Area rugs are a wonderful way to delineate living spaces and add some character and pop to your home. Sometimes, though, you must put them in storage. Whether it’s short-term or long-term storage, damage can occur to the rug if you’re not careful about how it’s put away.
While in storage, area rugs can become misshapen, discolored, smelly, or affected by pests. It’s definitely worth the little bit of time and effort it takes to protect your investment in a quality area rug that you’re fond of.
Here’s the basic information you need about how to store area rugs to minimize risks to the way they look and hold up while rolled up.
Steps for Safely Storing Area Rugs
- Thoroughly vacuum the rug. Use a handheld attachment if there’s a risk of damaging a delicate weave, and be careful not to vacuum any fringed spots and not to hover over finished edges.
- Clean the area rug according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Apply an insect and moth repellent that’s made for use on the area rug’s type of fabric.
- Make sure the rug is completely dry before rolling it up for storage.
- Roll the area rug tightly; never fold it, as this is likely to cause creases, cracks, or other damage. Roll it straight with the bottom facing outward and the fiber pile facing inward.
- Wrap the rolled rug in a cotton sheet or other protective cover made from a breathable fabric—not plastic—to keep dust, dirt, debris, and bugs off of it.
- Store the area rug out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry environment; heat and moisture in the air can lead to mildew growth and an unpleasant odor.
- Keep the rug off the ground, and away from any potential sources of drips, moisture, blasts of heat, etc.
- Don’t place anything—even lightweight items—on top of the rug, as this easily causes it to become misshapen.
- If you’re storing an area rug for an extended period, it’s a good idea to unwrap and unroll it every few months to check for bugs and other problems, and to give it a quick vacuum.