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Need to store away spare carpet or a rug? You may believe the process is as simple as rolling the material up and simply popping it in your storage unit. However, there are some important steps to consider to ensure your carpet remains in good condition.

Mould, stains and pesky insects can all break down carpet fibres over time, which means when you go to retrieve it again it could be in a poor state.

In this guide, we’ve considered how to store carpet and rugs and keep yours in immaculate condition, ready for the future.

Here are the steps to follow:

How to store carpet in a storage unit

  1. Clean the carpet thoroughly
  2. Roll – don’t fold – your carpet
  3. Store in a cool and dry place

Clean your carpet

The carpet or rug must be as clean as possible before it is stored away. Any food residue or dirt left in the fibres can eat away at the material and deteriorate it over time. If the carpet isn’t cleaned, this also means bad smells can develop and become embedded in the material. This means you may not wish to use it in the future.

We recommend cleaning your carpet or rug on both the front and back. Here’s how to carry out this job effectively:

  • Vacuum the carpet on both sides.
  • Clean the carpet thoroughly – following the manufacturer’s instructions and our tips below.
  • Leave it to dry before moving on to the next step.

Tips for cleaning synthetic carpets and rugs

Tip What to do
Use a reputable carpet cleanerYou can hire carpet cleaning products or try a spray carpet cleaner. Apply your chosen product, following the instructions, and wipe away with a sponge or a brush. Always carry out a spot test first to ensure the cleaner doesn’t mark or damage the material.
Hire a steam cleanerCheck the instructions on the label and if it recommends using a steam cleaner hire one of these to remove any dirt that has become engrained in the material.
On low pile rugs or carpets, use a squeegee to remove embedded hair and dustTake a squeegee that you would typically use when cleaning glass and pull this across the carpet, you’ll be amazed by how much extra debris comes out!
Place machine washable rugs in a mesh bagThis ensures the material doesn’t get snagged as it spins and comes out of the machine unscathed.

Tips for cleaning natural carpets and rugs

If your carpet or rug is made from wool or animal hide, you’ll need to be extra careful when cleaning it to avoid any irreparable damage.

Tip What to do
Choose a carpet cleaner made for natural carpetApply this as instructed and dab with a sponge to remove marks and stains.
Avoid waterWith natural materials, water can cling to fibres and takes a long time to dry, which isn’t ideal if you want to get your carpet cleaned and into storage quickly.
Use talcum powder on sheepskin, raw-hide or fur rugsAvoid any abrasive carpet cleaners on these types of rugs. Instead, take some unscented talcum powder and sprinkle this onto the carpet. Leave for a few hours and the powder will soak up any bad odours before you shake it and brush the carpet to remove any excess.

Carefully roll the carpet or rug

Avoid creasing or cracking the underside of your carpet by rolling, instead of folding. Rolling ensures the carpet maintains its shape and can simply be laid out and left to return to its original form once you’re ready to remove it from storage in the future.

Tips for rolling carpet ready for storage

Do – Roll the carpet with the fibre inside the roll. This is the most fragile side so needs to be kept wrapped up and away.

Don’t – Wrap your carpet in plastic. This can stop the material from breathing and could lead to moisture collecting inside the plastic if the carpet is damp at all.

Do – Roll your carpet around a long cardboard tube to ensure it doesn’t bend and crease while in storage.

Don’t – Use a PVC pipe to roll your carpet around because the plastic can release chemicals and damage the material.

Store your carpet

Once the carpet is clean, dry and neatly rolled it’s time to store it away. Here’s what to think about when choosing a location:

  1. Is it free of damp or mould? Don’t store a carpet in a space where damp or moisture can reach it.
  2. Is there lots of bright, natural light? Light can fade your carpet over time, so avoid storing it in a spot where it can be exposed to natural light.
  3. Is there room to lay the carpet flat? The carpet must be laid flat to avoid it from falling or bending.
  4. Can you store it off the floor? Avoid leaving your carpet on the floor where cold can rise into the fibres and lead to excess moisture and damp.

One of our storage units with excellent ventilation are a great choice when you need to store carpet away. We offer a range of units in 20 different sizes, so you can find one that best suits your needs. Take a look at our storage unit size guide here for more information.

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