Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Any tips for protecting clothes from "suitcase smell"?

    Hey TBers,

    my boyfriend and I will be "homeless" for the next 3-4 months while we look for a new home in the UK. We'll be moving around a lot (within various European countries) and we're planning to use our Aeronauts as our main bags while leaving two large suitcases with friends/family as a "homebase" for everything we don't need on a particular trip. Based on previous experience, we'll have to pack for 15-35C weather, rain and sunshine, swimming and hiking but also city trips where we have to look professional. In short, I anticipate we'll pack a comparatively large range of clothes, some of which we won't be using all the time.

    Do you have any tips on how to keep our clothes from getting that awful suitcase/backpack smell? I've heard some people use laundry dryer sheets as a "deodorant", but I can be ridiculously sensitive to smells and can barely stand wearing clothes washed with regular, non-perfume-free detergent. So I hesitate to use anything that is strongly perfumed itself and I'm at a bit of a loss...

    Any ideas what I could use?

  2. #2
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,732
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If the bags aren't going to be used all of the time, baking. Soda? Some dryer sheets are perfume free but probably absorb. Sachets? Some essential oil on a handkerchief?

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    557
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I keep sachet bags of potpourri in my suitcases while they are stored in the attic. But if you are sensitive to smells, that might not help you.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Share
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    5,556
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Hi @este, and welcome to the forums. If your primary concern is long term laundry use to keep down smells, and you're also sensitive to perfume scents, then I'd recommend that you try Charlie's Soap. @Lani used to recommend making up small packets of the powder in her Travelite Blog FAQ (2009 entry), but they've recently also started selling this in a version with 30 pre-packaged powder packets you can toss into a washing machine, which might be a more convenient way to buy this for your travel usage. You can also just buy the usual bulk containers that I have for home use if you want to save money, and re-package them yourself.

    Here are a few links to some relevant past forum thread/post discussions:
    • A general discussion about getting smells out of TB bags bought on eBay referenced washing with Charlie's Soap to get out smells
    • The What do you use for for travel laundry soap? thread has a general discussion of travel laundry products (and many of these recommendations may be based on having to do occasional hand washing of items -- not long-term laundry and not with an emphasis on smells). Remember to take along a sink stopper and clothesline.
    • The merino wool garments for travel threads also had a few posts discussing washing merino wool garments in which Charlie's Soap was mentioned. (For home washing I use a different product for my merino wool items, but check that post for links to a few other travel-related threads and posts that discuss Charlie's Soap.)

    HTH. The travel laundry thread also had some discussions about where you can buy this (on-line, at places like Whole Foods and other Coops, at Baby product stores, etc.) and the Charlie's Soap web site also has a place where you can check for retailers near you that carry their products.

    moriond

  5. #5
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Share
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh my goodness @moriond -- I'm almost embarrassed to have you link to my site. It's been feeling so abandoned lately!!

    But yes, Charlie's Soap is AWESOME. No fragrance, either. And sachets work really well. You might want to try something like a combination of eucalyptus and lavender. It'll smell calming, fresh and snuggly soft.

    PS: One suggestion I have, if you're going to be staying with friends or staying put in a place for longer than two days, is to take time to hang everything up. Air everything out. Take a stick to them and bat them down. Slough any dead skin cells and dirt off of your clothes while they hang, and help relax the folds and loosen the wrinkles. You can even take a damp washcloth and lightly pat the clothes down as well.
    Last edited by Lani; 05-11-2015 at 01:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Share
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    5,556
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    PS: One suggestion I have, if you're going to be staying with friends or staying put in a place for longer than two days, is to take time to hang everything up. Air everything out. Take a stick to them and bat them down. Slough any dead skin cells and dirt off of your clothes while they hang, and help relax the folds and loosen the wrinkles. You can even take a damp washcloth and lightly pat the clothes down as well.
    @Lani, not to get off topic, but your comments about airing your clothes out in the context of the thread subject about avoiding smells reminded me of the article linked in @bchaplin's Lost Lufthansa luggage thread from December. The luggage in question was actually eventually recovered, but is another data point in favor of the carryon philosophy.

    moriond

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Share
    Alaska
    Posts
    717
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Greetings Este,
    Are you asking about the clothes that will be with you in the Aeronauts or about the clothes that will be left behind in the large suitcases?

