Sprinkle the carpeting with a dusting of baking soda one hour before cleaning. The baking soda is a natural odor absorber that will get the work started on removing unpleasant smells.
Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the fluid canister of the steam cleaner. The vinegar will dissolve stains plus kill bacteria in the carpeting.
Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the fluid canister as well. This will clean and deodorize the carpeting.
Pour two tablespoons of laundry detergent into the fluid canister, too. The detergent works to clean the carpet the same way it would to clean clothing, plus leaves the carpeting with a clean, laundry-fresh scent.
Pour hot water into the canister until you reach the fill line. Place the canister into the steam cleaner, turn on, and allow steam to develop.
Run the steam cleaner over the carpeting as you would with a vacuum cleaner. Move the steam cleaner in slow, even strokes, then pull backwards to clean all carpet fibers thoroughly. Spend extra time on heavy stains, moving the steam cleaner back and forth on the area until the entire stain has been removed.