You should regularly hang your rug on a clothesline and give it a proper beating. This will freshen up the rug. Let it hang outside for some time-airing is good for it. If you should spill something on your rag rug, the best thing to do is to rub the stain gently using a clean piece of cloth and soap (just the ordinary clear liquid soap used for washing dishes usually works fine).
The old method of washing a rag rug was to scrub with 'gronsapa' (green liquid soap) and after scrubbing to rinse the rug in a nearby lake. According to old people in Sweden this method gave the rugs the right feel and smell. Many people in Sweden still scrub their rugs with 'gronsapa', but rinsing rugs in a lake is clearly not an option any longer. Most of us do not live near a lake and lake water does not have the same quality as 100 years ago.
In the countryside in Sweden, people will lay or hang their rugs outdoors for 24 hours if there is snow or very cold temperatures (minus 5-20 celsius). This is done for several reasons: when the rugs are laid out in the snow and frost it is said that this makes the colours brighter and the rugs seem to become cleaner, fresher and more fragrant.
The rag rugs available at The Northern House have been woven in the past 100 years. No two of these unique pieces are the same: each rug is a one off.
Rag rugs have lain on the floors of cottages, farmhouses and manor houses throughout Sweden for more than 150 years.
Guidance on caring for Swedish Rag Rugs.