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How To Remove Smell From Suitcase


by Tammie Sharma



There’s nothing worse than opening your suitcase and being greeted by a not-so-pleasant smell. Whether it’s a musty odor from being stored for too long or a lingering scent from your last trip, dealing with a smelly suitcase can be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, there are several simple and effective ways to remove unwanted smells from your suitcase and keep it smelling fresh and clean for your next adventure.


Before we dive into the steps to remove the smell, it’s important to understand the importance of a fresh-smelling suitcase. Not only does it make your travel experience more pleasant, but it can also help protect your clothes from absorbing unpleasant odors. Plus, a clean and odor-free suitcase reflects a well-organized and prepared traveler!


In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process to eliminate the smell from your suitcase. From gathering supplies to properly storing your suitcase, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure your travel essentials are fresh and ready for your next trip. So let’s get started!


Step 1: Gather Supplies

Before you embark on your mission to remove the smell from your suitcase, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies. Having the right tools at hand will make the process much easier and more effective. Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  1. Vacuum Cleaner: A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment will help you thoroughly clean the interior of your suitcase.
  2. Mild Detergent: Choose a mild detergent that is suitable for cleaning fabrics. This will be used to wipe down the interior of the suitcase.
  3. Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help eliminate odors from your suitcase. Opt for white vinegar as it doesn’t leave a strong scent behind.
  4. Baking Soda: Baking soda is another excellent odor absorber. It will help neutralize any lingering smells in your suitcase.
  5. Odor Absorbing Products: Consider investing in odor-absorbing products such as charcoal sachets or odor-eliminating sprays that can help keep your suitcase smelling fresh.
  6. Fragrant Items: Fragrant items like dryer sheets or scented sachets can be placed in your suitcase to give it a pleasant smell.
  7. Clean Cloths: Have clean, lint-free cloths or microfiber towels ready for wiping down the interior of the suitcase.

Having these supplies ready will ensure that you have everything you need to effectively remove the smell from your suitcase. Now that you’re prepared, let’s move on to the next step: emptying the suitcase.


Step 2: Empty the Suitcase

Before you begin cleaning your suitcase, it’s essential to empty its contents. Remove all items from the suitcase, including clothing, accessories, and any other personal belongings. This will allow you to thoroughly clean the interior and eliminate any sources of odor.


As you remove the items, take a moment to inspect them. If you notice any items that contribute to the smell, such as sweaty gym clothes or damp towels, set them aside for separate cleaning or airing out.


Once the suitcase is empty, give it a good shake to remove any loose dirt or debris. This will make the cleaning process more effective and ensure that you’re starting with a fresh slate. Consider vacuuming the interior of the suitcase as well to remove any remaining particles.


Remember to check all the compartments and pockets of your suitcase, as these are often overlooked areas where odors can linger. Empty them out and ensure that they are completely clean before moving on to the next step.


By emptying the suitcase and thoroughly cleaning the interior, you’re setting the stage for a fresh and odor-free suitcase. Now that your suitcase is ready, let’s move on to step three: vacuuming the inside.


Step 3: Vacuum the Inside

Now that your suitcase is empty, it’s time to give the interior a thorough vacuuming. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment is the perfect tool for this task. Here’s how to effectively vacuum the inside of your suitcase:

  1. Attach the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner. This attachment is designed to gently remove dust, dirt, and debris without causing any damage to the fabric or lining of your suitcase.
  2. Starting from the top of the suitcase, slowly move the brush attachment across the interior surfaces. Pay close attention to the corners, seams, and pockets, as these areas tend to collect the most dirt and dust.
  3. Apply gentle pressure to ensure that the brush bristles penetrate the fabric and effectively lift away any debris.
  4. If your suitcase has a removable lining, take it out and vacuum both the lining and the main compartment separately.
  5. Continue vacuuming until you’ve covered the entire interior surface of the suitcase.

Vacuuming the inside of your suitcase will help remove any loose dirt, dust, or other particles that may be contributing to the unpleasant smell. It’s an important step in achieving a clean and fresh-smelling suitcase.


Once you’ve completed vacuuming, take a moment to inspect the interior of your suitcase. If you notice any stubborn stains or spots, you can spot clean them using a mild detergent and a clean cloth. Gently scrub the affected area and then wipe away any excess detergent with a damp cloth.


With a clean and vacuumed interior, you’re ready to move on to step four: wiping the interior with a vinegar solution.


