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Do it Yourself Luggage Repair

Updated April 17, 2017

Although luggage can be damaged by being loaded on and off of planes and by general wear and tear, on rare occasions airlines will cover damage caused by them, so in most cases the repair cost will be on you. Luggage and sets of luggage are expensive in the first place and repairing them on your own will be less costly than having them repaired by a professional. Parts that may need to be repaired on a piece of luggage include zippers, wheels and the body of the suitcase. Many luggage repairs are easy fixes and can be done at home with only a few materials.

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  1. Apply wax along the teeth of the zipper on any metal zippers that get stuck often, or are difficult to zip open. For suitcases that have coil zippers, these are self repairing and can be fixed by simply pulling the zipper back to the starting point of the zipper.

  2. Hold the blow dryer pointed towards the dented side of any plastic hard case piece of luggage. Heat the dented area using the blow dryer, which applies hot air, for about ten minutes. The heat from the blow dryer will return your luggage to the proper shape. If the dent does not go back into place on its own apply some pressure from behind the dent to pop it back out.

  3. Repair a broken wheel on your suitcase by unscrewing the axle from the piece of luggage. Some wheels may be attached using rivets, in that case simply pull the rivets out. Screw back on a new wheel of the same size as the other wheels. Check with the suitcase manufacturer to see if you can purchase the exact same wheel. Test out the wheels, before using the suitcase, to make sure it is the right size.

  4. Glue down any tears in a vinyl or fabric suitcase using vinyl cement. If the tear is larger place a piece of matching fabric underneath the tear and glue the torn area down to the new piece of fabric.

  5. Glue down any loose lining using the vinyl cement or other fabric glue. Wait to use or pack the luggage until the glue has dried out.

  6. Polish any scuffs in leather luggage, with a matching leather polish. Leather polish can be found in shoe stores or in the shoe section of a department store. Use a clean cloth to apply the polish to the suitcase.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wax
  • Hair dryer, 1600 watts or more
  • Screw driver
  • Suitcase wheels
  • Vinyl cement
  • Matching fabric
  • Leather polish
  • Cloth

About the Author

Reese Armstrong graduated from Kent State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. Armstrong has been writing professionally since 2010 and published articles on various websites. For several years she worked as a skin care consultant for a major cosmetic company.

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