    I put cedar balls in all clothes storage containers. On items where it won't cause major damage, like a plastic Rubbermaid tote, I dab cedar oil inside on the container itself.

    For my laundry at home, I use Mrs. Meyers Clean Day dryer sheets in lavender scent. It's the most environmentally friendly and natural product I've found. The scent is very subtle. I'm sensitive and my roommate is highly sensitive to regular detergents and dryer sheets. Mrs Meyers products don't bother either one of us. Perhaps placing a few Mrs Meyers dryer sheets in each suitcase would help.

    My grandmother used mothballs for all clothing that was stored. It occurs to me that the annoying mothball smell would eliminate the musty suitcase smell, but it doesn't pass the sensitivity test or the environmentally friendly test. And it's offensive to most noses, too.

    If you are asking about the Aeronauts, then the advise given already is excellent.

    During my ten week trip to Scotland a few years ago, I avoided the musty suitcase smell with several strategies.
    1. As stated above, air out your clothes when possible.
    2. Never put wet or damp items in the suitcase. I put wet items in a sealed ziplock bag and removed them as soon as possible. Bring extra zip bags for this. I used the heavy duty freezer bags. They were difficult to find in the UK. Regular zip bags work fine, but wear out quicker than the freezer bags. As a last resort, I used a plastic disposable shopping bag. It doesn't seal, but kept wet bathing suits contained in a pinch.
    3. If you wear your clothes more than once before washing, if possible air them out before putting them in the suitcase.
    4. I always put clothes in a packing cube. Not only is it great for organization, it helps to keep the suitcase clean. If you only put clean clothes in the suitcase, no problem. However, if you put dirty clothes (even non-soiled, lightly used clothes) into the suitcase, that dirt and smell (no matter how light) can migrate onto the bag. Over time and with multiple clothes, this can contribute to the musty bag smell.
    5. Air the suitcase out when possible. Empty it completely and prop it open. Leave it for a day or at least overnight. When I did this, I always verified there were no bedbugs or ants or similar pests. If I stayed someplace for three nights, I did this on the second night.
    6. Use baking soda in the suitcase when you air it out. Sometimes I sprinkled it all over inside the suitcase. This can be difficult to remove, so most of the time I sprinkled just a little and left the box open in the closed suitcase. I recommend this at home, before and after your trip.
    7. Put those little moisture absorbing packets in your bag. Sorry, I've no idea where to get them. The ones I've used are tiny.
    8. Put cedar balls in your bag when you pack. A bit of sandpaper rubbed gently for a moment will re-activate them. I do this at least every other week.

    With care, musty odors can usually be avoided. However, on a three week camping trip in the wilds of Alaska during rainy season nothing helps. The first day was sunny and a spectacular drive. As soon as we set up camp, it started raining and only quit when we got back home three weeks later. Everything was wet. We attempted to clean and dry all the gear when we got home. Several duffle bags had to be thrown out due to musty smell. I suspect they had mold issues from previous trips. Camping during rainy season is not for everyone, but it is an experience to remember, especially in Alaska! There were grizzly bears, moose, several herds of caribou, trumpeter swans, Canadian geese, and we fished for salmon and grayling.

    Good luck! elisa

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey everyone,

    thanks for all the great tips, I didn't expect so many replies! Smilie I'm thinking now that I still have a washing machine, I'll do a little test using diluted essential oils on a bit of cloth and see how it affects clothes in my Travel Laundry Stuff Sack. I have all summer to find out what works best and I'll try to post any interesting insights... Wink

  9. #9
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Share
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @Lani, not to get off topic, but your comments about airing your clothes out in the context of the thread subject about avoiding smells reminded me of the article linked in @bchaplin's Lost Lufthansa luggage thread from December. The luggage in question was actually eventually recovered, but is another data point in favor of the carryon philosophy.
    Oh my goodness!! The part about the cat "using" the suitcase was priceless!!!

    Yeah... that's definitely a good argument for not checking in your luggage. Peww!!!!

