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When you rent a storage space, it’s important to know the best way to store your belongings so they’ll be in the same condition when you take them out of storage as they were when you put them in. That’s particularly important with rugs and carpets, which can be susceptible to damage from many sources.

Because rugs and carpets are made of fabric, they need to be stored with a great deal of care. Exposure to moisture, rodents, or insects can ruin them beyond repair. With that in mind, here’s our quick guide to the proper way to store rugs and carpets.

Cleaning Rugs and Carpets

The first step to take before storing your rug or carpet is to clean it thoroughly. You can pay to have them professionally cleaned or do it yourself. If you do it yourself, choose a clear, dry day and start early so the rugs will have time to dry.

The best place to clean rugs is outside. Since you’ll have to clean both sides, lay some mesh on the ground to keep the bottom side of the rug elevated. This is a must so that when you flip the rug, dirt that has fallen off one side won’t end up on the other side.

Start with the bottom of the rug and vacuum it thoroughly. Then flip the rug and vacuum the other side. Take your time and be thorough.

Next, use some Woolite and water and shampoo the rug using a soft brush. You can rent a rug cleaner if you prefer, but hand washing is best for old and valuable rugs. When you’re done, use a dry/wet vacuum to get as much moisture as possible out of the fibers and then elevate it so that air gets to both sides and it can dry thoroughly.

Protect Against Pests

The next step is to protect your rugs from pest damage. Carpets made of polyester and other synthetics won’t attract pests, but anything made of natural fibers may attract:

There are three species of carpet beetle and many species of moths and you don’t want any of them getting into your carpet. If you want an all-natural solution, try spritzing the rug with a mixture of four parts water to one part of white vinegar. Pests don’t like the smell. Alternatively, you can use a commercial insect repellent like Off but vinegar is best for old and valuable carpets. Again, make sure to dry the rug thoroughly before moving on to the next step. Storing a rug that’s damp may result in mold and mildew growing on it.

Roll and Wrap Your Rugs

For obvious reasons, you don’t want to store your rugs on the floor of your storage facility. Laying them flat might seem like a good idea, but it won’t protect them from flooding and other damage. The best way to store rugs is to roll them. For most rugs, rolling with the back side out is the best option, but experts say that valuable rugs are best stored with the back side in since it puts less strain on the rug’s structure. Always roll from the bottom of the rug to the top. You can determine which end is the bottom by going with the grain of the piling. Follow it to the end of the rug and roll from that end.

Once the rug is rolled, wrap it in brown craft paper and secure it with tape. For extra protection, you may want to consider using house wrapping, the paper stuff that goes underneath the insulation on your house. Or check out our list of packing supplies available at all our locations for additional resources https://www.storagewest.com/moving-supplies/

Put Your Rugs in Storage

The final step, of course, is to put your rugs in storage. Once the rugs are rolled, they are best stored on end. However, you don’t want the end to be on the floor if you’re worried about flooding, and if your storage unit isn’t tall enough to store a large carpet on end, it’s perfectly acceptable to store it horizontally on top of a piece of furniture or a shelf.

Storing rugs and carpets requires a bit of care and effort to avoid pest infestation and water damage. Following these instructions will ensure that your rugs and carpets look just as good when they come out of storage as they did going in.

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