How to get rid of the musty smell in a suitcase

Written by natalie chardonnet
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How to get rid of the musty smell in a suitcase
Prevent your suitcase from becoming musty by cleaning it after every use. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Before you pack for your trip, make sure your suitcase is in good shape. When suitcases are in storage, they may develop musty smells from disuse. The musty smell is nothing to worry about but merely occurs because your suitcase has been sitting in storage for so long. Prevent the entire contents of your suitcase from smelling bad when you arrive at your destination by cleaning your suitcase beforehand. Removing that musty smell is easy with a little preparation and work.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vacuum with attachable hose
  • Mild fabric cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Dryer sheets

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  1. 1

    Remove the contents of the suitcase. You may have leftover remnants from your last trip. Keep mementos from your vacation and discard any trash or travel-sized goods that you will no longer use.

  2. 2

    Air out your suitcase for a day. Open all pockets and the main compartment of the suitcase. Put the suitcase in a location where it will have a constant supply of fresh air, such as the garage or a place in your house that is well-ventilated and has a constant airflow.

  3. 3

    Vacuum the inside the suitcase to remove dirt, dust and debris. Use the hose attachment on your vacuum to thoroughly vacuum every nook and cranny, including all of the pockets.

  4. 4

    Read the label on the mild fabric cleanser to see if it is OK to use on your suitcase. Test a small, inconspicuous section of the suitcase with the cleanser. After five minutes, see if the cleanser damaged the fabric. Always test the cleanser prior to using it on the entire suitcase to ensure that the fabric is durable enough for overall use.

  5. 5

    Wipe the entire suitcase with mild fabric cleanser. Use the sponge to ensure complete coverage. Wipe off the handles and wheels of your suitcase, which can become dirty during travel. Let the suitcase dry in the same well-ventilated area.

  6. 6

    Place dryer sheets inside the suitcase when the suitcase is completely dry. This will prevent the suitcase from becoming musty and will make the contents of your suitcase smell fresh.

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