How to Freshen Vintage Luggage
Alternate title: How to remove old lady smell from old lady things.
I found the cutest Samsonite train case at Goodwill this week. Meaning- it could be the cutest if it was a little cleaner. It also smelled terrible.
Deodorizing vintage stuff is no big deal to me and vinyl is much less intimidating than leather.
First I used plain old Dawn dish soap to wash the inside of any obvious gunk. Then I sprayed sheets of newspaper with Febreeze (actually, the Dollar General generic of it) and crumpled them inside. I also added some Irish Spring bar soap.
I closed it up and scrubbed the outside with Dawn dish soap as well. The rubberized handles took a lot of extra elbow grease. I also used a toothbrush for scrubbing the stitching. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser removed most other gunk.
Here’s the finished product:
It looks vintage, not perfect mint condition, but totally usable and not grimy. It smells much better too!
I’m using it to carry my supplies for my retreat. Usually, I would leave the newspapers and soap in it for a few days and let it sit in the sun but I’m pretty anxious to use it.
I don’t usually check luggage at thrift shops but I’m going to have to now. This is adorable and after reading up on it I’m loving Samsonite luggage from the 40’s and 50’s. This one is part of a set referred to as tweed. It didn’t photograph well but it has a bit of a sparkle and is a lovely blue. I will keep an eye out at that same Goodwill for any matching pieces.