The Best Way to Disinfect Luggage

Protect yourself from becoming sick on your next vacation.
Protect yourself from becoming sick on your next vacation. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Most people that travel by train, plane or bus know to wash their hands after using a bathroom or before eating a meal or snack to avoid becoming ill. An item that harbors several types of germs that is often overlooked is luggage. Whether the piece is an expensive leather travel trunk or an old nylon duffel bag, the surface of the luggage is handled by several different people before it gets back to you. Disinfecting the inside and outside of the luggage will protect you from a possible illness during or after the trip.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp. mild dish soap
  • 2 cups water
  • Soft cloth, hand towel or paper towel
  • Disinfecting spray

Remove the contents of the suitcase, including any clothing, toiletries and shoes.

Combine one tablespoon mild dish soap and two cups water. If you are in a hotel room and there is no dish soap handy, use mild facial cleanser or body wash. Mild dish soap and beauty products contain no harsh dyes or perfumes.

Dip a soft cloth, hand towel or paper towel into the mixture and wipe down the inside and outside of each suitcase. Pay special attention to any areas that are most often exposed to germs, such as the wheels, straps and handles.

Allow the luggage to dry and spray down the entire outside and inside of the piece with disinfecting spray, such as Lysol. If the piece is made from leather, test an inconspicuous area to ensure that it causes no damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use hand sanitizer if disinfecting spray is not available. The sanitizer poured onto a rag and wiped onto the suitcase will disinfect it.

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