How do you store a collapsible hose?

Storing a collapsible hose properly is important to maintain its functionality and longevity. Collapsible hoses are designed to expand when filled with water, and contract when empty for compact storage. Following key storage steps will keep your collapsible hose working well for multiple seasons.

Why Proper Storage Matters

Collapsible hoses need to be stored with care because:

  • The accordion-like inner tubing can develop kinks, cracks and pinholes if bent sharply when empty. Storing straight helps prevent this.
  • Exposing the hose to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures when not in use accelerates weathering and deterioration of materials like latex, plastic and rubber.
  • Debris, dirt and moisture trapped inside the hose can promote mold, mildew and bacterial growth which damages inner tubing.
  • Improper storage leads to tangled, unmanageable hoses that are frustrating to unravel and use.

Following proper techniques keeps a collapsible hose working optimally for longer versus deteriorating prematurely from improper storage habits.

Prepping Hose for Storage

Before storing your collapsible hose, it’s important to prep it so that it’s clean and dry.


Always fully drain the hose after use. Water left standing creates an environment conducive to mold, mildew and bacteria. It can also freeze in cold temperatures and damage the hose.

To drain:

  1. Disconnect hose from faucet and turn off water supply.
  2. Hold hose upright and open nozzle/spray head to allow water to fully drain out the far end.
  3. You may need to hang hose vertically or coil it looping downhill to help remaining water run out.
  4. When dripping stops, water has finished draining from hose.


It’s critical to thoroughly dry a collapsible hose before storage. Trapped moisture breeds mold and mildew.

After draining, use a towel to wipe down the hose’s exterior to remove excess drips and dampness. Then lay hose in sunshine to air dry before storing. Moving air with a fan helps accelerate drying time.


Regular cleaning also helps collapsible hoses last longer and function better. Over time, dirt, debris, mineral deposits from water, and mildew can accumulate both inside and outside the hose. It’s best to clean hoses at the beginning and end of each season of use.

To clean inside the hose:

  1. Flush with water: Attach hose to faucet, turn on and run clean water through at high pressure for several minutes to rinse interior.
  2. Disinfectant flush: Fill hose with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Let soak 5-10 minutes. Turn on faucet and flush disinfectant through hose. Rinse with clean water.
  3. Hang vertically to drain and air dry with nozzle open.

To clean the exterior:

  1. Rinse: Use garden hose to spray down entire length of hose.
  2. Scrub: Use a sponge or brush with mild soap and warm water to remove stubborn dirt and stains.
  3. Rinse clean with water.
  4. Air dry before storing.

Storing a Collapsible Hose

Once prepped, follow these guidelines to properly store your collapsible hose:

Keep Hose Straight

Do not tightly coil or sharply kink/bend the hose when storing. This can damage the inner tubing, causing cracks and leaks.

Gently lay the hose in loose loops or straight lines instead. This prevents creases or sharp angles that degrade the inner tubing.

Hang Hoses Vertically

Hanging hoses vertically on a wall mount or hose hanger is ideal. This allows any residual drips to run out so the hose enters storage completely dry.

Bonus tip: Hang with nozzle end pointing down. This keeps debris from collecting inside the hose.

Use Hose Reels

Hose reels are another excellent storage solution. Choose open-frame reels that don’t tightly coil hose. Crank handles allow you to smoothly guide hose into loose loops as you roll it up.

Keep reeled hoses in a sheltered spot like a garage or shed. Never leave sitting in the sun.

Coil Neatly

If hanging or using a reel isn’t possible, neatly coil hoses on the ground in a clean, dry spot:

  • Lay hose flat in a straight line, untwisted and unkinked.
  • Start coiling from one end, forming wide, loose loops approximately 2 feet in diameter.
  • Avoid sharp angles that can pinch or crease the hose.
  • Overlap loops to keep hose contained in a tidy bundle.

Store Off Ground

Place coiled or looped hoses up off concrete garage floors, muddy lawns or dirt. Elevating prevents:

  • Moisture damage from wet floors or ground.
  • Debris accumulation inside hose.
  • Hoses getting kinked, crushed or run over.

