Area rugs, especially ones with a thick pile, are experts at grabbing dust, dirt and other household debris. Weekly vacuumings are your best bet to keep them clean and dirt free while causing the rugs minimal distress. If you decide to beat your rugs to clean them, however, follow these basic steps to dislodge the most dirt without damaging the fibers or fabrics.
Bring your area rug outside to a well-ventilated place where flying dust won't damage any furniture. Shake the rug vigorously with the pile of the rug facing away from you. Allow dust to fall off on to the ground.
Fold the area rug in half gently over the clothesline with the bottom of the rug facing you and the pile of the rug facing away.
Beat the rug, hitting on the bottom with soft but rapid strokes, moving gently over the back surface of the rug. Continue beating the rug this way until you have covered the entire back surface of the rug and dislodged most of the dust and dirt.
Bring the rug back inside and vacuum the surface of the rug thoroughly to capture dirt or dust particles that may have been dislodged from the area rug but remain on the pile.