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Coronavirus advice for London

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These are precarious times that we are living in. Coronavirus has gripped the world and doesn’t seem to be letting go. Everyone’s lives are drastically changing on a daily basis and we are being required to adapt as and when those changes come. 8.9 million people are currently living in London, so maintaing hygiene is essential to ensuring the population stays safe. For those living in London, these are some simple steps to help you stay safe.

  • Stay indoors
  • Only go out when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary
  • Stockpile- but don’t be selfish
  • Use your local park
  • Avoid public transport
  • Build a Whatsapp community
  • Call 111
  • Laundryheap services

Stay indoors   

One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to stay indoors. If you don’t leave your home you can’t risk potentially spreading the virus to those more vulnerable than yourself. If you have a job that allows you to work from home do so. Only go outside when it is absolutely necessary. That is not to say that you should restrict the amount of fresh air that you get. If you have a garden, make sure you take regular breaks and have a walk, run or even just a sit down outside. Alternatively, open the windows in your home to allow fresh air to circulate your room. This will help eliminate that claustrophobic feeling you can get when you spend too much time indoors.

Only go out when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary 

Limiting the amount of time you spend outside is essential for eliminating the spread of coronavirus. That is not to say that you can’t venture outside when it is absolutely necessary. If you are running low on food you can still visit your local store, however, try and take some precautions. Only visit your local stores and try and avoid supermarkets. Try and go shopping after peak times. Alternatively, if it’s toiletry essentials that you are in need of, order an Essentials Pack and we will deliver it directly to your home. Remember, the less people you come into contact with the better.

Other than shopping, you can leave you home to pick up prescriptions you need to take. A quick trip to your local pharmacy is not going to be detrimental to your health, however, to avoid any risks, look up whether you can get your prescription sent to you instead. Alternatively, if you are elderly, have underlying health issues, or are considered a high risk, get a family member, friend or neighbour to pick up your prescription for you and leave it outside your door. You do not want to take any risks.

Stockpile- but don’t be selfish

As previously stated, you can still visit your local shop for food and necessities, however, try and avoid doing so as much as possible. When you do visit the shop, try and stock up on essentials that you can use to batch cook and freeze. It’s all about being thrifty and limiting your risk to others. Remember, don’t just think about food, think about essential toiletries such as hand wash and toilet paper. 

As useful as it is to stock up on the essentials, remain mindful of others. We are all experiencing this pandemic and we all need to buy the essentials. If you are already well stocked up on food, toilet roll and hand wash, leave what’s left in the shops for those who need it.

Use parks to get exercise 

Your availability to go outside is limited, however, if you aren’t in quarantine, you can venture outside for one hour a day to do some form of exercise. There are 3,000 parks across the 32 boroughs that make up London. Utilise the closest park to you and use it to stretch your legs and do some exercise in the fresh air. Exercise is essential at this time as it releases endorphins that can help improve your mental health. We all need to remain positive at this time and this is one way of doing so.

Note, some London parks have closed, so before venturing out check that your local park is still open and available for you to use.

Avoid using public transport 

Not everyone can work from home or take time off work at this time. To those of you who are key workers we thank you. Key workers, still need to travel to and from work, and are therefore using public transport. If you need to visit the shop or pharmacy, avoid using public transport at all costs. If your destination is within walking distance, take a walk to the shop and back again to stretch your legs. If not, use public transport when it is least likely for key workers to be doing the same. Regardless of how you travel, try and remain 2 metres away from any person you may come across.

If you are at a high-risk of contracting coronavirus, avoid leaving your house. Ask a friend, family member or neighbour to pick up whatever you need and drop it at your front door. 

Build a Whatsapp community 

During this time we need to be protecting those most vulnerable to coronavirus, whilst making sure that we keep ourselves sane. When we’re all self-isolating it’s easy to slip into feeling lonely and detached from the world. This is why building a Whatsapp community is helpful. Build communities of friends, family and neighbours so that you can stay in touch while your self isolating. Keep each other up to date on your health, both mental and physical. If you are able to go out, check in with others to see if you can get some shopping or pick up a prescription for anyone. Or, if you are vulnerable, ask your communities to help you out. We need to do our best to keep ourselves and others as safe as possible.

