to store your travel bags in high-humid areas in your home, like the basement or attic, put them near a full-size electric dehumidifier. If you can, buy silica desiccant packets to draw ambient moisture out of the air. Keep them inside your suitcase to help keep humidity under control.
While suitcases are designed to withstand pressure when loaded, stacking empty bags under heavy objects can damage fabric, zippers, internal structures, etc.
Though it’s pretty obvious, use your largest suitcases to house your carry-ons to save space. You may even have medium-sized bags that can hold your carry-ons, which you can tuck inside the oversized bags.
If you have duffel bags, beach bags, or weekend totes, gently fold and put them inside your smallest carry-on suitcase.
Pay attention to the position of your luggage when storing them. If they have roller wheels on the bottom, make sure to tilt them into the side before keeping them in storage. This is especially useful if you loaded your suitcase with travel essentials or items, which can cause premature wear and tear.
If you have a garage or utility pantry with available space higher up, you can install a sturdy hook or peg to hang your luggage if they have handles at the top. However, be sure to keep your bags as light as possible if you decide to hang them since all the bag’s weight will be concentrated on one point.