You finally went through the trouble to make yourself a nice dinner, poured yourself a glass of wine and as you sit down to enjoy that meal, your elbow knocks off the bottle of red wine right onto your stark white carpet. Trust us, we’ve all been there. Although it’s not one of the most enjoyable of life’s moments, there are ways of erasing these stains so that you can’t even tell that they occurred in the first place. Here are some carpet cleaning tips for your apartment:

Vacuum Frequently

You may not see any stains on your carpet when you first move in, but it can collect dirt and grime over time–especially in areas with high traffic. Carpets should be vacuumed once a week. This prolongs the life of your rug or carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. In order to make sure that you’re covering the entire area of your carpet, divide it into quadrants and vacuum an entire quadrant before moving onto the next. Add baking soda to the bag in your vacuum to fight odors.

Never Scrub

If you happen to spill something on the carpet, it can be a natural reaction to want to scrub the stain out. However carpet stains are tricky, and this will only increase your chances of ruining the carpet fibers and letting the liquid soak through to the carpet pad.

Use Household Items

Carpet stain removal doesn’t have to mean purchasing pricey items from the nearest store. There are plenty of items just sitting around your house that you can use to remove spills on your rug or carpet without going broke:

Beer: You’re going to be happy you stocked up on this stuff–beer takes out coffee or tea stains easily. Simply pour a bit of beer on the spill, rub it lightly into the material and the stain should disappear within minutes. Depending on the size of the stain, you may have to repeat the process a few times to fully get the stain out.

Baby wipes: If you’re up late studying with your cup of coffee and happen to knock it onto the carpet, baby wipes work wonders in cleaning it up–they absorb both the liquid and the stain. These wipes can also come in handy if a few drips of the coffee get on your shirt or furniture.

Salt: Red wine is quite possibly one of the worst things you can spill on your rug. But if it’s a fresh spill, there’s still hope. While the wine is still wet on the carpet, pour some white wine on it to dilute the color (sometimes fighting fire with fire does work). Then, grab a sponge and cold water to clean the spot. This is where the salt comes in: Sprinkle the area with salt and wait about 10 minutes. Then, grab your vacuum and go to town on the stain. That should clean it right up!

Shaving cream: Chances are you may be using shaving cream for cleaning up spills more than you use it for shaving, because it works great. Blot the stain, pat it with a wet sponge and squirt some shaving cream on. Wipe clean with a damp sponge.