Call 111

If you are feeling unwell, or experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, call 111 immediately. In times like these we need to take every precaution possible to remain safe. 

Our services 

At Laundryheap, we are committed to ensuring that our customers remain as safe as possible. We are still fully operating, however, we are taking extra precautions. We are now offering a high wash service in a bid to completely eliminate bacteria from all the clothes we launder. In addition, we now run a contactless service to prevent you from coming into contact with our drivers.

Download the Laundryheap app now to book your slot. Stay safe.


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Visiting Dubai: The Do’s and Do Not’s

Dubai is a city known for being technologically and architecturally advanced, yet it is incredibly traditional and religious. That is why we have made this guide of Do’s and Do Not’s for your visit to Dubai.

Do

  • Dress respectfully 
  • Take taxis
  • Drink tap water 
  • Leave the city 
  • See the Burj Khalifa

Dress respectfully

Dubai is a traditional Islamic city so dressing conservatively is highly advised. It’s suggested that women wear loose-fitting dresses and skirts, and men trousers and jeans coupled with long sleeve tops. However, just because you have to dress conservatively, it doesn’t mean you can’t dress fashionably. Dubai is one of the capital cities of fashion, where men and women alike love to experiment with colours, fabrics, and patterns. So, be fashion-forward with your conservative attire. 

Take taxis 

Taxi services in Dubai are reasonably priced and a great way to escape the heat and travel around the city. Additionally, if you are planning a wild Dubai night out, it’s best to plan to get to the club via taxi. It’s an offence in Dubai to be seen on the street intoxicated and could lead to a fine or even a month in prison. Better to be safe and book your taxi to and from the club than risk a prison sentence. 

Image by Fabio Achilli

Drink tap water 

Despite popular debate, it is safe to drink tap water in Dubai, so give it a taste. If you are still dubious, there are hotels that will import bottled water from Europe, however, due to the lack of environmental sustainability importation promotes, drinking imported water should be avoided. Instead, ask for locally sourced bottled water to avoid the harm to the environment and avoid the tap. 

Leave the city 

Dubai is a beautiful cosmopolitan city, but there is a lot to explore just outside the city walls. Take a trip to the desert one day and experience life beyond the city of Dubai. Desert safari experiences can be bought at a range of prices, and often involve a camel ride. Go wild for a day and return to the civilisation of the city later on. 

Image by alfonso venzuela

See the Burj Khalifa 

No Dubai trip is complete without seeing the Burj Kalifa. Standing 829 meters tall, the Burj Kalifa is the tallest building in the world and an architectural sight to behold. You can pay to see Dubai from the buildings viewing platform 555 meters up, or be shadowed by the building as you observe it, for free, from below. Either way, your trip to Dubai will not be complete without visiting this spectacular structure. 

Don’t

  • Wear swimwear away from the water
  • Take photos of government buildings 
  • Eat or drink in public during Ramadan 
  • Engage in PDA
  • Make big plans on a Friday

Wear swimwear away from the water 

As previously discussed, Dubai has a conservative dress code; this code also applies to swimwear. When at the beach or a pool it is completely acceptable to wear any form of swimwear that you desire. However, as soon as you step out of the water, you must be conscious of your clothing and consider throwing on a dress or shirt over your swimwear. 

Image by Sakena

Take photos of government buildings

Regardless of where you go on holiday you always want to take a few snaps for the memories. Dubai is home to some of the most extraordinary modern-day buildings that, undoubtedly, need to be caught on camera. This being said, be mindful not to capture any government buildings as, for security reasons, this is strictly prohibited.  

Image by Michael Theis

Eat or drink in public during Ramadan 

During the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims will take part in Ramadan where they will fast during daylight hours. If you are visiting Dubai during Ramadan the locals won’t expect you to take part in the festival, however, you must be respectful towards those who are. If you want to eat and drink during daylight hours there are a handful of cafes and restaurants that stay open, however, you’re options will be limited. Alternatively, you can eat and drink in your room until the sun goes down. 