Set hoses on a wooden pallet or plastic tray. Hang on wall hooks, nails or hooks. Place neatly on a sturdy shelf.

Use Hose Storage Containers

Plastic hose tubs allow compact, weather-resistant storage:

  • Coil hose neatly and place inside tub.
  • Snap-on perforated lid protects hose while allowing airflow.
  • Handles make containers easy to transport.
  • Place off ground in garage, shed or deck box.

Keep Hoses Out of Elements

For best results, store coiled or looped hoses in a garage, shed or other covered area. This shields them from:

  • Sunlight: UV rays accelerate aging of materials like rubber and latex.
  • Temperature extremes: Heat and freezing cold cause material breakdown.
  • Rain and snow: Moisture promotes mildew if stored wet.
  • Dirt and debris: Leads to buildup and clogs in hose.

If covered storage isn’t possible, keep hoses under patios, decks or eaves. Use storage containers to protect from weather.

Collapsible Hose Storage Tips

Extra considerations for storing expandable, collapsible hoses:

Expand Before Storing

Always expand hose and remove kinks/twists before coiling for storage. Storing collapsed or twisted can weaken inner tubing.

Retract to Store

After coiling expanded hose, slowly retract it to compress tubing. Compact collapsed hoses store tidier over winter.

No Permanent Coiling

Avoid leaving collapsible hoses tightly coiled or looped for over 2-3 days maximum when not using. Prolonged coiling can damage inner tubing.

Maintain Temperature

Don’t expose coiled hoses to over 100°F or under 40°F temperatures. Extreme hot/cold degrades tube materials.

Inspect Fitting Threads

Check plastic fitting threads haven’t cracked before storing. Replace damaged fittings to prevent leaks.

Lubricate O-Rings

Rub non-petroleum lubricant on o-rings at hose connections to prevent drying and cracking over time.

Storing Other Hose Types

Techniques for storing other common hose varieties:

Rubber Hoses

  • Fully drain after use.
  • Coil gently without kinks or twists.
  • Store off ground in a sheltered, shaded area.
  • Keep hose ends capped.
  • Check for cracks before winter storage.

Soaker Hoses

  • Drain and dry thoroughly after each use.
  • Gently wind into loose coils, don’t stretch length.
  • Hang coiled hose indoors or in a covered area.

Retractable Hoses

  • Always fully retract hose onto reel after use.
  • Position reel in garage or shed for cover.
  • Drain any remaining water from reel/hose.
  • Maintain hose gaskets with non-petroleum lubricant.

Storing Hose Attachments

Proper storage for hose nozzles and spray attachments prevents damage and keeps them performing well.

  • Drain all water and dry thoroughly.
  • Coil any lengthy tubing neatly without kinks.
  • Store assembled and intact, not disconnected.
  • Keep attachments in a bucket or bin, not lying on the ground.
  • Check washers and gaskets annually. Replace if cracked or worn.

Warning Signs of Improper Storage

Watch for these red flags that indicate hoses aren’t being stored properly:

  • Puddles of water – Hoses are being put away wet and remaining moisture drips out.
  • Musty odors – Mildew and mold have developed inside due to moisture.
  • Pinholes or cracks – Tubing damage from kinking, sharp bending or prolonged coiling.
  • Insect nests – Bugs entering due to exposure and getting trapped inside.
  • Faded colors – UV damage from sunlight due to unprotected outdoor storage.
  • Tangled mess – Hoses stored loosely without reels, containers or hooks.

Check hoses over thoroughly at the start of each season. If any deterioration is found, replace damaged sections or entire hose to maintain performance.


Storing a collapsible hose properly involves taking time to fully drain, dry and clean it before putting away. Gentle coiling, hanging vertically, and keeping hoses in covered spaces preserves their condition and functionality season after season. Following these simple guidelines prevents damage from moisture, pests, sunlight and temperature extremes. And ensures your collapsible hoses expand, retract and perform like new for many years of gardening enjoyment.

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