How to refurbish old luggageHow to clean your luggage
Okay! So you are all set to leave with your friends on that much needed holiday without responsibilities - no getting tense about your kids` meals, your husband`s diet restrictions, no offering to take that uncomfortable couch in the hotel room to save a few rupees and to see that your kids are more comfortable.....the list is endless. You are on your own at last lady! And you better make the best of this opportunity! You are already spending a neat packet on your travel and maybe you don`t want to invest in new luggage. No problem! We will see how best we can make use of what you have. Pull out that old canvas or hard top suitcase from your loft and let`s inspect it first to see what we can do about it.
- Stained, smelly canvas top? Any stains or gross smells can usually be tackled by giving your bag or suitcase a good rubbing down and airing it in the sun for a couple of days.
Remember to vacuum out the contents and clean out all those dirt and lint particles at the bottom and between creases.
Most bags, except leather, can be cleaned both inside and out by rubbing lightly with a cloth dipped in warm soapy solution. You don`t have to get it soaking wet, but do let the solution sit on the bad stains that are likely to be in straps and handles. Air it in the sun for two days.
For plastic or rexine, use a damp soapy sponge and remove it with a damp cloth. Dry thoroughly.
Leather bag or suitcase? Just get a cream leather cleaner from a shoe shop and apply with a soft cloth. For suede items, simply brush lightly with a suede brush to remove the dirt. For stronger stains that have got embedded, you might have to get a professional to do it for you.
Smaller fragile items can be steam cleaned by holding over a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes - but be careful of any adhesive that might come unstuck in the process. Dry it well before putting it away.
Heavy mildew on the luggage? Take it in the open and brush it first so that the spores do not get dispersed in the house. Sponge it lightly with a mild soap solution and air dry. Should some stubborn bits of mildew remain, sponge lightly with rubbing alcohol followed by a water sponging and let it dry. Don`t put the cleaned item back in the closet as it might be infested with mildew which thrives in damp tiny closets with no air circulation.
If your bag or your suitcase lining is white, you can clean it using a watered down solution of chlorine bleach which is the ultimate stain and smell buster that can be safely used at home.
If the bad smell persists, you got top take some desperate measures. After cleaning with soapy solution, leave a car freshener inside for a week. Or, a good spray of a nice perfume might just do the trick.
Most old luggage will have metal zippers. These often get stuck with disuse. Simply replace them with plastic zippers that are easier to handle. Sometimes you might find that the zipper teeth aren`t closing, or might open in parts. This is because the slider isn`t close to the zipper teeth. Try flattening it from top to bottom by giving slight pressure with a pair of pliers so that the tab holds the zipper teeth closer. Should this not work, you have to replace the entire zipper. Zippers last longer if you keep them clean. Give a light coating of wax on the teeth - it will make the operation smoother.
Want to give your old luggage a funky look? Just use a stencil and spray paint to transform your luggage. Use fabric paint if it is a soft luggage. Remember to cover the handles with tape to prevent them from getting painted. How about using the glitter nail polish? You can paint the corners of the suitcase to give it a cool look.
We do hope you are inspired enough to go on that long over-due trip that will transform you into a new person with widened horizons and broad outlook, besides giving you the pleasure of going with your friends and being your own self for a time! Packed your bags?