Image by George Shahda

Engage in PDA 

Public Displays of Affection (PDA) are a strong offense in Dubai. Everything from a kiss on the cheek to hugging in public is considered indecent. At a push, a married couple may hold hands, but even that is pushing the boundaries of acceptability. To avoid causing offense, it’s best to save showering your other half in affection until you return to your hotel room.  

Make big plans on a Friday 

Friday is considered a holy day in Dubai and is therefore not for working. Don’t worry, the whole city doesn’t grind to a halt, but you should expect there to be a limited number of amenities open. Bear this in mind when planning your Dubai trip and consider having a beach day on Friday. 

Image by Dr. Norbert Heidenbluth

Whatever you’re plans are in Dubai, do make sure that you use Laundryheap for all your holiday laundering needs and do not miss out on the opportunity to enjoy your trip in the freshest smelling clothes. 


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How to make a DIY detergent

The cost of laundry can really add up. Clothing, underwear, bed linen, towels, the list of things you need to wash is endless. Unfortunately, the laundry detergent you use is not. Constantly having to stock up on detergent is not cost effective, which is why you should save yourself the money and make your own DIY detergent. 

  • The benefits of DIY detergent 
  • What you’ll need
  • The recipe 
  • Top tips 
  • How Laundryheap can help 

The benefits of DIY detergent 

Aside from being cost effective, there are a lot of benefits of DIY detergents. Firstly, you have complete control over the ingredients that you want to include. This means, there are no harmful chemicals or added toxins that could cause skin irritation. Not to mention, the lack of harmful chemicals and toxins is much better for the environment. Additionally, through making your own detergent you are not buying unnecessary packaging and are, therefore, decreasing the use of single-use plastic. 

What you’ll need 

To make your DIY detergent you need three simple ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • A bar of natural soap

The recipe 

You can make your DIY detergent in three easy steps:

  1. Grate your bar of soap- using a food processor will make this step a lot easier, but a hand-held greater will work just fine.
  2. Add the grated soap to 250ml of washing soda and 250ml of Borax 
  3. Stir the mix well

Top Tips 

Use three level teaspoons per wash and store the rest of your detergent in a lidded container. Don’t forget to label your container so people know what’s inside- for extra safety add a list of ingredients to your label.

If you want to make your DIY detergent last longer, make a bigger batch by doubling the amounts of each ingredient, but using the same ratios.

Photo by Aqua Mechanical

How Laundryheap can help

If you want to save your DIY detergent for clothing only, our Home and Bedding service can be used on the remainder of your washing. We will pick up, launder and deliver your items back to you within 24 hours, at no extra cost. Book your slot on our Laundryheap app. 


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Dry Cleaning: Benefits Of Professional Care

A lot of people still see professional dry cleaning as a luxury, but we at Laundryheap understand that it is, in fact, a necessity. Dry cleaning has countless benefits that you can’t get from doing your laundry at home.

Not every piece of clothing needs to be dry cleaned. However, taking care of the items that do will prolong their life and maintain their beauty. Make sure you pay attention to care labels on your clothes to know which pieces are best dry cleaned. Alternatively, you can talk to the specialists if you are having trouble with the details.

  • Professionals pay close attention to detail 
  • Dry cleaning is less abrasive 
  • Perfect for removing stains and odours
  • Prolongs your clothes’ lifespan 
  • Saves you time and stress
  • Dry cleaners can handle large items 
  • Laundryheap is always here to help

Professionals pay close attention to detail

Doing the laundry at home means you have to cover all the steps, including washing, ironing, folding and storing items. As a result of all these different tasks, people can often overlook important aspects of cleaning clothes, which will have a massive impact on your clothes life span. 

When taking your clothes to professional dry cleaners, they can handle all these tasks for you with extra care. Professionals like us here at Laundryheap understand the different needs of different types of clothing. All you need to worry about is collecting it at your door and hanging the clothes in your wardrobe. 

