If you have a carpet that smells musty, sour, or just plain old stinky, shampooing it is a great way to remove deep, set-in odors. However, you have to make sure you go about shampooing in the right way to ensure that the process is as effective as possible and that you don't accidentally make the odors worse. Follow these four tips for success:

Make sure the water is extra hot.

Most carpet shampooers heat the water before they spit it out onto your carpet. If you read the instructions, they will probably tell you to let the shampooer heat up for a certain period of time before using it. Far too many homeowners skip this heating period, and as a result, they end up shampooing with cool water—and that's not so effective at removing odors. Wait the recommended time for your shampooer to heat before you start, and you'll be rewarded with a less smelly carpet.

Add vinegar to the shampooer.

White vinegar is excellent at removing odors, and it is 100% safe to use in your home. (You can eat it, after all!) Add a generous splash to the water compartment of your shampooer to enhance the deodorizing action. Don't add it to the shampoo compartment, as this will screw up the concentration of your shampoo and may hinder the effectiveness of your shampooing session.

Go over the carpet an extra time on suction mode.

The more water you can suck up out of the carpet after shampooing, the more odors you'll be removing, too. Thus, it is best to first shampoo your carpet normally, using the setting that causes the shampooer to both shoot out soapy water and suck it up, and then go over the carpet again on suction only mode. You'll be surprised how much water you suck back up the second time around.

Make sure the carpet dries as quickly as possible.

If the carpet dries too slowly, mold and mildew may develop, leaving behind a musty odor that's even worse than what was there before. Encourage prompt drying by opening windows and turning on the ceiling fan in the room you've shampooed. You can also set a box fan in the window to enhance drying even further. Shampoo on a day when the humidity is low, if possible, so your carpet dries more quickly.

A successful carpet shampooing sessions should leave your carpet not only looking clean, but also smelling clean. With the tips above, your room will be much fresher in just a few short hours. Contact a company like Home & Commercial Cleaning Service for more advice or to have the carpet-cleaning job done professionally.