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How To Clean My Shoes? Top Tips For Fresh Looking Shoes

Unfortunately, there is just no way around getting your shoes dirty. No matter how much you try to keep them clean, walking around puddles or checking the weather forecast before leaving the house. Somehow, someway, they won’t stay clean.

While cleaning your footwear seems like a simple enough task, there are a few factors to consider. For instance, what type of material are your shoes made of, what cleaning product to use, and how you should apply the product. To help you figure this all out, we’ve put together this helpful guide. So, follow these handy tips to have your shoes looking box fresh once again.

  • Know Your Material Before You Start 
  • What You Will Need
  • Leather
  • Suede
  • Sheepskin Boots
  • Canvas Shoes
  • Running Shoes
  • White Sneakers
  • Don’t Forget The Laces

Know Your Material Before Your Start 

When thinking about how to clean your footwear, the crucial factor to keep in mind is what material they are made from. Cleaning leather is an entirely different operation than cleaning suede. Likewise, techniques for cleaning canvas footwear can vary from cleaning sheepskin boots. 

So, before you start cleaning your beloved new boots, make sure you know if they are leather or suede. Similarly, make sure you know the difference between your canvas’ and your running shoes. Having this knowledge will allow you the best possible chance of restoring your footwear to their former glory.

What You Will Need

Before you start the cleaning process, there are a few things you should have available before starting. A dry brush is useful for almost all types of shoes. If you don’t have access to an actual soft-bristled shoe brush, don’t fear. An old toothbrush should do the trick just fine. But, when cleaning suede, we would advise using a suede brush, as this material is more delicate than others. 

Also, access to some laundry detergent and vinegar will prove helpful depending on what type of material you are cleaning. 

Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are an essential part of most peoples work attire. Consequently, keeping them clean is necessary for people hoping to look smart at work. 

When cleaning leather, start by removing any debris by wiping a solution of equal parts water and vinegar over the affected area. Once the leather is dry, rub with a soft cloth. Likewise, when trying to remove scuffs, use a wet cloth dipped in baking soda. After this, wipe your shoes off, then buff them again once they’ve dried. 

Suede Shoes 

Cleaning suede often strikes fear into most peoples hearts. But, try not to panic, there is an art to cleaning suede, that can leave you with fantastic results. 

Start by finding a nailbrush or suede brush. Once you have one of these, work in one direction to gently buff away stains. Now you have removed the surface dirt from the suede, start adding pressure, going back and forth with the brush to work at the harder to remove stains. For the extremely stubborn stains, use a white washcloth to rub either white vinegar or rubbing alcohol onto the affected area. Don’t worry this won’t leave a watermark, but it will give your suede a new lease of life. 

Sheepskin Boots

Sheepskin is a material similar to suede, which means extra care is needed when dealing with it. Like with suede, use a nailbrush or scrub brush, to gently wipe off any dirt at the surface of the boots. After that, wipe the outside of the boot with a damp cloth. Make sure it is not too wet, as you could ruin the material. Next, using a mixture of equal part’s cold water and vinegar, gently rub the areas that need spot cleaning. Finally, finish by wiping the mixture off with a damp cloth and leave to dry.  

Canvas Shoes

People often use canvas shoes for playing sport or in their everyday activities. Because of this, they require cleaning more regularly than the other types of shoes already mentioned in this guide. 

Start cleaning by wiping dirt off the canvas shoes with a clean toothbrush. Next, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water. Administer this paste onto the soles of the canvas trainers using the toothbrush to remove any unwanted dirt. Finally, run the gentle cycle on your washing machine with cold water, adding roughly half the amount of detergent you would usually use and toss in your shoes. Make sure you leave them out to dry, using the dryer could shrink your shoes and no one wants that! 

Running Shoes

Running shoes bring there own unique issues when it comes to cleaning. One of the major ones being the smell from the sweat produced when using them for sport. 

Start with removing loose dirt off with a toothbrush, then clean the brush after. Once the brush is clean, dip it into a teaspoon of laundry detergent mixed with a cup of water. Now use the brush on the fabric, mesh and rubber areas of the shoe. After this, use a wet sponge to wipe off the excess solution. Lastly, leave outside to dry in the fresh air to remove any unwanted odour picked up on your runs. 

White Trainers

White trainers are often the ones we want to preserve the most. Nothing compares to the look of a fresh white pair of trainers but keeping them that colour is often an uphill battle. 

To try and restore that pearly white colour your trainers was when you first purchased them, start with applying a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball. Then use it to wipe away any stains you see on the white shoes. However, if the stains persist and you feel the need to resort to bleach, make sure you dilute it first, you don’t want to end up with discoloured shoes. Use a toothbrush to scrub the trainers with a solution of one part bleach to five parts water. Finish off by rinsing with warm water. 

Don’t Forget The Laces

Keeping your shoelaces clean is an imperative aspect of maintaining that fresh out of the box look. Often people will clean the exterior of their shoe but neglect their shoelaces, leaving them with an unflattering contrast of clean and dirty.

To start with, remove the laces from the shoes, this will make cleaning the laces easier for yourself. Next, use a toothbrush to loosen any dried dirt or grime, this should come off with relative ease. After this, you can start mixing a solution of 3 tablespoons of bleach to 1 gallon of water in a sink or basin. Once the solution is ready, place the laces in a small mesh laundry bag and soak in the cleaning solution for several minutes. Be sure to wear gloves as you don’t want the bleach to irritate the skin. Finally, place the laces in the washing machine, then launder with detergent and a 1/2 cup of bleach. You can then hang the laces outside to air dry for fresh, clean laces.

