Area Rug Storage Tips for Homeowners

nj area rug storage and cleaning

Area rugs, whether they’re luxurious oriental rugs that have come from far away lands or durable synthetic rugs to convey a modern aesthetic, are a significant investment that add charm and warmth to any space. There may be times however, when you need to store area rugs for a while, perhaps during a move or renovation, or simply because you like to rotate your décor seasonally.

Storing rugs isn’t as simple as rolling them up and tossing them into any available storage space. They require special care to ensure they don’t get damaged or degraded over time. From the type of rug to the storage conditions, several factors come into play.

A climate-controlled environment is often recommended, especially if you plan to store rugs for a long duration. A climate-controlled storage unit can provide the ideal conditions to preserve your rug properly, protecting it from harmful elements like excessive heat, cold, or humidity.

Understanding Different Rug Materials and Their Impact on Storage Methods

When it comes to area rugs, understanding the material is as crucial as appreciating their aesthetic appeal. The kind of fabric your rug is made from not only influences its appearance and durability but also determines the correct method of storage. Let’s delve into some common rug materials and how they affect the way you should store your rugs.

Wool Rugs

Wool is a popular choice for rug material because of its durability and warmth. It’s resistant to stains and can stand up to heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for busy homes. However, when storing wool rugs, special attention needs to be paid to ensure they are completely dry before storage. This is because wool can absorb a significant amount of moisture, leading to mildew growth if stored damp.

Cotton Rugs

Cotton rugs are loved for their softness and versatility in design. They are less expensive than wool rugs and are often machine washable, making them a practical choice for many homeowners. Like wool, cotton rugs need to be completely dry before being stored to prevent mildew and mold. It’s also advisable to roll rather than fold cotton rugs to avoid creases that can be difficult to remove.

Synthetic Rugs

Synthetic rugs, made from man-made fibers like nylon, polyester, and polypropylene, are known for their resilience and affordability. They can mimic the look of natural materials but require less maintenance. Synthetic rugs can be stored in plastic bags without the risk of suffocation that natural fibers face. However, they should still be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent fading over time.

Regardless of the rug material, a few universal storage rules apply. Always clean your rugs correctly before storage; this includes vacuuming and, in some cases, professional cleaning, especially for larger or multiple rugs. GM Carpet Care, for example, offers specialized in-plant area rug cleaning services with professional equipment, ensuring your rugs are ready for storage.

area rug materials when considering storage options

Ensure your storage area is climate-controlled, as extreme temperatures and humidity can damage rugs in the long term. A storage unit can provide these ideal conditions, protecting your investment from harmful elements. If you’re storing multiple rugs, make sure they are individually wrapped and not stacked too heavily on each other to avoid crushing the fibers.

Lastly, keep your stored rugs out of direct sunlight, which can cause colors to fade over time. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your rugs remain in top condition, whether stored short-term or for the long term.

Pre-storage Cleaning: Ensuring Your Rugs Are Ready for Storage

Before you roll up your precious rugs and tuck them away in storage, there’s a crucial step you must not overlook: pre-storage cleaning. Ensuring your rugs are thoroughly cleaned before storage is not just about maintaining appearances; it’s a necessary measure to protect the longevity of your rugs.

The Importance of Cleaning Rugs Before Storage

Dirt and dust can work their way deep into the fibers of your rug over time. When left unattended, these particles can abrade the fibers from within, leading to premature wear and tear. Moreover, any organic material left on the rug – think food crumbs or pet dander – can attract pests, turning your stored rugs into a feast for moths and carpet beetles.

Deep cleaning your rugs before storing them ensures that they are free from these destructive elements. It also gives you a chance to address any stains or spots, which could become more challenging to remove if left untreated for an extended period.

Tips on How to Clean Different Types of Rugs

The method of cleaning your rugs depends largely on their material. Here are some general guidelines:

1. Vacuuming: Regardless of the type of rug, a thorough vacuuming on both sides is the first step. This process removes loose dirt, dust, and other debris from the rug.

2. Professional Cleaning: For wool, cotton, and especially valuable or antique rugs, professional cleaning is highly recommended. Synthetic area rugs also benefit from professional in-plant cleaning because of our thorough process. From dry soil removal, to complete saturation and rinsing, to water extraction and industrial drying racks, you simply can not achieve the same level of clean at home. Watch a quick video of our area rug cleaning process on our YouTube channel.

GM Carpet Care offers specialized in-plant area rug cleaning services in our Toms River cleaning facility with professional equipment, ensuring a deep clean without damaging delicate fibers. Our certified technicians have the tools and in-depth knowledge of textiles and carpet materials to choose the right methods and products to protect your investment.

3. Home Cleaning: If you decide to DIY and clean your rug yourself, for synthetic rugs, a simple solution of mild dish soap and warm water can be used to clean the rug. Apply the solution with a soft brush, scrub gently, then rinse with clean water and allow the rug to dry completely.

Remember, moisture is the enemy when storing rugs. Whether you’re cleaning your rugs at home or having them professionally cleaned, make sure they are completely dry before storage to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Properly Rolling and Folding Rugs: A Comprehensive Guide

Once your rugs have been expertly cleaned by a professional service like GM Carpet Care, it’s time to roll or fold them properly for storage. This step is critical in maintaining the structure and appearance of your rugs, especially if you’re planning to store your rug long term. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it right and some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Determine the Rug’s Direction: Most rugs have a direction, which is the way the fibers lay. You can find this by running your hand along the rug. The direction that feels smooth is the rug’s direction. Always roll rugs with the pile facing inward to protect it from dirt and damage.

2. Start Rolling: With the rug’s direction determined, start rolling from the end of the rug. Roll tightly but not too tight as to damage the rug’s structure. For larger rugs, you may need an extra pair of hands.

3. Secure the Rug: Once rolled, secure the rug with twine or straps. Avoid using anything that could potentially damage the rug, like duct tape.

4. Wrap the Rug: After securing, wrap the rug in a breathable material like cotton sheets or rug storage bags. Avoid plastic covers as they can trap moisture, leading to mold and mildew growth.

5. Store Horizontally: Always store your rolled rugs horizontally and off the ground in a climate-controlled storage unit. Stacking other items on top of the rug can damage its shape and structure.

Do’s and Don’ts when Rolling/Folding Rugs


  • Consider the Size and Material: Larger rugs and those made of delicate materials should always be rolled, not folded. Folding can cause creases that are hard to remove.


  • Don’t Fold Unless Necessary: Avoid folding rugs unless they’re small or made of flexible materials. Even then, aim to fold as few times as possible.
  • Don’t Store in Direct Sunlight: Even when stored inside a unit, avoid areas with direct sunlight which can cause fading over time.
nj area rug maintenance and storage

Following these steps will help ensure your rugs remain in excellent condition throughout their storage period. Remember, the goal is not just to store, but to preserve your rugs so that they’re ready to grace your floors again when needed.

Preserving The Quality And Longevity Of Your Rugs

Proper rug storage involves meticulous planning and execution. It’s not merely about finding a safe space for your rugs, but more about preserving their quality and longevity. From pre-storage cleaning to ensure the rugs are free from damaging elements, to the actual method of rolling or folding the rugs and the eventual storage conditions, every step is crucial.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and integrity of your rugs, so they are ready to bring warmth and elegance back into your home when necessary. Let the exquisite aesthetics and intricate craftsmanship of your rugs stand the test of time with these professional rug preservation tips.

Call 732-929-9669 or Contact Us for a New Jersey area rug cleaning quote