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How To Store Area Rugs

How To Store Area Rugs

Area rugs are prone to damage by water, mold and mildew, insects, and pests in storage. Wool makes a nice meal for beetles and moths, and other storage factors can cause damage to your rug's shape or structure. To put it simply, just throwing your carpet in the attic is not a good idea. A few preemptive steps will help protect your rug against these risks while it is stored. Here's what we recommend:


Clean the Rug

It is ideal to spot-clean your rug or have it professionally cleaned before putting it into storage. Any stains or debris left on the rug compounded with variable temperatures or moisture could result in damage or build up odors. At the very least, give it a good vacuum to remove dust, hair, pet dander, and other things that can lead to deterioration of the fibers. Stains that have been on it for a while might be tough to tackle, but try one of our DIY cleaning techniques to treat common spills

If the rug has a label on the back, follow the cleaning instructions of the manufacturer. 


Roll It Up

Roll your rug into a tight cylinder, with the pile facing inward. Keep it as straight and even as possible, so the ends don't telescope out. You can use a dowel or curtain rod to help roll it, or leave it inserted for extra support if the rug will be stored standing up. 

Once it is tightly rolled, you can secure the rug by tying it with twine on each end of the roll. You can wrap the rolled-up rug in a protective fabric, paper, or plastic.

If you did any spot cleaning of the rug, make sure it is completely dry before rolling and storing, as residual moisture could cause mildew.

We recommend moth balls or moth crystals for long term storage, or anything longer than 3 months. Just sprinkle them on the pile before you roll it up, and that will take care of any potential moth issues while the rug is stored.

If you are storing a flatweave, hand-knotted, or any wool rug without a stiff backing, you may be able to fold the rug to save on space, but be careful! Folding the wrong kind of rug can lead to cracks and creases that may be permanent. Ask a local rug expert if you're unsure about whether your rug can be folded, or stay on the safe side and just roll it. 


Store it Safely

Place your rug somewhere that it will be safe from moisture or harmful elements. Storing it off the ground is best, but make sure nothing is sitting on top of it. One heavy box could be enough to cause cracks or compromise the structure of your carefully rolled rug!

One problem many people don't consider? Rodents. Like spiders, mice and rats take refuge in our homes, spending time in areas like the attic or basement. Beetles like to hang out behind the rug, where it sits against the wall, and the roomy folds of a sloppily stored rug could make a comfy spot for some critters to spend a season. 

If you're unsure what to use, or worried that you might experience a problem with insects or rodents, ask a trusted retailer about repellents, rug-wrapping materials, and other preventative measures that are safe to use with your rug. 


Bring dirty or damaged rugs to any NW Rugs Showroom  for cleaning or repairs! Call for details and pricing.