If you are having a bad case of laundrophobia and don’t want to clean your shoes, we are here to help. Laundryheap offers a same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next-day delivery. 


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Coventry: 9 Reasons To Visit The West Midlands City

Coventry often gets overlooked on the tourist trail in the United Kingdom. Rich with history, hidden gems, and a host of incredible tourist attractions to see, the West Midlands town is certainly worth a visit.

Recently named the UK City of Culture for 2021. The city is home to four major sporting teams, a plethora of music venues and its cultural influence on the UK is evident throughout history. So, whether you are thinking of visiting from another part of the UK or further afar, this list will give all the reasons you need to visit Coventry.

  • See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals 
  • Take in Coventry’s version of the Sistine Chapel
  •  Watch one of Coventry’s four major sports teams
  • Visit the Lady Godiva 
  • Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music
  • Go to the Transport Museum 
  • Check out the unsung art and culture 
  • It’s easily accessible 
  • We operate there! 

See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals

During the Blitz of World War II, Coventry was on the the cities most affected by the shelling. The bombing in November 1940 is what saw the devastating destruction of the Coventry Cathedral. 

The ruins of the medieval structure remain today in the form of a visitor site. Afterwards, Sir Basil Spence designed a second cathedral which features a grand but modest tapestry by the renowned English artist Graham Sutherland. This second cathedral now lays adjacent to the site of the original. Coventry is the only city in the UK to have had a total of three cathedrals in the past millennia.

Watch one of Coventry’s four sports teams

Coventry has several professional sports teams that play their home games in the city. In terms of professional football, Coventry City FC has represented the city since 1883 and currently play in the Football League One. City are the only professional football team representing Coventry. 

Rugby Premiership side Wasps RFC is the newest professional team to play their home games in the city. They left London for the Ricoh Arena in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. As well as Wasps, Coventry R.F.C. and Coventry Bears represent the city in Rugby Union and Rugby League respectively. 

Visit the Lady Godiva 

Coventry legend narrates that Lady Godiva, an English noblewoman, rode naked on a horse through the city’s street in protest to a tax her own husband had imposed on his tenants. Some even claim the phrase ‘Peeping Tom’ came from this legend because in later versions of the story a man named Thomas was struck blind for looking at the naked Godiva riding. 

Coventry City pays homage to this story in various forms, including a clock and a statue of Lady Godiva riding her horse in the city centre. As well as these more traditional nods to the legend, the city hosts the Coventry Godiva Festival. This is Britain’s largest free family festival. The event hosts up to 189,00 people and has had artists like Kasabian and Biffy Clyro headline over the years. 

Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music 

The Specials was formed in Coventry in 1977 and are arguably Coventry’s most successful exports. They are known as the originators of Two Tone music (which fuses ska with punk rock) and took Britain by storm in the late 70s. 

Two Tone music is credited with spreading a message of racial unity. As a result of this, Coventry City FC has released a limited edition shirt to commemorate the band and the influence they had on English culture. The kit features aspects of the label’s black and white branding, and the anti-racism Kick It Out logo. One framed shirt has been donated to the Coventry Music Museum by the club to celebrate Two Tones 40th anniversary. 

Go to the Transport Museum 

Coventry was once one of the car manufacturing capitals of the world. Despite this no longer being the case, the museum still has an impressive collection of cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

Not many people know Coventry was actually the birthplace of the bicycle. You can learn more about this and loads of other interesting facts at the Transport museum. Most importantly, the museum is located in the City Centre, so it is easily accessible for those visiting without a car. 

Check out the unsung art and culture 

Coventry certainly has its fair share of art and culture to take in. Warwick Arts Centre sits on the outskirts of the city and has an incredible programme of films, plays and performances. Despite the name, the centre is much closer to Coventry than Warwick. It is also one of the biggest centres of art outside of London. 

Within the city of Coventry itself, be sure to visit the Herbert Art Gallery which hosts various exhibitions from local artists old and new. After that, why not take a trip to the Belgrade Theatre, a long-standing provincial theatre. Similarly, you can visit the more modern Tin Music and Arts Centre in the Canal Basin. This centre hosts a mix of music, film and classes, providing something for all tastes. 

It’s easily accessible 

Coventry is only about an hour by train from London, located around 95 miles to the north-west of the capital. The city’s convenient midlands location means it is also easy to get to from cities in the North of England. 

For overseas travellers, Coventry does have its own airport that goes to a few locations within Europe. Alternatively, Birmingham City airport is only a 30-minute drive or 20-minute train journey away.

We operate there! 

If all the reasons on this list are not enough to entice you into visiting Coventry, then you should probably know that we also operate in the city. If you do find yourself in Coventry with laundry that needs to get done, Laundryheap are here to help! You can book a same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next-day delivery. 


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How To Do Laundry When Camping

If you have ever been camping before, then you will be familiar with the feeling of running out of clean clothes after day two. A disastrous situation ordinarily, this can be made even worse if you have children with you. Of course, there is nothing wrong with getting a bit smelly when camping. If, however, the smell has got to a critical level, then this list will help you get your laundry done even in the most rustic of camp spots.

