After coming home from a long multi-airport trek, tossing your luggage on your bed to unpack it just feels gross. You know it has been out in the world picking up who knows what, right? But feels gross and actually is gross are often two different things.
Over at the Washington Post they posed the question—Is putting your luggage on your bed as gross and dangerous as a lot of people think it is?—to an expert at the CDC, Phyllis Kozarksy. Her response:
“We have not identified outbreaks related to dirty luggage,” Kozarsky says.
Where travelers may benefit from cleaning their luggage is if there’s a suspicion that their hotel room has a bedbug infestation.
“Then they certainly would benefit by vacuuming out their luggage or cleaning it after they returned home,” Kozarsky says. But otherwise, she says, the bag is “not typically a source of transmission of illness.”
So there you have it. If you want to wipe down your bag with a Lysol wipe or two, that certainly won’t hurt (and will keep any grime from getting on your bed). But you’re not putting yourself at risk unless your bag happened to have picked up some bedbugs along the way. If you checked your hotel room carefully to avoid picking them up there, the chances of picking them up at the airport are extremely low.