Dry cleaning is less abrasive

Modern dry cleaning innovations are using greener products that are less abrasive on your clothing than traditional laundry techniques we use at home. The professionals know which clothes require a wet cleaning process and which do not. 

Likewise, professional dry cleaners know how to deal with delicate items that require special care. Dry cleaners are up to date with the best practices and will clean your clothes in the smartest possible way.  

laundry

Perfect for removing stains and odours 

There are lots of excellent home remedies for removing stains, but most come with a risk of ruining the clothes further. It is always a safer idea to get the professionals to deal with your tricky stains and lingering odours. 

So, if you ever find yourself about to throw your clothes away because you can’t get rid of this latest stain, why not take it to the dry cleaners? You’d be surprised at some of the hidden magic the professionals have up their sleeves. 

Prolongs your clothes’ lifespan

Everyone wants their clothes to look fresh for longer. One of the best ways people can achieve this is by having your garments professionally cleaned. 

By getting the dry cleaners to take care of your items, they are less exposed to fibre-wearing agitation that comes from the washing machine. As a result, they will last longer and retain their original colour. Also, a big bonus is you will end up saving money because you won’t need to purchase new clothes as frequently. 

sort laundry

Dry cleaners have the capacity for larger loads at once

It could seem evident to some, but not all, that dry cleaners have more capacity than your average washroom. If you are looking to get items like curtains, rugs, sofa covers or bedding cleaned well, then look no further than the dry cleaners. 

What can seem like a torturing chore for you to handle at home is a walk in the park for the professionals. Using a professional service for big items will save valuable time and reduce stress. 

Saves you time and stress

Dry cleaners don’t just take a load of laundry, but they also take a load of stress off your back. By handing over that task to the professionals, you can now enjoy your free time by doing the things you want to do. 

Time is valuable and often overshadowed by work or chores that can take up your entire day. So, by using a dry cleaners, you are regaining that precious time to spend with friends, family or yourself. 

Laundryheap is always here to help

Often people’s biggest issue when it comes to seeking professional help comes from having to leave the house. That’s why Laundryheap comes to you. We come to your home or place of work, pick up your dirty clothes and return them within 24 hours fresh, ironed and ready. Did we mention that we also do all this with no collection or delivery charge? 

So, next time you want to enjoy your free time and give your clothes a professional clean, look no further than Laundryheap


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How To Iron Without An Iron

There is nothing worse than waking up the morning of a job interview, to find your smart shirt is wrinkled and there is no iron in the house. Similarly, you could be on a business trip and discover the hotel iron is out of use 15 minutes before your important meeting.

As harrowing as all these situations sound, there is no need to panic. There are many ways to de-wrinkle your clothing without an iron in sight. Not many things give off a worse first impression than wrinkly clothes, but this list will ensure you don’t need to freak out next time you find yourself without an iron.

  • Use Your Hair Straighteners
  • Hair Dryer 
  • Use A Cooking Pot To Iron
  • Hang Your Clothes In The Shower
  • Use A Tumble Dryer And Some Ice Cubes
  • Invest In A Clothes Steamer 
  • The Damp Towel Technique 
  • Apply Some Vinegar 
  • Let Us Sort It Out

Use you hair straighteners

Hair straighteners don’t just straighten hair, crazy right? In fact, in the 50s and 60s, women would straighten there hair with an actual iron. We are here to reverse that trend and bring it to the year 2020. 

Using the hair straightener as an iron can be especially useful on the collar, cuffs and placket of your shirts. So, next time you are in a rush and need to straighten out the collar on your favourite business shirt, look no further than your trusty hair straighteners! 

Use a hairdryer

Don’t have hair straighteners at hand either? That’s OK. How about trying the hairdryer? Another great way to de-wrinkle your clothes is by using a hairdryer to shoot concentrated bursts of hot air onto the wrinkled area of your clothes. 

