10 Effective Tricks For Removing Odor From Luggage

Traveling. The first thing that comes to your mind after seeing or reading the word traveling is obviously your dream travel destination.

But the second thing that crosses your mind is luggage. All the luggage you will need to pack and unpack on and off on your trip.

All so very hectic.

Suitcases are used occasionally and often accumulate an unpleasant smell.

Now if you have been traveling for a while or you are someone who travels a lot; professionally or just for the thrill of adventure, then surely you are familiar with the unpleasant smell that invades your suitcase and does not seem to go away every time you pull out your suitcase from the storage room or out of cabinets.

The main issue is not if you can bear the unpleasant smell or not. The issue is the smelly suitcase, and the smell may impregnate itself into the items especially clothing items that you pack in the suitcase.

No one wants to smell stinky on their family trip, honeymoon, or business trip!

So, what could cause the unpleasant smells?

Luggage smells

Well, you can blame a few things like bacteria and mold.

These microorganisms often tend to multiply when the conditions are right. The conditions they require are dark and moist.

Now if u think about it, we often store our suitcases in such closed and dark areas like the storage room or a cabinet.

We end up giving the bacteria and mold the right conditions they need to multiply unintentionally.

And that is why we deal with unpleasant smells!

So, to make things a lot easier, I did some research and gathered up a few simple tricks that will remove the bad smell from the suitcase!

Without waiting any longer, let us dive right in!

1- First things first: Ventilation or Airing

The very first thing we all do before packing is get put suitcase out from a closed storeroom or a small, congested cabinet.

The problem is right there in front of you: CLOSED AND CONJUSTED

If your suitcases are not kept in a well-ventilated place, then a bad odor resides in it.

So often the only thing your suitcase needs is a good airing to smell fresher.

To remove the odor, you must set out the suitcase for ventilation.

Empty the suitcase and open all the pockets and compartments you have. then place the suitcase in a ventilated place where it receives airflow.

Avoid placing it in places where it is hot or where the sun’s rays affect it directly.

The ventilation time will depend on the time it has been closed and if the bad smell is very intense or not. If bad odors are not too strong, 30-minute ventilation may be sufficient.

This way you will definitely get the bad smell disappear for a great extent.

NOTE: If you are on a trip, then empty your bag entirely at some point and set it aside for ventilation at least once. This will also reduce the changes of odor residing in it!


According to the scientist, the UV rays from the sun have antimicrobial properties.

Take your suitcase outside and lay it open in the sunlight, direct.

Keep the bag there for at least 8 hours so it receives a good amount of sunlight.

2- Proper Cleaning of the Suitcase

When a suitcase has bad smell, the best way to clean it off is to use: a soaked cloth in water and neutral soap.

Rub the cloth on the interior and the exterior with some intensity.

Then let the suitcase dry up in a place that is very well ventilated.

If the smell still stays, then keep it in the well-ventilated place for longer.

Before thoroughly cleaning, make sure you look through all compartments and zips to make sure that there is no lonely clothing item in it. It could be the culprit of the bad smell.

3- Using Deodorant

If you are short on time, then the most convent way is to just give the suitcase a good waft of deodorant.

This procedure is a quick method to get rid of the stink but not very effective in long term.

However, keep in mind that you do not go overboard with the spray and make sure your deodorants are not the type that leaves white marks.

You do not want your luggage to have white deodorant all over it, while attempting to clean it.

4- Store-Bought Deodorising Spray Trick

Open the suitcase and spray the deodorizing spray.

After the spray, keep the bag open and let it out for ventilation.

Although, remember to spray must be only done on the interior side, not the exterior if it is a leather bag. The spray may leave a mark otherwise.

5- The soap in a sock trick

The soap in a sock trick sounds funny but it is effective.

Pop a small bar of scented soap in the folded-up socks so it does not fall out.

The scented soap will freshen up everything in your suitcase and the sock will just prevent the soap from rubbing all over the items!

6- The dryer sheet in your luggage trick

Dryer sheets trick is pretty simple.

All you need to do is just layer your suitcases with a dryer sheet for a few days.

When you remove the sheets from the suitcase to pack your items, the dryer sheet will be successful in masking any odor present.

So eventually when you do pack items in your suitcase, the packed items will smell of the dryer sheets and not be impregnated by the unpleased smell.

NOTE: when you are storing your suitcases, you can put in dryer sheets, so the unpleasant smell is masked all the time and does not accumulate in the suitcase!

7- The plastic bag trick

Get yourself some various sizes of plastic bags, divide all your belongings that you need to pack in categories.

separate all your clothing items from shoes, separate your hygiene items from your toiletries and so on.

Then pack them all accordingly in the plastic bags.

Th plastic bags will help avoid the bad smell from incorporating itself in the items.

Make sure you carry extra plastic bags or buy some for your dirty clothes. Packing dirty clothes without plastic bags also cause the odor.

8- The baking soda trick

This trick uses natural ingredients to help with the unpleasant smell.

This trick is very effective and is often used for deodorizing.

The procedure goes as follows:

  1. You sprinkle baking soda inside the suitcase and then shut it.
  2. Let the baking soda sit in the suitcase overnight and it will absorb the odor.
  3. The next day, vacuum the bag and this way it collects the baking soda.
  4. For further deodorizing, spray equal amounts of water and white vinegar in the suitcase.

9- The kitty litter trick

This trick sounds pretty silly.

But is it though? Think about it.

Kitty litter contains deodorizing elements.

So, it definitely would deodorize your suitcase. The process is quite similar as the baking soda trick, as mentioned earlier.

  1. Pour in some kitty litter in your suitcase and close the suitcase.
  2. You should leave the litter in the suitcase for a whole day, so that it absorbs all the odor well.
  3. Then to clean the litter, simply just vacuum it out!

10- The coffee grounds trick

This is another silly trick that gets the work done.

Coffee grounds can absorb odors and also provide a pleasant aroma to cover any remaining smells.

  1. Take a coffee filter and fill it with dry coffee grounds, halfway.
  2. Seal the top with a rubber band.
  3. Then close the bag shut and leave it for overnight for it to do its magic!

If the smell remains, you may keep the coffee grounds for longer till the smell is gone.

Ending Note

The best thing you can do is take the necessary measures to prevent those bad odors in suitcases.

It is also important to keep the suitcases stored in places with good ventilation to avoid acquiring a closed or damp smell.