  1. Hand wash your laundry
  2. Clean your dirty clothes in a plastic bag.
  3. Find a bathroom sink. 
  4. Make sure you pick your detergent wisely.
  5. Come prepared to dry.
  6. Use your campfire as a washing machine.
  7. Use camping facilities. 
  8. Take the easy way out and enjoy your camping time

Hand Wash Your Laundry 

Probably the most obvious, yet painful suggestion on this list. A bit of old fashioned elbow grease is all you need to wash your dirty clothes. Instead of always relying on campsite facilities, why not bring the products you need for hand-washing your laundry?

Washing your clothes by hand is one of the simplest, fool-proof ways to ensure your clothes stay clean despite your dirty surroundings. All you need to bring is plastic washing bowls, detergent, and water. The process is as simple as heating some water on the campfire, putting the clothes and detergent into a washing bowl, and then get to scrubbing! 

Clean Your Dirty Clothes in a Plastic Bag 

Despite this sounding slightly odd at first, but a plastic bag can be a campers best friend when they need to clean their clothes. All you need for this handy laundry hack is a sturdy trash bag, some soap, and water. 

Fill the bag with the dirty clothes, then add soap and water, making sure you only fill the bag partially. Your role in all of this is to act as the washing machine, shake and spin the bag around, mimicking a spin cycle. Do this until you tire yourself out and then you know you have done enough. Finally, rinse your clothing of the soap, and hang items to dry. If you take one thing from this list, let it be bringing a clean trash bag with you camping. 

Find a Bathroom Sink

This is the most obvious of the suggestions on this list. If you are camping in campsite chances are you have access to a bathroom sink. Once you locate this essential instrument, simply add your clothes and laundry detergent and leave to soak for an hour. Lastly, rinse your clothes and hang to dry.

Make Sure You Pick Your Detergent Wisely 

You have to be careful when camping to ensure you are not harming the environment. You don’t want to be the person who destroyed any natural life, so be aware of the ever-growing list of brands that provide Eco-friendly detergents. When purchasing detergents to bring camping, try to look out for signs saying ‘suitable for septic tanks’. Also, try to remember to pour any dirty laundry water away from streams or rivers.

Come Prepared To Dry 

Drying your clothes when camping should be easy enough, after all, you are outside. Assuming it hasn’t been raining then all you need to do is bring your own line to string up a washing line for hanging your clothes. Make sure you clean it up once you are done, as someone’s used washing line isn’t something the next group of campers want to greeted with upon arrival. 

If you want to go down a slightly more luxurious route, bring some foldable drying racks. If you know you will have some laundry to do at some point on your trip, then these are cheap and convenient tools to have with you. 

Use Your Campfire As a Washing Machine

Not many people know that wood ash is actually a natural detergent. Many people wash their dirty pots and pans with fire, and it works just as well with laundry!

This method is quite risky for first-timers, once mastered, it works like a dream. We do advise you use caution when trying this the first few times, and recommend only washing clothes you wouldn’t mind ruining the first few times. To do this, you will need to get small bits of copse ash and mix it with warm water. This will turn the mixture into a grey paste that is not quite soapy. Add a small drop of oil to turn to get that soap-like texture. You will then need to apply the now soapy paste to your dirty clothing and leave for a couple of minutes before rubbing and rinsing. This method is most effective on stains that might be hard to get out if left alone for a few days.

Use Camping Laundry Facilities 

 This is useful for keeping in mind when looking for campsites to visit. Lots of campsites have washing facilities on-site for you to use. Usually, the campsite will have several different machines to use and detergent ready to buy on site. 

Take the Easy Way Out And Enjoy Your Camping Time

If the suggestions on this list seem too complicated, why not just wait till your home and get professionals Laundryheap to help. We can collect your clothes in 30 minutes and have them returned to you within 24 hours. 


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Amsterdam: Must-Haves For Your Trip

Amsterdam is ripe with history, culture and excitement. The city has something for everyone, with priceless work of arts and historic architecture coexisting harmoniously alongside coffee shops (marijuana dispensaries) and the red light district.

It is always worth thinking ahead and deciding what to pack for your trip in advance. So, whether you are travelling from within Europe or coming from further afar, make sure you come prepared.

  • I Amsterdam City Card
  • Maestro Card/ Cash
  • Waterproof Clothing 
  • OV-Chip Card
  • Bring Earplugs
  • Backpacks Over Suitcases
  • Comfy Shoes Over Clogs
  • Don’t Forget Your Travel Adaptor
  • Study A Map Of Beforehand
  • Carry ID At All Times

I Amsterdam City Card

 The I Amsterdam City Card offers you a unique way to explore the Dutch capital. The card will give you admittance to the majority of the cities main highlights, including more than 70 museums, public transport, canal cruises, discounted dining and bike hire. 

You can order your card online before you reach the city and have it shipped home, to your hotel or pick it up once you arrive. If you are already in town, you can pick it up straight away – there’s no processing time. This card comes with a booklet, map and magazine, perfect for planning your trip as soon as it arrives. Alternatively, you can download the I Amsterdam City Card App to check out some of their recommended itineraries. 

Maestro Card/ Cash

If you have not travelled to Amsterdam before you won’t be aware that most supermarkets don’t accept anything other than maestro cards. Likewise, with smaller businesses like cafes, bars and restaurants have a similar policy regarding credit cards.   

