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Here’s What To Do When Liquids Explode Inside Luggage

No, no, not that type of liquid explosion that the TSA likes to talk about all the time. I’m talking about the times you unzip a bag, and there’s gunk. Everywhere.

Here’s how to devote the next forty minutes to hour of your life to cleaning a bag when you could be out exploring town and having a coffee in a decidedly hip restaurant along La Seine. Don’t think about the coffee, think about taking care of the problem, so you can enjoy the remainder of the vacation.

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to having everything revert back to before the incident, unless the cleaning solution we’re talking about at hand is Dr. Bronner.

First of all, we hope that the liquids were properly stored in a clear quart bag. If not, we hope Saran wrap was involved. If not, it’s time to start scraping sunscreen off a hairdryer.

By the way, never stow electronics in the same compartment with the liquids. Make this a rule, otherwise, the next minute you know, you’re wondering where the fuck did I go wrong in my life? Followed by pondering exactly *how much* battery the Macbook Air has left, and whether it’s possible to type out 1,000-word long emails on a phone.

Get thee to a bathroom, or tub.

There’s a reason Dr. Bronner is the ultimate soap around: Because it gets rid of EVERYTHING. Soap everything off, lie flat on a towel.

New best friend. (Marco Verch / Flickr)

How to clean the electronics doodads.

Electronics are a bit trickier. The scientifically inclined will remember that water conducts electricity, so under no circumstances is it advisable to use water to clean electronics that may have become enmeshed in lipstick, sunscreen, shampoo or what have you. The best course of action here is to take a mildly damp cloth or paper towel and wipe off the offending liquid or cream. Remove as much as you can. Be prepared to use lots of paper towels, and make a mess.

Do not under any circumstances douse it or submerge it in water. Most electronics will not be able to withstand this, and the only thing you will succeed at is making it so unusable that it goes straight to the trash.

The real key with electronics is making sure they are free from as moisture as possible before trying to use them again, otherwise what will happen is that the cords will simply short-circuit.

Cleaning the bag interior, and all that junk.

Care instructions are great. Follow those.

The bag might never look new again. Be prepared for that possibility.

Depending on how bad the mess is, the only thing to really do is to remove everything valuable inside, and scrub at it meticulously with soap like Cinderella came by and stopped by for a visit. Normal soap might not work well, so it’s highly recommended to use Dr. Bronner to scrub both the exterior and interior, since certain creams can get…sticky. It is recommended to do this in a shower or tub. After that, leave everything in an open-air room to dry, if possible.





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