How to Clean Duffle Luggage Bags

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Duffle bags typically cost a lot less than travel suitcases, and their quick compaction makes them easy to store when not in use. Generally speaking, duffle bags are a good choice for the on-the-go individual. Unfortunately, duffle bags are typically very porous, trapping dirt and odors. They are also less sturdy than suitcases, making them more prone to tumbling around and getting dirty. If you’ve got a duffle bag for its great portability, chances are you’ve noticed the negative, smelly, dirty side of duffle luggage, too.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Rag
  • Sponge
  • Laundry detergent
  • Blow dryer
  • Oust or Febreze air freshener
  • Scotch Guard

Use a sponge and antibacterial soap to clean ballistic nylon duffle bags. These types of bags will repel dirt and odors relatively easily on their own, so a simple wipe-down is all that is needed. Avoid using chemical based cleansers, as this can damage the bag.

Clean canvas duffle bags with soap and water first, washing the entire bag. Then use laundry detergent to spot-clean any remaining stains.

Blow dry any wet hardware immediately to prevent rusting or discoloration. USA Flight Insurance cautions against oiling hinges or zippers to avoid leaks and damage to clothing.

Spray the inside of the duffle bag with Oust, Febreze, or a preferred air freshener. This will help mask and eliminate odors. Make sure you do not use a harsh, highly chemical fragrance—these may damage the duffle bag.

Use solutions designed to strengthen the resistance properties of nylon and polyester bags. Over time and during cleaning, such resistance can wear off. Additionally, for canvas bags, consider spraying the bag with Scotch Guard to protect from future stains and odors.

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