Things You'll Need
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup table salt
1 cup rubbing alcohol
Treat lingering musty mold odor in your suitcases by placing a bar of soap in each suitcase. Close the suitcase and leave it overnight. Store luggage in a clean, dry location to avoid mold formation.
Luggage stored for any length of time in damp, warm conditions develops mold and mildew. As a member of the fungus family, mold thrives in this type of environment, building its colony on porous or organic surfaces. All is not lost if your luggage has mold stains. You can kill the mold spores and remove stains and odors with techniques and supplies safe for the inside and exterior of your suitcases and bags.
Lay an old sheet outside in a sunny location. Place the open luggage on the bed sheet. Allow the sunshine to kill the mold and bleach mold stains as the luggage airs out for two to four hours.
Vacuum the dead mold spores from the luggage. Use a hose attachment to clean along the seams and other grooves and crevices. Throw out the vacuum bag afterward so mold spores aren't transferred to other surfaces.
Remove mold stains and odors on fabric or canvas portions of the luggage with a mixture of 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of table salt. Paint the lemon and salt mixture onto the stains and let it dry completely. Brush off the dried mixture to remove the mold stains. Dampen a clean cloth with water and blot the material to remove any stickiness left by the lemon juice.
Combine 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 cup of water. Dampen a cloth in the mixture and wipe down leather and other materials, such as plastic or metal, to remove the mold stains on these surfaces.
Dry the surface with a clean, dry cloth. Allow the luggage to air dry completely before using it.
- University of Illiniois Extension; How to Remove Mold and Mildew; Barbara Dahl
- University of Missouri; How to Prevent and Remove Mildew-- Home Methods: Remove Mildew; Wanda Eubanks, et al.; April 1998
- "Reader's Digest"; Mildew Cleaning Solutions
- "Good Housekeeping"; How to Clean Mildew
- Purdue Extension: Mold Cleanup
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.