For most people, rugs should be washed every year. They should never go more than two years.
This is why it’s funny to me when people “brag” about how long it’s been since they’ve “had” to get their rugs washed. Seriously, can you think of anything else in your life that you would be proud of not taking care of? Your car’s oil and fluids? Washing your clothing? Brushing your teeth? When you consider how often you sweep your floors or vacuum your wall to wall carpet, why would you think your area rugs are not collecting at least that much dust, dirt and dander? If you, or your family suffer with allergies (and in Austin, TX. that’s pretty much everyone) you’ll be surprised to learn that a 9″ by 12″ area rug can hold almost 70 POUNDS of dry soil before it even LOOKS dirty.
If you could see how a rug is made you would understand that regular vacuuming is nice but leaves much more soil in your rug than it removes. Over time, this impossible to vacuum soil builds up until it actually starts to damage the cuticles of the wool that made your rug so pretty in the first place. Regular annual cleaning is best and every two years is acceptable if you’ve no pets on the premises.
Rugs wear out from the inside. Folks that sell rugs want you to buy more rugs from them. I want your rugs to last a lifetime.