Maybe you’re an interior designer. Maybe you’re a stylist. Maybe you just really, really, really like rugs. Whatever the reason, sometimes we have rugs or carpets that need to be put into storage. While it’s easy to just roll them up and toss them in the garage, it’s not the best idea. If not stored properly, your floor coverings can turn to dust in a matter of months. Plus, nobody wants a rug or carpet that’s moldy, frayed, or faded.
When it comes to storing your carpet and rugs properly, we’ve got you covered. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions below.
First things first: Clean the rug.
Before you put your rug or carpet away in long term storage, it needs to be cleaned. Different varieties of floor coverings will have different cleaning requirements. However, no matter the type, the first thing you'll need to do is vacuum it. Vacuum thoroughly, making multiple passes to remove any microscopic particles embedded in the fibers.
- If your rug is woven... you can throw it in the washing machine on a delicate wash, if it's small enough. If it's large, however, place it on a flat, clean floor. You can then use a damp sponge to clean the rug in conjunction with foam carpet cleaner.
- If your rug is antique... find a local expert to consult with. Depending on what it's made from and how delicate it is, the way you treat it will change. Always stand on the side of carefulness.
- If your rug is made from natural fibers... you can clean it with a soft brush and soapy water. You'll want to make sure it's laid on top of a tarp before cleaning to protect the floor beneath. Dry it as soon as it's done using either a fan or hair dryer. Natural fibers tend to be weakened by extensive exposure to water, so you don't want to risk damage.
- If your rug is fur or sheepskin... after vacuuming, shake unscented talcum powder on it. Let the powder sit for a few hours and then use a dense brush to pull it through the fibers. Vacuum up any leftover powder. Repeat as necessary.
After vacuuming and washing, there is one more step in the cleaning process. You need to protect your rugs and carpets from any potential pest infestations. You can do that by spraying it with specially developed fabric insect repellent.
Roll it up.
It's important to never fold a rug or carpet when putting it away in storage. Folding will lead to creasing and cracks that can be impossible to remove. For most rugs, the pile (the soft part of the rug) is the most delicate part and should be rolled inward. To efficiently roll an area rug, you'll want to make sure you keep it as straight as possible. You can guarantee this by using a rod to help you keep a good grip during the rolling process.
Wrap your now-rolled rug.
If a rug is going to be put away, it's best to add an extra layer of protection. Wrapping it in a breathable fabric like a cotton sheet or muslin will protect it from dirt and dust. Don't use plastic, as that will keep it from being able to breathe.
Finally, store it somewhere cool and dry.
Because your rugs and carpets are made from fiber, they're especially sensitive to temperature. A perfect storage solution for your rugs is a climate-controlled storage unit. Safe from high temperatures and exposure to natural light will keep them from cracking, breaking down, or becoming moldy. Most climate controlled units have humidity control as an added level of protection.
Keep your floor coverings safe when put into storage with this helpful guide. For additional storage and moving tips and tricks, check out the Storage Direct blog.