1. First, I vacuum the top part.
2. I then invert the area rug, and then, vacuum the bottom.
3. If I want it washed, I use our old carpet steam cleaner but I use detergent for area rug ( we have carpet steam cleaner since we used to have carpeted floor but we changed the floor to oak laminate) .
I however do not wash the area rug too often since I am afraid the rug will collect mold from wetness, thus I only wash it maybe twice a year. I just vacuum the area rug at least once a week, twice a week in the summer because of our "beach is fun" activities.