Step 4: Wipe the Interior with Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can effectively eliminate odors from your suitcase. By wiping down the interior with a vinegar solution, you can tackle any lingering smells and leave your suitcase smelling fresh. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This will create a mild vinegar solution that is safe for cleaning.
  2. Spray the vinegar solution onto a clean cloth or microfiber towel until it is slightly damp, but not soaking wet.
  3. Starting from the top, wipe down the interior surfaces of your suitcase. Pay close attention to the corners, seams, and pockets, as these areas are more prone to holding onto odors.
  4. Make sure to cover all areas of the interior, including the lining and any compartments or pockets.
  5. If your suitcase has a removable lining, take it out and wipe it separately.
  6. Allow the vinegar solution to sit on the interior surfaces for a few minutes. This will give it time to penetrate and neutralize any odors.
  7. After a few minutes, wipe away the vinegar solution with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any residue and leave your suitcase smelling fresh.

Wiping down the interior of your suitcase with a vinegar solution will not only eliminate odors but also help disinfect and remove any bacteria or germs that may be present. Plus, vinegar is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly cleaning solution.


Once you’ve finished wiping the interior with the vinegar solution, give your suitcase a quick sniff. You should notice a significant improvement in the smell. If any lingering odor remains, don’t worry – we’ll address that in the next step with the help of baking soda.


Step 5: Leave Baking Soda Inside

Baking soda is a versatile and powerful odor absorber. It can effectively eliminate lingering smells from your suitcase. By leaving baking soda inside your suitcase, you can continue the deodorizing process and ensure that your suitcase stays fresh. Here’s how to use baking soda:

  1. Get a box or container of baking soda.
  2. Open the box or container and place it inside your suitcase.
  3. If your suitcase has multiple compartments or pockets, consider placing a small open container of baking soda in each one to ensure maximum odor absorption.
  4. Close the suitcase and let it sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours. This will allow the baking soda to absorb any remaining odors.
  5. After 24 hours, open your suitcase and remove the baking soda. You can either vacuum or shake off any residue.

Baking soda works by absorbing odors rather than masking them, making it an excellent solution for eliminating unpleasant smells. It’s safe to use on fabrics and won’t leave behind any residue or stains.


If the odor in your suitcase was particularly strong or if you’re dealing with stubborn smells, you can leave the baking soda in your suitcase for longer, up to 48 hours. This extended exposure will give the baking soda more time to work its magic.


Once you’ve removed the baking soda, take a moment to give your suitcase a sniff test. You should notice a significant improvement in the smell. If any faint odor remains, don’t worry – we’ll explore additional strategies in the next steps.


Step 6: Air Out the Suitcase

After using baking soda, it’s essential to give your suitcase some fresh air. Airing out your suitcase will help remove any remaining odors and allow it to breathe. Here’s how to properly air out your suitcase:

  1. Take your suitcase outside or open a window in a well-ventilated area.
  2. Unzip or open all compartments and pockets of the suitcase to maximize airflow.
  3. Leave the suitcase open for a few hours, allowing fresh air to circulate inside.
  4. If possible, place the suitcase under direct sunlight. Sunlight acts as a natural disinfectant and can help eliminate any lingering bacteria or germs that may be causing the odor.
  5. While airing out your suitcase, it’s a good opportunity to give it a gentle shake or tap to dislodge any remaining particles.

By allowing your suitcase to air out, you’re not only eliminating odors but also preventing the growth of mildew or mold, which can thrive in a moist environment.


Remember to keep an eye on the weather conditions when airing out your suitcase. If it’s raining or humid outside, it’s best to choose a well-ventilated indoor area for this step.


Once you’ve aired out your suitcase, it’s time to explore additional strategies to keep it smelling fresh. In the next step, we’ll discuss the use of odor-absorbing products.


Step 7: Use Odor Absorbing Products

If you want to take your suitcase’s freshness to the next level, consider using odor-absorbing products. These products are specifically designed to capture and neutralize odors, keeping your suitcase smelling fresh and clean. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Charcoal Sachets: Charcoal is a natural and highly effective odor absorber. Place a few charcoal sachets inside your suitcase to absorb any lingering smells. Replace the sachets every few months for optimal results.
  2. Odor-Eliminating Sprays: There are a variety of odor-eliminating sprays available on the market. Simply spray a fine mist into your suitcase and let it dry. These sprays can instantly neutralize odors and leave behind a pleasant scent.
  3. Scented Air Fresheners: Consider using scented air fresheners, such as small hanging sachets or fabric sheets. These fragrant items can add a pleasant scent to your suitcase while also absorbing any remaining odors.

When using odor-absorbing products, be mindful of the materials and fabrics inside your suitcase. Avoid using products that may leave stains or residue behind. Opt for products specifically designed for use on fabrics.