  10. #10
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Share
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    AlaskaGirl's tips are full of awesome possums!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    Greetings Este,
    I put cedar balls in all clothes storage containers... Mrs. Meyers Clean Day dryer sheets in lavender scent.
    I'll have to remember those two items. The dryer sheets actually sound really pleasant. I don't use dryer sheets in the laundry (for many reasons) but for keeping clothes smelling fresh it's a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    Bring extra zip bags for this. I used the heavy duty freezer bags. They were difficult to find in the UK. Regular zip bags work fine, but wear out quicker than the freezer bags. As a last resort, I used a plastic disposable shopping bag. It doesn't seal, but kept wet bathing suits contained in a pinch.
    I usually bring several ziplock baggies with me in various sizes. I try to avoid the ones with the zipper pull tabs though; they sometimes derail, and the bag gets difficult to close.

    Another good in-a-pinch option, if you stay at a hotel or motel, is the plastic laundry bag. They are designed to allow you to request laundry services in them, but it's OK to take them for your own use. They tend to be a little thicker so they will last, and better yet, most of them come with a plastic cinch strap on top so you can close the bag rather than just folding the top over.

    If you have a very soiled item you want to keep away from other unwashed clothing, use the plastic "liner" baggie that comes in your hotel room's ice bucket. They are typically quite small and very flimsy, but are large enough for you to put an item in (say, a very muddy pair of hiking socks, or a salty bathing suit) until you can rinse/wash it. And these liner baggies are designed to be tossed after a single use.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    5. Air the suitcase out when possible. Empty it completely and prop it open. Leave it for a day or at least overnight. When I did this, I always verified there were no bedbugs or ants or similar pests. If I stayed someplace for three nights, I did this on the second night.
    6. Use baking soda in the suitcase when you air it out. Sometimes I sprinkled it all over inside the suitcase. This can be difficult to remove, so most of the time I sprinkled just a little and left the box open in the closed suitcase. I recommend this at home, before and after your trip.
    One thing you can try is to use a damp washcloth and sprinkle the baking soda on it, and wipe your luggage down that way.

    Oh and by the way speaking of bedbugs and ants, be mighty careful about packing food in your luggage. That's where the ziplock baggies will come in handy, because an open bag of chips or cookies in a side pocket in your carryon is a good way to call out an alert to all the neighborhood ants.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    7. Put those little moisture absorbing packets in your bag. Sorry, I've no idea where to get them. The ones I've used are tiny.
    Um... Japanese crunchy food? Seriously. I find more silica gel desiccant packets packed with Japanese chips and crackers than anything else. That said, you can also buy the packets on their own (via Amazon, etc.).

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    557
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't silica gel packets usually come with a pair of new shoes?

    Do Aeronauts generally smell (if you buy them new, not used)? Or are people just concerned about used bags.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Share
    Alaska
    Posts
    717
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Greetings Ladyinblack1964,
    No, I have not found that any new TB item smells odorously. I'm sure it's just my imagination that unboxing comes with a lovely "new dyneema" smell.

    And we aren't necessarily talking about old or used bags that smell. Although the methods listed here will help, there was another thread or two that dealt with removing odors from bags safely.

    Here the discussion is how to avoid the musty smell that comes from long-term use of a bag. Backpackers and campers sometimes use their bags in conditions that are not ideal. Packing cubes are a newer development, so clothes and gear used to all get tossed in the bag together. Damp and dirty clothes sometimes get mixed in with the clean. Odd items sometimes mingle with clothing. Toiletry or water bottle spills might get the bag and contents wet. Laundry facilities are sometimes difficult to access during travel and sink washing might be a concept that eludes a traveller.

    My apologies if this sounds wrong. Reading it myself, it seems condescending. Please be assured that this is not my intent, nor is it the tone that I am speaking with here. It is my intent to be helpful and friendly. elisa

  13. #13
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,732
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are some odor eliminator things on the TB site. Mostly for bags.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    557
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @AlaskaGirl, thanks for explaining! Not condescending at all.

    I have a Patagonia bag that I keep in my attic that's got a funny smell. I can't recall anything having been in it to cause this to happen, but hey...Hence the potpourri sachets I mentioned above.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Share
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    ..."new dyneema" smell...
    Mmmmmmm!!!!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •