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any tips for cleaning train cases?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by funshinealy, May 28, 2010.

  1. funshinealy

    funshinealy Registered Guest


    does anyone have any tips for cleaning samsonite train cases? the tips i found online mostly said a clean rag and warm soapy water, but that isn't working on this one. didn't find anything on samsonite's website either.

    there are black scuff marks and something sticky that's not coming off on the case! i don't want to damage the finish or the color by using goo gone or a harsh cleaner. maybe vinegar?

    it also has a musky smell inside of it.

    any tips or tricks ?

  2. For the musty smell, there are bags of activated charcoal bags and you can also use kitty litter inside pantyhose. Linda (vintageclothestline) suggested wadded up newspapers before and that worked for me - but you need to keep the train case closed for at least a few days or more. I have had some luck with baking soda - again using old pantyhose but you have to be careful when cleaning it up because it gets everywhere Also, give it a real once over and make sure there is no moisture or mildew in there.

    As far as the scuff -is it through the color like a nick or is it residue on top? vinegar can't hurt but if it is sticky and gooey but i would dilute it to begin with and then increase the strength. What soap are you using? Try Dawn - it cuts oil and grease esp. if its shoe polish better than generic or other brands. Also - these samsonite cases were made to be extremely tough and although some have been damaged over the years, they can take elbow grease. I once tried to put an abrasive in soap by using a sparing amount of sea salt or kosher salt. Don't know if you want to try it because it can scratch, but I would imagine used on just a spot on this type of luggage it would act as an abrasive to the scuff rather than damage it as long as the scuff is indeed residue and not a deep nick. I would imagine if it was a deep nick it would tend to be lighter colored rather than black, though and that is why I am leaning toward that it might be okay but see what others say.

    BTw, that's the bumpy "orange peel" texture finish, isn't it? I have a round hat box and a garment bag somewhere the same if its the same finish and they are pretty tough.
  3. Sky Ranch Vintage

    Sky Ranch Vintage Trade Member

    I think you have some good advice above. I have quite a collection of Samsonite, but mine are the earlier 50's style with the marble finishes. With this case I would be tempted to try a magic eraser and see if that works. Try it first in an inconspicuous place and if it does no harm, try it on those marks.
  4. boncly

    boncly Trade Member

    What about Goop? It's hand cleaner. There are two kinds - one with and one without abrasives. I think some mechanics use it to clean their hands. I've used it NON abrasive kind) on everything from composition dolls to sewing machine heads.

    Actually, I've got an American Tourister round suitcase that could use some cleaning. Think I'll try it as soon as I get a chance!

  5. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member

    There's a product you can buy at a shoe repair shop that takes scuff marks off of shoes - including light colored ones - if the magic eraser doesn't work.

  6. funshinealy

    funshinealy Registered Guest

    thanks for all the great tips!

    i'll have to pick up the magic eraser - it's not something i have on hand or have used before! i've been using palmolive and it just isn't getting the durn thing clean.

    the sticky/gooey stuff is along the metal edging. i'm wondering if the previous owner tried to wax the case because it doesn't feel like adhesive.

    i'll definitely try furniture polish after i get it clean. great idea!

    thanks again. i appreciate you all!
  7. I love the Magic Eraser too!! Good luck with it...I love train cases (and all other luggage, it follows me home all too often)

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