Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vintage Samsonite Luggage Restoration, Part 1

Did you know that Goodwill Industries not only has its retail locations, but they have bargain bin outlets? If you're willing to dig, and you have the ability to restore, you can find some amazing deals. On the flip side, you have to have a strong will to go in there, because it can be really heartbreaking. For some people, the bargain bin is all they can afford just to put clothes on their backs.

I really like to try and hit charity based thrift stores more than retail because I know that even the smallest amount goes to programs to help others who aren't as blessed as I am. 

I picked up this suitcase for $2 at the bargain bin outlet. 

(as you can see, it's in my bathtub)

Its an early 60's Royal Traveler, which was a division of Samsonite. Its hard to tell from the photo above but its pretty grody and grimy. What do I expect for such a cheap price, eh?

Here are some close up shots:

Thats 50+ years of travel grime.

I purchased some KABOOM foaming cleaner to get the ball rolling on getting some of this dirt off.

It sprays on purple...

Starts to turn white as its ready to scrub...

Brusha brusha brusha

How does it look? That's for tomorrow's post! So far so good, though I may need to hit it a few more times with the cleaner and scrubby.

Till tomorrow!


  1. The Goodwills are a lot better out here then in So Cal. The Salvation Armies are better out there.
    I bought train case a while back and it had that musty old smell. I threw a dryer sheet in there for a couple of days and it got rid of the smell.

  2. I collect train cases to resell, though I do have a pink one for myself. I've had ok luck at the Salvation Army in Carson City, but my favorite is F.I.S.H on Carson Street next to the sushi place. I've found a ton of the stuff that I sell in my etsy shop in there! I guess I should post the finished restoration on this suitcase. I'm restoring a white one right now as well

    1. That's one of my favorite thrift stores! My husband doesn't like it because it's a "shady" part of town. bah. It's fine.

    2. hahaha a lot of Carson can be shady, but I've always found the staff there to be genuinely friendly and greatful for the support. I got a glass liquor decanter with a starburst design on it for a dollar, plus the white samsonite suitcase I'm restoring was $2, and they have a lot of great vintage purses there