Jammed luggage handles? Here’s how you fix them.

You’ve planned your trip for months and packed your bags in advance. One day before you leave, you realize that the suitcase handle won’t budge! With no time in hand to get that repaired, you’re starting to panic. We’re here to tell you that we have a solution!

Identify the problem

problem for Jammed luggage handles

The reason for jammed handles could either be a build-up of debris and rust along with the handles, or maybe there’s an issue with the extension mechanism. As long as you’re sure the handle isn’t broken, there’s nothing to worry about. 

Step 1

Open the interior zip of the suitcase, and inspect the joints and bolts of the telescopic extension. 

Step 2

Look for any obstructions that may have any pins stuck midway. Identify where they’re stuck, and manually push the pin inside the guide and pull the handle from the outside. To avoid the pins from getting stuck in the wrong guides again, simply lubricate them and tape them up with a strong tape to make the quick fix durable.

Step 3

If this doesn’t work, you will have to remove the extension panel of the suitcase. 

Remove the outer panel

inspecting Jammed luggage handles

If the problem seems to be more internal, and you think the extension panel needs further inspection and lubrication, here’s what you need to do. 

Step 1

Unscrew the retaining bolts on the outer panel with a screwdriver. 

Step 2

Gently pull the outer panel upwards, fully revealing the extension mechanism of the suitcase. 

Step 3

Keep the screws in a safe place, as you will need to put them back later. 

Using WD-40 for jammed luggage handles

using wd40 for Jammed luggage handles

When it comes to lubricating jammed parts, WD-40 is the best solution. Its active formula is specially designed to get under the grit and rust on the handle very quickly and effectively.

Step 1

Use a flashlight if needed, and check for dust, muck, or debris stuck in the extension mechanism. If so, you should be able to brush them off with a toothbrush quite easily. 

Step 2

Place the handle upwards and at full length, and spray a generous amount of WD-40 all over the handle/handle extensions. 

Step 3

Pull the handle up and down repeatedly for a minute so that the solution gets through and lubricates the internal joints. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the process if needed. You should have your handle lubricated and functioning by now. 

Jammed luggage handles are cumbersome to operate. But with a quick inspection of the inside shaft and the exterior, it will be easy for you to determine what needs to be done. If the handle is jammed only because of rust and grime, pick up a can of WD-40 and get those handles moving in no time! 


The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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