This technique is particularly efficient when used on dresses with annoying creases in them. Firstly, you lightly dampen the wrinkled area of the dress. Next, you set the hairdryer to the lowest available setting and blow on the dress from 1-2 inches away. Be sure to keep the hairdryer a fair distance away, as you don’t want to scorch the fabric. Do this until the wrinkles straighten out.

Hang your clothes in the shower

This technique is probably the most well known of all the options on this list. Often the first plan of action when there is no iron available, the shower trick is particularly useful when travelling and finding yourself at the mercy of hotel appliances. 

So, if your hotel room lacks an iron, instead of asking for one at the front desk, why not just hang your creased clothes in the shower? Just turn the heat up and let the hot steam fill the room – this will help your clothes release any annoying creases. Afterwards, your clothes might be a little damp from the steam. Just hang them out to dry for ten minutes, once you come back, you won’t ever want to use an iron again! 

Use A Cooking Pot To Iron

Using a cooking pot to get rid of tough creases is one of the oldest tricks in the book. That’s right, the same pot you would boil your potatoes in, makes for the perfect ironing tool. 

All you have to do is make sure the bottom of the pot is nice and clean, boil some water and then pour it out. From there, you use the bottom of the pot in the same way you would use an iron, running it over the wrinkled areas. The steam from the pot will run out, so you have to make sure you are quick to ensure you have enough steam for all the creases. 

A Tumble Dryer And Some Ice Cubes 

Without a doubt the strangest suggestion on this list, but bear with us. Try throwing a wrinkled item of clothing in the tumble dryer with a few ice cubes and run on high for a couple of minutes. 

As the ice starts to melt it will create steam, this will de-wrinkle your clothes, leaving you with a creaseless shirt. Don’t believe us? Try it yourself. 

Invest in a clothes steamer 

A clothes steamer is the most effective way to iron clothes – even more so than using a conventional iron. Most retail stores use clothes steamers to remove creases from their clothes as opposed to irons. 

The only downside to a clothes steamer is that they don’t come cheap, buying a clothes steamer will cost you considerably more than buying an iron. Also, be careful not to burn yourself on the steam! 

The damp towel technique

The moist towel process is a simple, easy-to-do tip. All you have to do is place your wrinkled garment on a clean surface. Next, put a moist towel flat on top of the garment. Using your hands, press your hands on the towel and smooth out the affected area. It’s as simple as that! 

Apply some vinegar 

If you are an avid reader of our blog, you will already know that we love vinegar! If not, check out our The Benefits of Adding Vinegar To Your Laundry or How To Remove Stains With Vinegar. 

White vinegar works well when trying to eradicate wrinkles from your clothes. All you have to do is mist your clothes with one part vinegar and three parts water. Finish off by leaving the clothes to air-dry for crisp, smart looking clothes. 

Hire a professional 

If after reading this post you still don’t feel confident ironing your clothes without an iron, then maybe it’s time to seek professional help. Laundryheap can collect your clothes in 30 minutes and have them returned to you within 24 hours. All with no delivery fees. 


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Cleaning Leather Tips

Leather goods are remarkably durable and hardwearing, but sometimes leather does need to be taken care of.  The subject of cleaning leather can be quite a sensitive subject amongst leather enthusiasts. 

Because of the properties of leather, using the same cleaning methods as you would when washing clothes is going to result in damaged leather goods. Basic methods for cleaning leather are generally simple, can be done at home, and can tackle stains, grease, and all the other bad stuff we get on our leather products.

  • Always start with a great leather protector 
  • Know your different types of leather 
  • Removing grease stains
  • Getting rid of denim stains
  • Cleaning leather bags or purses 
  • How to clean leather furniture 
  • Suede needs special treatment
  • Cleaning leather naturally 

Always start with a great leather protector 

Before you begin to think about cleaning your new leather product, you must first think about how you will protect it. It is imperative to protect your bag before taking it out for the first time.

For smooth leathers, we recommend using an appropriate leather cream. This will create a layer of protection over the leather and will defend it from scratches. Similarly, applying the cream after you have already used the product will minimise any existing marks the item might have picked up already. 

