Hard-shell suitcases are the Rambo of the luggage world but, like every tough nut, they still need a little love every so often. Even when you factor in the heroic hard-shell, polycarbonate exterior of most of Antler's cases, and hardy matt surface, any globe-trotting suitcase will pick up marks and dirt on its travels, thanks to bumpy pavements, sandy beaches, muddy fields, Tube escalators, overzealous baggage handlers and co. It’s all part of the adventure…
The good news is that hard-shell luggage is much easier to clean than its soft-sided suitcase siblings. Here’s a handy guide to help you keep your Antler luggage looking pristine. If you’re wondering how to remove pesky luggage scuff marks and how to keep your hard-shell suitcase looking lovely, inside and out, just keep reading…
Q: How do I clean the outside of my hard-shell suitcase?
A: Give the outside of your hard-sided suitcase a clean using a mixture of dish soap and water. With a sponge or washcloth, wipe all over the suitcase exterior in firm, circular motions. Don’t use an abrasive sponge or rag – the last thing you want to do is add scratches. For added sparkle, wipe down the wheels, handles, and any other protruding bits. When the outside is looking peachy clean, dry the exterior using a soft microfibre cloth. Good as new. There's also a product called 'The Pink Stuff' in the UK that does a stellar job removing marks on our Clifton and other polycarbonate cases.
Q: How do I remove scuff marks from my hard-shell luggage?
A: If a mark or scuff mark has appeared on your hard luggage, fear not. Reach for a magic eraser (yes, that's a real thing — just ask google), carefully testing the eraser on a small, inconspicuous area of your case first. Alternatively, use a mild cleaning product and a cloth to firmly wipe away any stubborn scuffs and marks.
Q: How do I clean the inside of my hard-shell suitcase?
A: First things first: take out any removable bits of the interior such as liners, pocket compartments and so on if your suitcase is designed for this (if you have an Antler case, the interior largely isn't designed to be entirely removed so it will depend on what kind of suitcase you have, and which brand it is). As you take these bits out, make a note (or take a photo) so you remember where everything goes. Give any removable items a rinse in your washing machine on a delicate setting, or soak them in a medley of warm water and gentle dish soap.
With those bits out of the way, open all of the zippers and give your luggage a good old shake – goodbye, sand! Use a handheld vacuum or a standard vacuum with a hose attachment to remove any remaining holiday debris. So that your suitcase becomes worthy of your treasures once more, take this opportunity to wipe down all the parts of the interior lining with a wet cloth.
If any stubborn dirty patches or spill marks still remain on the inside, mix a little bit of laundry detergent with water (1:5 ratio) and apply these lovingly to the dirty areas, using an old toothbrush. Last but not least, since nobody wants a soggy suitcase, give everything a firm wipe down with a soft cloth and warm water, until any traces of soap are removed.
Stubborn stains and scuffs might take a little bit of effort and elbow grease, but trust us, when you see your luggage looking brand new again, it will all be worth it.
Up next, what to pack in your hand luggage (and what to leave behind).