Remember to periodically check and replace the odor-absorbing products to ensure their effectiveness. If you notice the smell returning, it’s a sign that it’s time to refresh or replace the products.


By incorporating these odor-absorbing products into your suitcase maintenance routine, you can prolong the freshness and keep unpleasant smells at bay.


Now that you’ve tackled the odor issue, let’s move on to step eight and explore an additional way to keep your suitcase smelling delightful.


Step 8: Pack Fragrant Items

One simple and effective way to keep your suitcase smelling fresh and pleasant is to pack fragrant items alongside your travel essentials. These items can infuse your luggage with a delightful scent, ensuring that every time you open your suitcase, you’re greeted with a pleasant aroma. Here are some fragrant items you can consider:

  1. Dryer Sheets: Tuck a few dryer sheets among your clothes and other belongings. Not only will they keep your items smelling fresh, but they can also help prevent static cling.
  2. Scented Sachets: Use scented sachets filled with herbs or flowers to add a natural fragrance to your suitcase. Lavender or rose sachets, for example, can provide a calming aroma.
  3. Essential Oil Spray: Create your own essential oil spray by mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water in a small spray bottle. Spritz a light mist inside your suitcase before packing to add a personalized scent.
  4. Fragrant Soaps or Candles: Place a wrapped fragrant soap or a small scented candle in a fabric bag and pack it in your suitcase. This can add a pleasant scent and make your suitcase feel luxurious.

When choosing fragrant items, opt for scents that you personally enjoy and that complement each other well. Additionally, make sure that these items are properly packaged to avoid any leakage or damage to your belongings.


Remember to refresh or replace these fragrant items regularly, especially for longer trips. Over time, their scent may fade, and they may not be as effective at keeping your suitcase smelling fresh.


By adding fragrant items to your packing routine, you can enjoy a delightful scent whenever you open your suitcase, enhancing your travel experience.


Now that you’ve learned how to pack fragrant items, let’s move on to the final step: storing your suitcase properly.


Step 9: Store Properly

Properly storing your suitcase is crucial not only for maintaining its condition but also for preventing any unpleasant odors from returning. Here are some tips to ensure your suitcase stays fresh while in storage:

  1. Clean and Dry: Before storing your suitcase, make sure it is clean and completely dry. Any residual moisture can lead to mold or mildew growth, resulting in unpleasant odors.
  2. Use a Dust Cover or Bag: Consider using a dust cover or bag to protect your suitcase from dust and other potential sources of odor. This will help keep it fresh during long periods of storage.
  3. Avoid Humid Areas: Store your suitcase in a cool, dry place. Avoid areas with high humidity, as this can promote the growth of mold and mildew.
  4. Avoid Strong Smells: Keep your suitcase away from areas with strong odors, such as cleaning supplies or strong-scented items. These odors can transfer onto your suitcase.
  5. Open Occasionally: If storing your suitcase for an extended period, try to open it occasionally to allow for ventilation and prevent musty smells from developing.

By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your suitcase remains fresh and ready for your next adventure. Proper storage not only helps to preserve your suitcase but also makes your travel preparations more efficient and enjoyable.


Remember, before using your suitcase again, give it a quick inspection and a sniff test. If you detect any odors, repeat the steps mentioned in this article to freshen it up.


With these nine steps, you now have a comprehensive guide to removing and preventing unwanted smells from your suitcase. By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy your travels with a fresh-smelling and clean suitcase.


Safe travels!



Dealing with a smelly suitcase can quickly put a damper on your travel experience. However, with the right knowledge and simple techniques, you can easily eliminate odors and keep your suitcase smelling fresh and clean.


In this article, we’ve covered nine steps to help you remove and prevent unwanted smells from your suitcase. From gathering supplies to properly storing your suitcase, each step plays a crucial role in maintaining a fresh-smelling travel essential.


By following these steps, you can effectively tackle odors and ensure that your suitcase reflects a well-prepared traveler. From vacuuming the interior and wiping it down with vinegar solution to using baking soda and odor-absorbing products, these strategies provide practical and eco-friendly solutions for maintaining a pleasant scent.


Remember, prevention is key. Packing fragrant items and properly storing your suitcase can go a long way in preventing odors from returning. Regularly refreshing and replacing odor-absorbing products will also help maintain a delightful aroma.


With your fresh and clean suitcase, you can embark on your travels with confidence, knowing that your belongings are protected and your travel experience is enhanced.


So, next time you open your suitcase, let it greet you with a refreshing scent and get ready for a memorable journey.