Storing a rug isn’t something you normally think about, but there are actually many reasons to do so. From inheriting a special rug to needing to move a rug during a remodeling project to switching up the look of your home based on the season, there are many occasions your rug may need to take a temporary break.
What many people don’t know is that you need to take great care when you store a rug. If you just roll your rug up and throw it in the closet without a second thought, it won’t last as long as you hope.
So, what do you need to do to keep your rug fresh for the next time you roll it out? Read on to learn the top storage tips that will help your rug look great the next time you take it out.
Clean the Rug
First things first, before putting your rug in storage, you want to make sure you clean it properly. If any part of the rug is soiled, the leftover dirt and debris can attract insects, vermin, and cause deterioration.
The way you clean your rug will depend on the material, so be sure to check the label beforehand. If the label does not give specific instructions on how to clean the rug, take a look at these rug cleaning tips for each rug material:
Woven or Braided
A lot of woven and braided rugs are machine-washable. If yours is, place the rug in a zippered mesh bag and wash it on the gentle cycle. Then, tumble dry the rug on a low setting.
If the rug has large braids, place it on a vinyl or concrete floor. Sponge clean the rug with a carpet cleaning foam by rubbing it and rinsing it. Then, finish by vacuuming it. When vacuuming, (and this goes for all rugs) be sure to choose a low setting so as not to damage the rug.
In order to clean a natural fiber rug, scrub out the stains using a soft brush and some soapy water. Be sure to place a plastic cloth underneath the rug, as this will help protect the floor. Blot the rug in order to dry it, and if you want, you can use a dryer or fan to speed up the process.
In order to clean a shag rug, shake some unscented talcum powder onto the rug and leave it alone for a few hours. Then, take a brush and brush the powder through the rug. Then, shake it out and repeat the process several times.
For the most part, cotton and other synthetic fibers can be machine-washed. Just make sure you machine wash and dry it on a gentle cycle. And, be sure to wash the rug on its own so that the fabric colors don’t bleed into other clothing.
Rolling It Up
After you clean the rug, it’s time to roll it up. Rolling a rug may seem like a simple, straightforward process, but it’s actually a bit more complicated than you’d think.
First, make sure you never fold your rug. Folding a rug can cause cracks, creases, and other damage. Instead, make sure you always roll your rug before storing it.
In order to determine which side of your rug to roll from, figure out which side is the most fragile. In general, the pile side (the top of the rug where the fibers are) is the most fragile side. Therefore, you should roll your rug with the pile side facing inwards.
When you roll your rug, make it as straight as possible. If you have difficulty keeping the rug straight, use a wooden dowel or rod to help guide you. You may also want to use a piece of muslin or cotton sheeting that is the same width of the rug to assist with rolling it. This fabric helps to catch the rug and allows for a smooth roll.
To finish rolling the rug, wrap the muslin or cotton sheet around the rug one to one and a half times. To secure the rug, use some cotton or polyester twill tape. If you’re really going for expert level protection, use polyurethane. This will provide a barrier against both insects and dampness. Make sure you don’t use plastic to wrap your rug, as this will prevent it from breathing.
Storing the Rug
Now we come to the part of actually storing the rug. To store your rug, make sure to choose a location that is off the ground. This will help protect it from any harmful elements.
Also, make sure you don’t place anything on top of the rug. Placing something on top of the rug can destroy its shape and cause cracks.
Make sure you also choose a dry, cool environment to store your rug that isn’t exposed to natural light. Dampness can completely destroy a rug. To keep your rug extra-protected from the elements you should:
- Use a humidifier or a fan, to help prevent mildew problems
- Use shades or blinds to block light from the windows
- Store the rug on a surface that is evenly elevated, as this will keep carpet beetles away
- Unroll your rug about once a month to ensure there is no bug infestation
- Consider a self-storage unit if your home does not have the space to accommodate the rug
By following these storage guidelines, your rug will look great when you unroll it.