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An unused suitcase that is tossed aside in a warm, humid location is a prime target for the growth of mold and mildew. Mold is a type of fungus. Spores of mold in the air attach themselves to surfaces where warmth and moisture are present and eventually grow into a film known as mildew. Mold and mildew create a musty smell. If you detect this smell in a suitcase, you can remove it by eliminating the mold and mildew with common household items.
Take the suitcase outdoors so that you don't spread mold spores indoors while you are cleaning.
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Brush areas of visible mold or mildew with a clean toothbrush that you don't plan to use again. This will loosen some of the mold and mildew.
Mix 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water. Dip a cleaning sponge into this solution and wipe the suitcase inside and outside.
Allow the suitcase to dry outside in the sunshine before storing it again.