Cleaning oriental rugs protects your investment in your rug
Cleaning oriental rugs is best left to the professionals as you will get a better cleaning. First they will inspect your rug for any damage then they will dust the rug. This process gets rid of dust deep within the rug by using special tools with compressed air. This works better than vacuuming or beating as dry soil is like sand paper to the fibers of your rug. If this is not done properly the dirt residue hardens making the foundation of your rug stiff and brittle.
Many companies have a wash pit when cleaning oriental rugs that replicates how rugs were cleaned in flowing rivers in various countries where they were made. A mild cleaning agent is used when and massaged deep into the carpet. Chemicals or steam cleaning should not be used as the natural oils of the wool are removed. The rug is then rinsed thoroughly and excess water is removed from the carpet with a roller. It is important not to leave the rug wet so airflow is applied while the rug dries. Compressed air or brushing is then done to make the rug luxuriously soft.
If you insist on cleaning oriental rugs yourself ensure it is a wool rug and not silk as silk should be left to the pros. Vacuum both sides of your rug except the fringes as you can damage them. If they get caught while vacuuming turn off the vacuum first before pulling them out. In an open space gently beat your rug with a broom handle to remove dirt then vacuum again. Lay your rug out on a clean concrete surface. In a small area with soap (a natural soap) and cold water test for color fastness if there is any color bleeding leave it to the pros.
Wet your rug and apply soap with a soft brush, rinsing and repeating until clean. Ensure the rug is rinsed well leaving no soap residue. Then squeegee out excess water and leave rug flat to dry. When pile feels dry turn over then dry back but do not leave exposed to the sun for more than 2 days as it can fade your carpet. Depending on traffic your rug only needs cleaning every 3-5 years. If your carpet is worth a lot the 1-2 dollars a square foot charged to clean it professionally is worth protecting your investment.