5 tips for getting rid of that ‘new luggage smell’

Luggage Air FreshenersWhat do you do when you open up your brand new luggage and it stinks like crazy?  It seems like  so many products that contains plastic have an issue with odor these days.  I just returned a new coffee maker because I couldn’t get rid of the plastic ‘taste’. Yuck. Anyway…

It’s really a problem with luggage because your clothes can be locked up tight with the smell for hours on end.  Who wants to arrive at their vacation or business trip, and pull underwear out of their luggage that smells like a plastics factory?

I combed the web looking for some of the best tips and tricks for getting rid of the plastic smell.  Here they are:

  • The most obvious, open the bag up for a few days before you have to use and air it out in the sun.  Works best on dry, sunny days. In many cases, depending how bad the smell is, this does the trick. 
  • Open up a new box of baking soda and close it in the suitcase for a few days.
  • Some folks had luck with a wide-mouth bowl of white vinegar placed in the closed bag for a few days, then aired out.  A few people seemed to have good luck with this one, but this method has a major pitfall, in my opinion:  the vinegar could spill, then you have two strong odors to get rid of.
  • Use Febreeze, then air out in the sun for a few days.
  • And the clear winner, with the most success:  air the luggage out for a few days, then close it up with a few dryer sheets.  Makes sense to me.

Update: Just saw this on Lifehacker:  It seems that a crumpled up piece of newspaper works well in refrigerators, smelly shoes, etc – why not luggage?  Someone give it a try and let me know.

Regardless of what you do to get rid of the initial smell, it’s always a good idea to air your bag out after using.  If storage space permits, keep it opened up.  If that’s not possible, plopping a dryer sheet with a non-offensive smell in the bag should keep it fresh and ready for your next trip.