This video about area rug cleaning shows some steps to clean your rug at home. In Tampa FL hard surface flooring is becoming the primary flooring option for new construction homes. Area rugs are a great addition to any rooms that have a hard surface, like wood or tile floors. They soften the room both acoustically and in appearance. I wouldn't recommend putting an area rug on a carpeted floor. It can damage the rug and the carpet underneath.
Area rug cleaning at home can be done on a limited basis. Many rugs can be cleaned quite easily but fine wool and silk rugs should be cleaned by a professional rug cleaner. Rugs can be sensitive to the pH of a cleaning solution, so be careful what you clean your rugs with. When fine rugs great too wet the colors can migrate from one area to another damaging the look and value of the rug.
This video suggest cleaning with a little dish soap in water. I would actually recommend cleaning your area rugs with water and vinegar instead. Mixing at a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to water you will lower the pH of the cleaning solution, making it a safer cleaner for your rug. Using vinegar and water to clean your rug means that you do not have to rinse it with cold water after. The cleaning solution will dry out on it's own and the vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries. So cleaning your rug at home can be done safely as long as you don't get it too wet and and you use the right solution.