Many many times my checked luggage comes out from the conveyor belt with black goo on them. It can be just some traces or quite a lot of it. The goo is very sticky and greasy so it ends up dirtying my clothes when I pick up the suitcases. Here is one from today:

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What is that stuff? More importantly, how do I get rid of it effectively?

Wiping, even with a wet towel or paper seems to do very little and scrubbing eventually reduces it but is rather labor intensive, so perhaps I am not doing the right thing. What product should make cleaning this off easier? With what type of implement, sponge, brush, etc?

  • 1
    I would guess it is an oil, probably used in greasing the many machines that move your bags around. Have you tried a detergent or a soap?
    – Calchas
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:27
  • 4
    Have you tried Goo Gone? (That's not a joke. It does exactly what its name implies.) Aug 9, 2017 at 20:01
  • I use an adhesive remover wipe; they come in individually wrapped packets, small, about 40 mm square. It's a medical supply but available OTC in pharmacies, drug stores, Amazon.... and confess I pick up a few at the hospital.
    – Giorgio
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:21
  • Soap is not very effective, so I ordered a bottle of Goo Gone. Will report back how it works.
    – Itai
    Aug 9, 2017 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of potential sources for the marks. One is grease from the bag belts, cargo doors, etc. Another is broken down rubber and gaskets.

I would hazard a guess in your case it is the later, broken down rubber, which can be very sticky and hard to get off. Rubbers, exposed to heat, sun, time, grease, human oils, break down and become a gooey mess (ask a cyclist what the rubber covers of their brake levers are like after many years of use). Rubber gaskets, bumpers and seals are used in many aspects of the airline baggage handling, so easy to come in contact with your bags.

The easiest way to remove them is with a solvent type cleaner, alcohol, turpentine, even gas from your lawn mower. Commercial products like GooGone that Zach mentioned also work. And even better the same solvents will remove grease as well, just in case you encountered option one.

  • 2
    Used Goo Gone and the goo is mostly gone! Probably was grease-based as the second thing that did a fairly good job was dish soap.
    – Itai
    Aug 16, 2017 at 17:30

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