Prevention is the key to a long and healthy life for luggage. Resist cramming too much into a bag and forcing zippers or clasps. Instead, repack the contents. Avoid placing objects with sharp corners-books and the likealong the sides of soft luggage where they could poke through. Spray a balky zipper with silicone compound. Mend small rips with patching tape or sew on a patch. Take luggage with ailing hinges and large rips to a professional for repair.
Saddlesoap on a damp sponge will remove soil from leather goods. Use a sponge and mild detergent to clean molded plastic, vinyl, and nylon luggage. Soap, water, and a small hand brush are good on canvas; rinse with clear water. Do not immerse any kind of luggage in water.