You do not want to be that unsuspecting Visa or Mastercard user who’s card gets rejected after enjoying a three-course meal in a posh restaurant. For that reason, be sure to either have a maestro card at hand or carry cash with you at all times. But, there is no need to worry too much, though, as there is an abundance of ATM’s scattered around the city. 

Waterproof Clothing 

Amsterdam weather can be very unpredictable all year round, but chances are if you are there for more than two days you’ll see some rain. With this in mind, we advise you to pack several items of waterproof clothing. A good rain jacket and some a sturdy pair of boots should do the trick.

OV-Chip Card

Amsterdam is renowned as a cycle-city, but it’s public transport is comprehensive and efficient. To travel on public transport in the city, you will need an OV Chipcard. Buses, trams, trains and metro services require this useful smart card to gain access. 

Thankfully, there is no specific OV Chipcard for tourists. We recommend using the single-use chipcard or an ‘anonymous’ OV Chipcard. You can purchase your OV Chipcard at public transport service desks, ticket machines at train stations, tobacco shops and in several supermarkets. 

Bring Earplugs

Amsterdam’s city centre can be a particularly busy place both during the day and at night. As a result, the noise levels can be extremely loud and keep you awake at night if you stay in the centre of the city. It is worth packing a pair of noise-cancelling earplugs. This will ensure you get enough rest to see all the sights in the day.

Backpacks Over Suitcase

When packing for your trip to Amsterdam, try to remember that many of the cities streets are cobbled and not ideal for suitcases. A good size traveller backpack will serve you perfectly well in the city. This is especially true if you are only staying for a few days.

Comfy Shoes Over Cloggs 

Do not be fooled by Amsterdam’s flat terrain, walking around the city all day will leave a mark on your feet. To avoid blisters and bruises, make sure you pack comfy trainers or sturdy boots. Also, you will undoubtedly find yourself riding a bike at some point. This calls for suitable footwear with high-grade calf support. The Dutch may have historically worn Clogs on their feet, but times have evolved and so has the footwear.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Adaptor 

Like most other countries in the EU, the Netherlands power sockets have two prongs. So, if you are travelling from any non-EU country, we recommend buying a travel adaptor before arriving in Amsterdam. You do not want to reach your hotel without access to your phone charger or beard trimmer when you have big plans in the city that night. 

Study A Map Of Amsterdam Beforehand

The Dutch Capital has a notoriously confusing layout, thanks to the endless canals that curve around its oldest and more central neighbourhoods. For this reason, we recommend consulting a map before you get to the city. It is almost inevitable that you will get lost on your first outing onto the canals,that is why identifying key landmarks beforehand can help you find your bearings. 

Carry ID At All Times

If you are not a native Amsterdamian, you probably won’t be aware that in the Netherlands you are required by law to carry ID at all time. Due to this law, you must remember to carry a form of photo ID card at all times. Although it is not common, police officers can fine you if you do not have identification present on request. 

If you are thinking of travelling to Amsterdam follow these tips, stay safe and enjoy your trip. If you require a laundry service on your trip, Laundryheap is here to help with all your laundry worries.


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Cleaning Your Children’s Dirty Sports Kits

Cleaning your little one’s sports uniform is a problem faced by mothers the world over. Whether you are a soccer mom, rugby mum or athletics mother, at one point or another you will find yourself faced with grass stains that seem impossible to tackle. 

Fear not though, this guide will help you regain the joy you first felt watching your children play sport and no longer shudder every time they come home with a dirty kit. 

  1. Act straight away
  2. Know your fabric
  3. Pre-soak
  4. Pre-wash 
  5. Avoid Chlorine Bleach
  6. Removing Grass
  7. Cleaning mud
  8. Cleaning Sweat
  9. Drying
  10. Consult The Professionals 

Act Straight Away

You could be forgiven for wanting to bury your head in the sand when your child first comes home with a fresh bag of wet, muddy and smelly clothes . Especially if it isn’t laundry day. It is important to keep in mind that by doing this you will be making the whole process much harder for yourself in the long run. If you take one thing away from this guide today let it be this. Tackle that kit as soon as it comes through the door.

Know Your Fabric

Standard football kits are made predominantly from a polyester-nylon mesh. School rugby kits are often made from polyester with a lycra blend. Both sets of materials are made for their durability and thankfully are both easier to clean than cotton.

Pre Soak

Once you’ve established the fabric you want to get that kit soaking as quickly as possible. Try to run the tap and get as much mud off as possible. Some parents have even been known to hang the kit on the washing line and rinse with a hose. 

Once you have got as much mud off as possible, fill a bucket with warm water, mix with one cap of laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda. We would advise leaving the kit to sit for at least an hour or more.

Pre Wash

Check to see if your washing machine has a pre-wash option. If so, take advantage of it! Using your pre-wash setting allows the main wash to be as clean as possible. 

We advise using half a cup of standard washing powder and a half a cup of oxidizing stain remover in the pre-wash. Do the same when it comes to the main wash but use a full cup of stain remover this time.

laundry machine

Avoid Chlorine Bleach

Despite how tempting it may seem to use chlorine bleach, don’t! Polyester and chlorine do not see eye to eye. If you feel you have to use bleach try to find an all-fabric bleach. You don’t want to be forking out more money for a new kit because you ruined the last one. 

