It's one of my favorite times of year. The days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and the whole house gets scrubbed down. Now is the time to take a look at your vintage and antique rugs to evaluate what they might need in terms of cleaning.
I always recommend washing rugs every two years if they are in medium to low traffic areas, while they should be cleaned every year if they are in a high traffic area such as an entrance way where everyone is coming in with dirt, sand and salt on their shoes all winter long. If you can't afford to take your rug to a professional that often there are a few things you can do to protect your rug from damage.
1. If you keep your rug in a low traffic area where people walk either barefoot or with their socks on you can probably skip this step. If you have a space outside in your driveway or on your deck you can take your rug outside for this, otherwise it might get a little messy.
Flip your rug upside down and give it a vacuum. This will loosen all the dirt and grime that has gotten caught up in the pile of the rug. You may have to repeat this several times to get all the dirt out. Once this step is completed you can flip your rug back over and vacuum it. If your rug is on the older side and it's not appropriate to vacuum it hang it out side and beat the back to shake the dirt out.
2. If your rug is in target of direct sunlight, you can rotate it 180* every 6 months-1 year to allow it even exposure. If it is not rotated you may end up with an unevenly faded rug in a few years depending on what dyes were used.
3. If you are more of a DIYer and want to wash your rugs yourself check out our How to hand wash an Oriental rug guide.