With proper care a well made rug can last for hundreds of years. They have found rugs frozen in mountainous ice caves that are thousands of years old and still look wonderful.
Dry soil is the enemy of rugs. It can’t be vacuumed out it must be blown out. In centuries past people would hang their rugs outside and beat all day with an implement designed to do just that. Compressed air does a much better, more thorough job of this task. In between professional rug cleanings, you can place your rug face down on the wood or stone floor and vacuum the back of the rug. The vibration that this causes will dislodge much of the gritty mess where it will fall onto the hard floor beneath to be swept away. On larger rugs you can make a “rug taco” where you fold half of the rug over (like a taco) and vacuum the back, lay it back down and do the same thing on the other side, then vacuum the face yarns of the rug. You’ll be surprised at how much your vacuum is missing if you were to only vacuum the front.
Rotate your rugs every 6 months. When you are resetting your clocks for daylight savings time or back to standard time, spin your rugs 180 degrees (North to South) this will even out the wear and sun fading on your rugs as well as disturb any bugs that might want to dine on your rugs. Don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke detectors as well!
Use the proper pad for your situation to protect your rug and your floor. Cheap pads cost much more in the long run.
Blot up spots and spills immediately. They can turn to stains if left alone.
Get your rugs professionally cleaned by someone whose only business is cleaning rugs. Do not hire a rug dealer or a carpet cleaner to do this. It’s too important. You will be disappointed.