Removing Grass Stains

The absolute best way to get rid of grass is to use non-chlorine bleach. But as mentioned above make sure this bleach is not chlorine bleach as it won’t end well for anyone involved. Make sure you soak the kit in this for a solid hour before using the heavy-duty detergent to finish the job.

Removing Mud

Mud can be a tricky one. This is because the key to removing it is by letting it completely dry. If your children used their kit at the start of the school day then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. 

If this is not the case and the mud is still wet, do not attempt to wipe it away as it will only rub deeper into the fabric. A good hack is using a toothbrush or plastic cutlery to gently scrape the mud from the kit.

Cleaning Sweat

We seem to never stop mentioning the benefits of baking soda and white vinegar on this blog. Cleaning sweat stains or smells is where this unlikely couple truly show they are a match made in heaven. Simply rub some on the affected area before placing your kit in the wash. The outcome will be a fresh smelling sports kit.

Drying

Always air dry sports kits to make sure no shrinkage occurs. If you have to use a tumble dryer we advise setting it to low heat. 

Consult The Professionals

When in doubt, go to the professionals. Laundryheap will give you a fast and professional service on any dirty sports kits you can’t bare to wash again. We pick up and deliver in 24 hours and charge no delivery fees. 


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New Year Advice For Starting Fresh

With the new year fast approaching, many people start to look to January as a time for a change, for a fresh start, and for ways to improve there life. Change can mean different things to different people, depending on how you currently live your life. Whether you require a new work out regime or want to spend more time with the people closest to you this year. Rest assured these pointers will help you get a hold of those dreaded January blues.

  • Let go of last year
  • Be specific about what you want
  • Start getting organised
  • Be nicer to people
  • Get that blood flowing
  • Sleep more
  • No more unnecessary distractions
  • Strengthen relationships that matter to you

Let go of last year

Often people who want to start fresh are held back by the knot of previous failures, involvements, feelings, obstacles. We cannot go for that job because of the last job rejection we got, or we cannot find time to visit our parents because we have too many other commitments.

If you are looking to start fresh this new year, you must get rid of all of this old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let go of last year, and start anew in your mind. 

Be specific about what you want

The main reason resolutions fail is because they are non-specific. So many people go into the new year claiming “new year, new me”, with no specific direction as to how they plan to change. Why not try “new year, new strict meditation schedule to abide by”?

Aim to have a quantifiable goal, a date, and a series of checkpoints to complete to get yourself there. If you are serious about achieving your goal in the new year, you need to have a clear plan for how you are going to do it.

Start getting organised

As well as being specific about the main change you want to achieve this year, you must make sure all the other elements of your life are in good order. If you want to increase work productivity or cut down of junk food, then make sure you have the housework schedule organised!  

Having unwanted stresses and disturbances from other areas in your life can be a trigger for abandoning your new routine. Try to make sure you have a handle on other parts of your life to allow you to focus on changing the parts you don’t like.

Be nicer to people

It is no secret that giving to others is one of the best ways a person can feel truly fulfilled. Whether that comes in the form of giving to charity or simply smiling at someone on your morning commute. It will make them feel better, and as a result, you will feel better. No matter where we are, there are no shortages of people, causes or organisations that could benefit from our help and kindness.

Get your blood flowing

This tip applies to people whose main focus is related to their physical health and those who aren’t particularly looking to improve this. Doing regular exercise helps you in all walks of life. Staying active increases the production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings. These positive feelings will serve you well on your journey to change. 

If physical fitness is top of your new year improvement agenda, then make sure you find a routine that works for you. Once you’ve found that perfect formula, make sure you stick to it! 

Sleep more

It is hard to be productive when you are exhausted. That’s because a good nights sleep is just as important to our health as regular exercise or a healthy diet. The best way to stick to your goals this new year is by getting a good rest at night.

There are a few ways you can ensure you can sleep better, try replacing your pillow, or reducing your blue light exposure in the evenings. We know what your thinking, I have to get off my phone in the evenings, no way! Fear not, if you can’t live without your phone, there are ways to stop blue light without having to go cold turkey. Download apps that block blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhone’s and Android models. 

No more unnecessary distractions

If social media is distracting you, get rid of it. If it’s the television, get rid of it. Even if its the sound of the clock ticking in your study room, get rid of it. 

You will find more time to focus once you have gotten rid of unnecessary distractions. Focus on the thing that matters most. In this case, concentrate on how you are going to improve this year. Feel free to take breaks and indulge in your guilty distractions, but always return to focusing on what’s important.

Strengthen relationships that matter to you 

Sometimes we get lost in the chaos of our own lives and forget to spend time with our loved ones. Having people to connect with helps lower stress levels and gives you someone to confide when you are unsure about your choices.

We know life can get in the way sometimes with stuff like work, kids, and chores to be taken care off. Why not use Laundryheap to help free up some time? We can take care of all your laundry troubles and have your clothes returned to you within 24 hours of us collecting them. 


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How to be more environmentally conscious when doing laundry?

Laundry isn’t usually on the top of people’s list of ways to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. If you are someone who does multiple loads of laundry every week, it could be having a more substantial effect on the planet than you might think. The amount of water, energy, and products used when doing laundry can inevitably add up. 

Washing and drying your garments in a more environmentally conscious way can make for a more Eco-conscious household. These simple switches will not only reduce the environmental impact but will also save you money while you’re at it. 

