Strapped to the motorcycle and exposed to the elements, soft luggage gets a rough time. Getting covered in road grime not only makes luggage look used but also makes it harder to handle, as dirt rubs off on you or the things you wan to pack inside. Quality luggage should be made of a non-absorbent material, so it should be relatively easy to clean.
Make sure the luggage is properly dry before you start trying to clean it. Use a stiff brush to shift loose, dry dirt that's crusted on the surface.
Next use a damp, clean cloth to pull out the next layer of dirt. Don't scrub it, in case you work the dirt further into the fabric: just press the damp cloth against the affected area for a few seconds, lift it, and move on, working gradually across the surface.
If there is deep, ground-in dirt that doesn't shift this way, you'll need to use a non-aggressive cleaner, like you can find to clean car interior. Don't use chemical cleaners or washing-up liquid, as they may discolor the material or affect the backing material that gives the luggage its water resistance. Spray the luggage with the cleaner, leave it for a couple of minutes so it can get beneath the dirt molecules, then rinse off with a low-pressure hose. Don't let the cleaner dry on the luggage.
Now dry the luggage somewhere warm, but out of direct sun light. Don't sit it beside a woodburner or balance it in front of a heater: extreme temperature may damage any waterproof or water-resistant materials. An airing rack in a warm room is ideal. If the interior is damp, pack it with screwed-up newspaper overnight, then make sure it's aired with all the flaps and covers open. Make sure it's thoroughly dry before storing it: never put it away wet.
When it's clean and dry, apply a material protestant, like used to water proof tents. This will form a water and dirt-repellent layer on the surface, making it easier to clean the luggage in the future.Tag: LuggageCleaningChemicalsWashingMaintenance