While flood-damaged carpets are often a write-off, there are ways to deal with milder water damage before the onset of mould and mildew or that dreaded wet carpet smell. It's important to draw out the water as soon as possible and treat the area to prevent fungal growth. The process is easy if there's only a small area to dry, but larger areas of wetness can be treated in the same way with a bit more effort.
Blot up the water as soon as possible. Use a towel to soak up as much as it will hold, pressing it down so water is squeezed out of the carpet fibres.
Spread a dry towel over the wet area and place a weight on top to hold the towel down. For spots that will take a while to dry, spritz with a spray bottle of undiluted white vinegar to prevent mould growth.
Check the towel every 15 minutes, folding it over to a dry spot each time and replacing the weight. Spritz the area with vinegar once you remove the towel and leave it to dry. The vinegar smell will fade as it dries.
Use a hair dryer to speed the process, especially for larger areas of wetness. Hold the hair dryer about 6 inches away from the wet area and work on one patch at a time while the others are drying under towels.
Spritz your vinegar on the drying areas. Heat and wetness are a perfect combination for mould growth, but repeated sprays of vinegar, as you're drying the area, will help prevent fungal growth.