  • Washing clothes in cooler temperatures
  • Always make sure you wash full loads
  • Get a green washing machine
  • Use green laundry detergent 
  • Wash by hand
  • Cut down on drying time
  • Hang clothes to dry
  • Don’t iron unnecessarily
  • Get the professionals to take care of it

Washing clothes in cooler temperatures

Up to 90 % of the energy used when doing your laundry involves just heating the water. Most of us know that having a long, hot shower is less environmentally friendly than a quick, short one. The same applies when doing your laundry. 

Washing clothes at 30°C instead of 40°C uses about 40% less energy. Doing your laundry at a lower temperature can also be better for your clothes. Exposing your clothes to hot temperatures can shorten the lifespan of the garment.

Always make sure you wash full loads.

Reducing the number of loads you do per week will save water and save you money. Even the most environmentally-efficient loads can use up to 40 gallons of water per load. 

Try reducing your loads as best you can throughout the week to reduce your carbon footprint. You could wear some clothes more than once before washing. This solution doesn’t go for all pieces of clothing, socks and underwear come to mind, but not tossing your jeans in the laundry basket after one wear is the first step to improving your laundry habit.

Invest in green machines

We are not suggesting that everyone throws out their current working washing machine and head to the shop to buy a new eco-friendly one today. If you are in the market for a new washer or dryer, buying a greener model can save energy and use less water, lowering your bills in the process. 

High-efficiency machines use between 20% to 60% less water and as little as 50% energy as traditional washing machines. Investing in a green washing machine will significantly reduce your environmental impact at home. 

washing machine

Use green laundry detergent 

Conventional washing detergents can be very damaging to the ecosystems where the dirty water we wash down the drain can end up. Standard laundry detergent contains phosphates which can have disastrous effects to marine life that comes in contact with it. 

When purchasing more Eco-friendly detergents, make sure you keep an eye out for labels that indicate the product is biodegradable and phosphate-free. These detergents are often more gentle on the skin, too. 

Wash by hand

We know this option will cause some people to wince.  Hand washing can be time-consuming, but there are some ways to make the process easier. Tools like a pedal washer can allow you to exercise while you wash your laundry, helping your body and the environment at the same time.

Hand washing can give you a sense of just how much laundry you’re going through weekly. As well as helping you see where you can cut back on the amount of laundry you do. 

Cut down on drying time.

Your dryer uses up a lot of energy – so anything you can do to cut down the time using this machine will help the environment. Not using your dryer as much can also save you money on your electric bill. 

Little things like cleaning the filter in your dryer can also save energy. If the filter is clogged, the clothes take longer to dry, meaning more energy wasted. 

Hang clothes to dry

One of the most optimal ways to cut down on time using your dryer is to hang your clothes to dry. If weather permits, hanging your clothes to dry on the line outside can take away 100% of the energy used when using your dryer. 

For people who live in a warmer climate drying clothes outside can be quick and easy. Those who live in wetter corners of the globe, can always line dry indoors all year round. Hanging clothes to dry will not only reduce energy, it will also cut your electric bill and make your clothes last longer.

Don’t iron unnecessarily

Ironing is top of most peoples most hated chores list. So why not cut it out when it isn’t necessary? Ironing consumes excess energy and can deteriorate the fabric on your clothing. 

We understand that even the most environmentally conscious of us still don’t want to rock up to a job interview with a creased shirt. To avoid looking scruffy, all you have to do is hang up your shirt straight after the wash cycle is complete. For materials that are more prone to creasing, like linen, just cut the final spin cycle on your wash, leaving more water in the fabric, resulting in fewer creases.

Get the professionals to take care of it

It might sound unconventional, but commercial washers and dryers tend to be more efficient than domestic machines because they are bigger and can take bigger loads. By using professionals like Laundryheap, you can lessen the number of loads, meaning less wasted energy and water at home. 


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Going Home For Christmas: To Do List

Christmas is once again upon us! The trees are up, decorations at the ready and you are presumably thinking about going home for Christmas. Before you pack your bags or start fantasising about your mothers Christmas pudding, there are some crucial things to remember.

Make sure you have everything on this list covered so you can unwind, stuff your face and saviour this magical time of year.

  • Make sure you are up to date on work 
  • No need to over pack 
  • Don’t forget to pack all your presents 
  • Turn everything off
  • Empty your fridge
  • Be cyber-safe when leaving
  • Forget about work for a few days
  • Try not to become a complete slob
  • One last check before going home for Christmas

Make sure you are up to date on work

As exciting as it can seem to be finishing work for the Christmas period, you should still try to stay ahead of your responsibilities. No one wants to spend Christmas stressing out about reports when we should only be worrying about eating our body-weight in turkey.  

We can’t think of anything worse than returning to work with a week-long hangover, and finding yourself buried under a pile of work. Getting ahead will allow you to go home for Christmas and have a truly relaxing time.

No need to over pack 

How much to pack before going home for Christmas ultimately depends on how much time off you get. Whether you get a few days or a few weeks off, be sure to bear in mind that there will be a washing machine where you are going. With this in mind, do you need to take your whole wardrobe home for Christmas? 

You will be especially thankful for this tip when you are watching an army of poor souls dragging their suitcases through busy stations. By packing less, you will be the envy of everyone on your carriage. 

