Cleaning & Restoration Tools and Gadgets / Carpet/Rug/Upholstery Cleaning / Web Exclusive Features

The Value of a Rug Caddy (and How to Build One Yourself)

A rug caddy is an important piece of equipment for a comprehensive rug cleaning operation

January 9, 2014

Here’s the scene.

You walk into your carefully set up rug cleaning plant. Water is pooled everywhere on the floor - someone forgot to turn the water off on the rug bath. About a dozen rugs that had been vacuumed, dusted and prepared for cleaning that day are saturated with water that overflowed the rug bath, possibly mixed with soil. 

Panic time!

Or perhaps it’s just a customer who arrives with a half dozen rugs in the back of her SUV. The rugs are unloaded, laid out and inspected in the receiving area in the front office; the work order is signed. Now, it’s time to transport the rugs one by one to the processing area of the rug plant. Not exactly what you’d call productive or efficient. 

So what’s the solution? It’s a simple piece of equipment that most rug cleaners can build themselves called a “rug caddy.” 

The rug caddy solves at least two problems for the professional rug cleaner. First, it makes it easy to transport multiple rugs from one place to another in the rug plant. Second, it gets rugs off the floor so they aren’t subjected to soiling and, even in the unlikely event of an accidental water release, rugs remain elevated at least three inches (7.6 cm) off the floor.

To build a rug caddy, several components are needed.

Supplies and Tools:

one 4’x8’x3/4” plywood

two 2”x4”x8’ untreated boards

six, 360° swiveling wheels

#18, ¼x3” Phillips-head wood screws

24, one-inch screws for casters

28, ¾” Phillips-head wood screws

16 washers to use as shims

ten foot nylon rope

two, 1” diameter schedule 40 PVC conduit sections 12” long for handles

one can white spray sealant

1/8” and 3/8” drill bits to drill pilot and rope holes

25’ metal measuring tape

circular saw

safety glasses

electric drill

grounded extension cord


After collecting all the necessary components and supplies, the sequence of events for building the rug caddy include:

1.                  Measure and mark a two-foot width across the eight-foot-long plywood sheet. 

2.                  Using a circular saw, cut the four-foot-wide plywood panel into two equal 2’x8’ sections.

3.                  Attach the two 2”x4” x8’ side boards to the 2’x8’ plywood base using two-inch wood screws. 

4.                  Turn the base assembly upside down and attach four swivel wheels with ¾” screws to the bottom on both ends of the caddy, with each pair positioned approximately 6” from each end.

5.                  One pair of swivel wheels should be installed in the middle of the plywood base using two washers per screw (total 16 washers) as shims to raise them slightly above the level of the two end sets of wheels.

6.                  Next, use the white spray sealer to paint the upper bed and sides of the rug caddy.

7.                  Attach the handles at both ends:

a.                   drill two 3/8” holes in the side boards (2”x4”x8’) approximately two inches from the ends. 

b.                  cut the nylon rope into two, 5-foot lengths; fuse the ends with a lighter. 

c.                   thread the rope through one hole on one end of the caddy from the outside to the inside.  Then tie a double-looped knot in the end. 

d.                  thread the rope through the handle, and then on through the hole on the opposite side board, inserting from the outside inward. 

e.                   repeat the process on the opposite end.

8.                  If lighter-weight plywood is used, a bottom support may be required.

 A rug caddy is an important piece of equipment for a comprehensive rug cleaning operation. It not only keeps rugs elevated in the unlikely event of an accidental water release on the rug plant floor, but it adds convenience and organization when transporting rugs from place to place within the plant.    

Cindy Linden also contributed to this piece.

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