Zebra rug and other animal skins: Regular-strength vacuuming can be harsh on hides. Instead, give these rugs a hearty shake outside. If the rug is too large to lug, dust it with a soft upholstery brush (Economy horsehair upholstery brush, $9, jondon.com). To brighten the fur, sprinkle cornmeal over the surface and let sit for a couple of hours. Then vacuum on low using the upholstery attachment with a piece of panty hose over the nozzle.