Don’t forget to pack all your presents

In stark contrast to the previous tip, we are now encouraging you to load up your luggage. Although, rather than filling up your baggage with clothes you don’t require, why not load it full of presents you’ve bought friends and family.

Make sure you make a note of everything you buy with a gift list. If not, you could end up forgetting grannies gift, and what a disaster that would be. Travelling back to collect it might not be an option, and posting it later may be expensive. So, if you take one thing from this list, remember your gifts!

Turn everything off

With so much spinning around in your mind before going home for Christmas, be sure to remember to switch everything off! Central heating? Off. Lights? Off. Wifi? Off.

The last thing you want when you return home is a mountain of scary bills on the floor when no one has even been home over Christmas. Worse yet, imagine getting to your family home and having a sudden panic that you have left the gas on the cooker and you are 150 miles away.

Empty your fridge

No one wants to return home after a pleasant, relaxing Christmas to find a carton of milk that’s spoilt and looks more like a carton of cheddar. Make sure you completely empty your fridge before returning home for Christmas. If not, the smell that will greet you on your return will be revolting. You may find yourself spending all of next year trying to get rid of it.

Be cyber-safe when leaving

One common mistake people make when returning home for Christmas is they post about their trip on social media. We can’t stress this enough: DO NOT announce online that your house will be empty for days, maybe weeks. 

Christmas time is one of the busiest years for burglaries because the criminals know people go home. Try not to make it easier for them by letting the world know you won’t be there. 

Forget about work for a few days

Christmas is a magical time of year, so relax and enjoy being back home. Try to wash any impending deadline or reports that need to be in for the new year.  

Set aside a few days between Christmas and New Year to go over anything bothering you, if it makes you feel better. Still, make sure you are not distracted and enjoy your quality time with family. After all, you may not get a chance to see them again for a while, and don’t want waste your Christmas fretting about work. 

Try not to become a complete slob 

We all know how easy it to return home for Christmas and turn into a clone of our teenage self. Just because your adoring parents are happy to have you back, it does not mean you have free licence to do nothing at all.

Try to make every effort to fall back in line with how your parents want you to behave at home. You have no doubt both changed slightly in your time away. In this case, just wash your dishes, clean your dirty pants and don’t expect your parents to wait on you hand and foot. 

One last check before going home for Christmas

Just before you go home for Christmas, double-check you have all your essential bits and pieces. These include your purse or wallet, train tickets, laptops, presents and your mobile phone. 

It seems obvious, but with so much on your mind before returning home, it can be easy to forget trivial things. You do not want to get on the train only to find out you left your laptop with all your work saved on it. This stuff does happen, so don’t let it be you. 

Thinking about travelling home for Christmas and want a load of fresh laundry waiting for you when you return? Laundryheap can solve all your laundry pressures over the festive period.


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Birmingham: Fun Facts About The UK’s Second City

The UK’s second city isn’t always first on everybody’s must-visit list, but we are here to change that. Birmingham is best known for its industrial background, hardworking people and famous waterways, the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ also has a rich history of arts, music and culture. 

  • The First Game of Lawn Tennis Was Played in Birmingham
  • Birmingham has More Canals Than Venice
  • The Busiest Theatre in the UK in in Birmingham
  • Cadbury Chocolate and HP Sauce are both from Birmingham
  • Inspiration for the Lord of the Rings
  • Home to some of the UK’s most famous metal bands
  • Bullring Shopping Centre has been going since the Middle Ages
  • Home to the real-life Peaky Blinders

First Game of Lawn Tennis Was Played in Birmingham

Modern-day tennis as we know it can be traced back to Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Pereraw who are credited with playing the first game of modern lawn tennis in their house in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Edgbaston Lawn Tennis Club remains the oldest in the world. Take that Wimbledon! 

Birmingham Has More Canals Than Venice 

Birmingham’s famous waterways stretch for a whopping 35 miles, meaning it has more than the famous Italian city. These canals are enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and narrowboat owners alike and serve as a reminder of the cities industrial past.

The Busiest Theatre in the UK is in Birmingham

With a whopping 520,000 visitors per year, the Birmingham Hippodrome is officially the UK’s busiest theatre. Here you can catch year-round performances varying from dance, pantomime, musicals and theatre. 

Cadbury Chocolate and HP Sauce are from Birmingham

That’s right, two of Britains most iconic food brands call Birmingham home. Cadbury’s chocolate started opened for production in 1905. Cadbury made its first Dairy Milk bar in 1914, with a higher percentage of Milk than previous bars, it soon became the company’s best selling product. 

Another titan of the British cupboard is the famous HP Sauce. The ‘HP’ stands for Houses of Parliament, although this sauce’s roots don’t trace back to Westminister, but to its factory in Aston.  

Birmingham was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings

Not many people know that Lord of the Rings author J.R.Tolkien spent his formative years in and around the city. It was the landscape of the city and surrounding countryside that provided part of the inspiration for his books.

Locations like ‘The Shire’, home to his famous Hobbit characters, was inspired by a village called Sarehole, which has now been absorbed into Birmingham’s suburbs. 

Home to some of the UK’s most famous metal bands

Another lesser-known slice of Birmingham’s history is the cities connection to Heavy Metal music. Bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest all played their first gigs in the city, with many of their members having grown up in Birmingham. The city still hosts a strong metal scene today in venues like the Tunnel Club and Scruffy Murphy’s. 

Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham has been going since the Middle Ages

Bullring Shopping Centre is situated in an area that has been a shopping hotspot in Birmingham since the middle ages. Long before enormous shopping malls and department stores, this area was host to a bustling corn market. The market legally began trading in 1154 and lives on today in the form of the Bullring Shopping Centre. 

Home to the real-life Peaky Blinders

If you haven’t heard of the BBC’s hit period drama Peaky Blinders yet then where have you been? Set in post World War One Birmingham, the show has done more in recent years to put Birmingham on the map than anything else.

Tommy Shelby and his gang brothers have become the new heroes of the city. Championing the Brummy accent not just across the UK, but now taking America by storm since the hit streaming service Netflix has started airing the series. Based loosely on a real gang from the city with the same name, this show is a gateway to Birmingham life in the 1920s.

Thinking about visiting Birmingham to experience some of this amazing history first hand? You can also get your laundry done while you visit. Laundryheap operates throughout the city, all you have to do is book a same-day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free next day delivery.  


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How to Make the Most of Your Laundry Time

Let’s face it, we’ve all found ourselves helplessly searching for something to do in the hour it takes for laundry to be washed. Often regarded as the household chore people loathe the most, Laundry generally gets a rough time. 

Waiting for your washing to come out of the machine or dryer is often the most frustrating aspect of doing laundry . With such small increments of time, people often wonder what they should do? Well, we are here to change that with a few simple suggestions. 

  1. Listen to a Podcast
  2. Read A Book
  3. Listen To An Audiobook
  4. Call Your Friends or Family
  5. Watch Something On Your Phone
  6. Do A Quick Workout
  7. Online Shopping
  8. Get Some Work Done
  9. Catch Up On Emails/Messages
  10. Hire A Professional To Free Up Your Laundry Time

Listen to a Podcast

If you haven’t already jumped on the Podcast hype-train, then where have you been? Podcasts are a great distraction from just about any boring task that doesn’t require your full attention. 

There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of different Podcasts at your disposal, with most of them being free to listen to, it’s a no brainer for killing time doing laundry. Whether you are into true crime, sport, music, history, self-help or comedy, there is something for everyone in the Podcast world. Put your headphones in, sit back and let the time fly. 

Read A Book

Most people don’t have time in their busy schedule to sit down and read a good novel these days. With so much of our time spent on work, replying to emails and checking social media for current events, the art of sitting and reading a book is in steep decline. 

Waiting for your laundry to be done is the perfect opportunity to pull out that novel someone bought you as a gift two Christmas’ ago. Find a comfy seat, relax and get lost in the words. The time will fly by. 

Listen to an Audiobook

Reading isn’t for everyone, we understand that. Luckily for us, we live in a digital age, that means you don’t have to strain your eyes from trying to focus on the small font used in books. If you feel you don’t have the attention span to sit and read a whole novel, then Audiobooks have you covered.

Just about every novel released now is accompanied by an Audiobook version. Harry Potter fan? Why not listen to the seven books narrated by the melodious voice of Stephen Fry? Let the narrator take you on the author’s intended journey and forget about all your laundry worries.

Call Your Friends or Family

So much of our interactions with people come in the form of text or email these days. Why not take the hour you have spare to call one of your friends or family. That’s right, call, as in over the phone and with your voice. Crazy, right? Waiting for laundry provides the perfect space in your day to call that special someone and catch up on all the things happening in each other’s lives. 

Watch Something on Your Phone 

Nowadays most people have smartphones with instant access to whichever choice of streaming service they prefer. If you have an hour to kill why not load up the latest episode of that series you have been binging? Or check out that documentary your friend recommended you watch? You’d be amazed how quickly you forget about that laundry spinning around the machine when you are tuned in to David Attenborough’s latest documentary. Just make sure you remember to take the laundry out when it’s ready and move it to the dryer!

Do a Quick Workout

This is a great option for those neglecting the gym lately, or for those who simply just love to work out. You can do plenty of routines in the hour it takes to do some laundry. Press-ups, sit-ups, squats, dips, you name it, it can be done whilst waiting for your laundry to be finished. This will have you not only feeling good about getting your dirty clothes washed but also about giving your body some much need endorphins.

Online Shopping

What better way to take your mind of doing the laundry than buying more clothes that will one day have to be washed? We are all guilty of spending too much time scrolling through online stores latest releases, so why not do it when you are waiting for the laundry. This way you don’t have to feel guilty that you are wasting valuable time. 

Get Some Work Done

This suggestion can mean different things for different people depending on what you do for a living. If, for example, you work independently from home then laundry time is the perfect time to get some work done. 

This option can be applied to just about any profession though. Whether it comes in the form of writing a to-do list or brainstorming some ideas you want to put forward to your boss, don’t let this free time go to waste! 

Catch Up On Emails

Emailing is part and parcel of most peoples daily working routine. I’m sure we don’t need to remind you how quickly that inbox can fill up and how overwhelming it can be to start getting back to people. Why not use this unusual free time to tackle that ever-growing inbox of yours.

Hire a Professional 

Why go through the stress and boredom of doing laundry when you could be using Laundryheap? All you have to do is book a collection and delivery time. Your clothes will arrive back with you 24 hours later – all clean and ready for action. You never have to worry about how to make the most of your laundry time ever again.