If you own a rug that was once quite beautiful, but which is now filthy and tattered, you should try taking these steps before you throw it away.
Consult a rug cleaning company
The first thing you should do is find a business nearby which provides rug cleaning services and send them an email, detailing what stains are on your rug, the approximate age of each of the stains as well as what material the rug is made from. You might also want to attach a photo of the rug in its current condition.
Providing the cleaning business with this level of detail will do the following; firstly, it will help them to determine if the rug is salvageable. Whilst, generally speaking, a cleaning specialist can restore even the dirtiest and most dire-looking of rugs, it is sensible to give them this opportunity to assess your particular rug, via email, before you book their services, just in case the rugs' stains are too deeply ingrained or the rug contains biohazard contaminants that would make it unsafe to clean or to continue using.
Secondly, by giving them a comprehensive breakdown of the rug's condition, the cleaning specialist will know what approach they will have to take to get it looking and smelling clean again, without causing any damage to this (already tattered) item. If, for example, you emphasise that the rug is already very frayed and won't withstand a lot of scrubbing, then the cleaner may come up with their own gentle concoctions (such as a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar) to lift certain stains from the rug's fibres.
Get a seamstress who does rug alterations to fix the rug's frayed edges or bare patches
If the rug is not only exceptionally dirty, but also has bare patches or frayed edges, then you should also consider getting these areas repaired. One type of professional that might be able to do a good of this is a seamstress who has experience with rug alterations, as they will be accustomed to working with delicate fabrics and will know how to disguise or fix the visibly worn parts of your rug.
You should, however, get the rug cleaned prior to having it repaired. You should do this not only out of consideration for the seamstress (as having to handle and put their face close to an extremely dirty rug could be both nauseating and unsanitary), but also to ensure that all of the damage is easy to see and, therefore, fix. For instance, if the rug is a dark colour and has a lot of dark-coloured dirt on it, it might be difficult to spot the bare patches (where the rug threads have fallen out) that need to be filled in.