Hello, hello! I hope you all had a good weekend! You may recall, that in last week’s post I asked you all if you would like to see how I cleaned out my luggage. After a good response to that query, you may all now have the pleasure of reading of my first attempt at cleaning vintage luggage. 😛
So, as you can see in the photo above, I had quite a list of tools and supplies. I gathered several suggestions from various online sources as to what to use, but ended up not needing them all. So, after my trial and error here is a list of what I did use:
- Warm water with a mild soap (and when they say mild, they mean MILD! More on that later)
- Rags (obviously)
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Glass Cleaner (not pictured above)
- Hands (hehe) 🙂
First off, I shook out and vacuumed out all of the luggage. I also attempted to soak off the adhesive of the lettering on the handles (if you notice in the lower right hand corner of the above picture, there is a soaked rag wrapped around the handle of the train case for that purpose), but that didn’t work too well. Oh well, those initials will just have to stay there for the next half century (or longer ;).
Afterwards, I started wet cleaning the outside of the suitcases. I used two rags: One wet, and one dry. First, I would scrub one side with the wet cloth, then rub it dry with the, um, dry. I also scrubbed the inside of the train case, as well as its tray, since they were vinyl and plastic.
On the topic of mild soaps: The first soap I used apparently wasn’t mild enough. The top of the train case acquired a few small darker blue dots from the process of cleaning it. Thankfully they are barely noticeable, but I immediately switched soaps after that. Anyone have an idea as to why that happened? My theory is that the soap reacted with the dye of the vinyl, causing it to gather up into small, irregular dots.
Oh, and as to why on earth I am wearing an obnoxiously loud, pink… garment: That, my dears is my raincoat. Yep, hot pink (not my most favorite color in the world)! Ah, well, you use what you can. It’s not always possible to be fashionable when cleaning, huh? At least my clothes were kept clean.
The most shocking tip that I found for cleaning out the inside was to actually clean it with a wet rag! Of course, they said you should air it out afterwards, but I was skeptical. However, I took the plunge and tried it, and you know what? It worked! I just let the suitcases sit open overnight in the house, and they were dry by morning!
For the tougher stains I used Mr. Clean (also suggested online). That worked alright, but I still have some stubborn stains left on the suitcases. But, hey! That adds to their charm, right?
The last step was to clean the mirror, and pick out the remaining hard crusty stains with my fingers. Yuck! At least I don’t have any strange hard pieces (directly visible. Some of them were hard to get at) on the upholstery of my suitcases, that reminds one slightly of hardened, old glue, anymore.
A lovely thank you to Charlotte for the wonderful pictures! She was so kind to tag along on my cleaning expedition just to take pictures.
One last note, I thought you all would like to know how I repaired the banged in spot on the Overnighter. The vinyl wasn’t damaged, so I was able to just pull it up to the surface from where it had been banged into the wood of the suitcase. Then I smashed the wood underneath back together as best I could. I worked from the inside, since that corner of the suitcase lining had come lose (probably from the same accident). I glued the inner wood with Elmer’s wood glue, and then I just superglued the vinyl on top back down. Once that was all dry, I hot glued the lining back in place. Hooray for home repairs!