Know your different types of leather 

Leather products are not all created in the same way. So that also means we have to use different techniques when cleaning different types of leather. Leather, suede and nubuck all require different methods of cleaning. 

With this in mind, you should always approach with caution when cleaning leather. We advise testing the product on an inconspicuous area of the item first, making sure to apply with a slight hand – never use unnecessary force. When cleaning grained leather, you can use the same leather cleaner but must apply it differently. This can be done by using a leather-cleaning brush to apply the soap, ensuring the solution finds its way into the grooves of the leather. 

Removing grease stains

There are endless amounts of ways we can procure grease stains on our leather products. Hand cream is often one of the main culprits, which is why you so often find fingerprint-like stains on the handles of your leather bag. The problem with grease-based stains is that they absorb so quickly.

If you listened to our first piece of advice and protected your leather, you will have some time to remove the marks before they settle in. Although, if you haven’t followed this first step, the grease will absorb into the leather. Consequently, the stain will darken and leave an oily mark on the leather. If you are at home and can get to some cornstarch fast, then do so, apply it onto the stain to soak up the greasy residue. Talcum powder is also a great tool for soaking up the grease. We advise applying to the affected area and leaving overnight.

leather jacket

Getting rid of denim stains

Denim stains are some of the most common when it comes to leather products. These stains occur when the leather rubs against a pair of jeans (or indeed, a denim jacket). The dye used in denim is similar to hair dye, meaning it will penetrate fast and deep. If the leather is a pale colour, these stains will be painfully visible. 

A suitably protected (as mentioned above) piece of leather will repel the indigo dye for a longer duration than something unprotected. If, however, you have no protected that new leather handbag, then the key to cleaning denim stains depends on speed. The cleaner should be applied to the leather the second the dye has marked the leather. The longer the mark is left on the leather, the higher the chance it will be absorbed into the fibres.

Cleaning leather bags and purses

Leather bags and purses are the most susceptible to stains as they are used frequently and often come into contact with drinks, food and the floor. Thankfully, there is a simple method that can be done at home to tackle these challenging stains. 

Start with mixing one part mild soap – anything like facial soap or delicate clothes detergent – with eight parts water. We advise using bottled water, if possible, to avoid any harmful particles in tap water. After that, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray onto a microfiber cloth. Avoid spraying directly onto the leather as this can cause over-saturation. Next, gently wipe the stain, going with the grain of the leather. Once the stain has faded, leave the bag to dry, keeping it out of sunlight. Finally, once the bag is dry, apply a pea-sized amount of leather moisturiser to protect the material. 

How to clean leather furniture 

Many people love leather furniture, but few actually know a lot about leather care. This can lead to many sofas and cushions being wrecked by stains that are easy to care for. A common mistake is using heavy-duty household cleaners, which can lead to the leather becoming worn, so make sure to choose a much gentler soap. 

Firstly, vacuum the furniture to remove any dust or particles before cleaning. After that, use a cloth to wipe a small amount of mild detergent onto the furniture. With a separate cloth, wipe again with cold, clean water, making sure you don’t over-saturate the fabric. Lastly, leave to dry out of direct sunlight to ensure the colour does not fade. Remember to spot test your chosen cleaning product on a small area before applying to the whole sofa. You don’t want to do any further damage to your leather furniture when trying to clean. 

Suede needs special treatment

You should clean suede and nubuck more regularly than conventional leather products. This is because removing stains from these materials can be complicated. These materials need different treatment entirely. They can react very differently depending on finish, colour or stain, so we would generally recommend leaving this cleaning jobs to the professionals.

To start off, find a soft-bristled brush, ideally a suede brush but you can also use a toothbrush if that’s all you have. Use the brush to go over the affected area. Gently brush the stain using short, gentle strokes. Make sure you always go in the same direction to start with as this will help loosen the fibres and dirt. Next, lightly go over the affected area with a clean sponge. 

Cleaning leather naturally 

If you do not want to use cleaning products on your leather, you can try steam cleaning it. You can do this by hanging your purse or bag in the bathroom just after you take a hot shower. The damp air will loosen the stains. Once that is done, leave the bag to dry before going back over it with a soft-bristled brush. 

There are also a variety of household products that can be very beneficial for cleaning leather. Lemon juice mixed with cream of tartar works well for removing spots and stains. Likewise, white vinegar can be used for general cleaning to ensure the material remains healthy. 

If you don’t feel comfortable treating your leather products yourself, why not seek professional help? Laundryheap offers a quick and professional service with free next day delivery.


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Manchester: Best Places To Unwind After Work

Outside of London, Manchester is becoming one of the biggest centres for employment in the UK. With more and more people flocking to Manchester to pursue a career, the city now has one of the fastest-growing job rates in the country. 

With more people working, comes more people stressing. Gone are the days of the straight forward 9-5. Instead, our time outside of work is now mainly occupied by our ever-evolving phones constantly bombarding our brains with text, email and calls. Also, that’s not to mention the continuous overbearing pressure that all of our social media addictions bring. 

If you happen to be one of the thousands of people in Manchester feeling depleted, bewildered, and stressed, make sure you remember to take some time to relax. Here are some of our suggestions on the best places to unwind outside of work in Manchester. 

  • Take in some creativity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
  • Lose yourself in one of the cities many green spaces
  • Channel your inner feline by hanging out with some cats
  • Go see a concert
  • Visit the Victoria Baths 
  • Take a trip to The Lowry
  • Make the most of the Manchester Museum
  • Absorb some knowledge in the Manchester Central Library
  • Grab a bite to eat in Ancoats

Take in some creativity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter 

Often referred to as Manchester’s most ‘happening’ area, the Northern Quarter is jam-packed with premier art galleries like the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. 

Even if you are not an art enthusiast, the tranquil environment of art galleries makes them the perfect go-to places for some well-earned downtime. Take advantage of one of the many trendy cafes, bars, eateries or art galleries in the Northern Quarter. Above all, be sure to take your time and connect with everything that is in front of you. Don’t forget to take time to reflect with everything going on with yourself as well. 

Lose yourself in one of the cities green spaces

Manchester is not exactly renowned for its luscious green spaces, but some of the city’s parks are real gems. One of these gems is Heaton Park. Located on the Northern edge of the city, it is the biggest park in the city and the largest municipal park in Europe. To say you can feel its size when walking around is an understatement. 

When strolling through the broad green fields, expect to find a boating lake, golf course, tram museum, animal sanctuary, and a Grade I listed country house that dates back to the 18th century. This spot is the perfect escape from the stresses of city life. In addition, the park also host’s several concerts each year, as well as Manchester’s famous Parklife Festival. 

Channel your inner feline by hanging out with some cats

Yes, you read that right. No, don’t go out and hang around with the city’s array of random cats. What we are suggesting is much less sinister. It’s called Cat Cafe. 

This magical cafe allows customers to spend one on one time with their extensive clowder of cats. For just £12 an hour, you get unlimited hot and cold drinks, as well as the pleasure of spending time with the adorable, sleepy cats who call this cafe home. The geniuses behind this idea are passionate about Assisted Animal Therapy and its benefits on humans. So pop in, stroke a cat, and let your brain forget about all the stresses of your working week. One warning though, you may never want to leave.

Go see a concert 

There is live music to be seen every single night of the week in Manchester. Venues like the Albert Hall, Manchester Arena, O2 Ritz, Manchester Academy, and Yes Manchester mean you are always spoilt for options. It doesn’t matter if it’s country music or rap that you are into, Manchester has something for everyone.

Manchester is ripe with musical history, from Oasis and the Stone Roses to the famous House scene of the ’90s. This history lives on today in the form of new bands popping up all the time and the street art showcasing the cities famous artists of the past.

Visit the Victoria Baths 

Located in the Chorlton-on-Medlock area of Manchester, the Victoria Baths were opened to the public in 1906. The building is a Grade II listed building. Manchester’s first City Architect Henry Prince designed the building. Prince spared no expense on the design and construction at the time. The structure has multicoloured brickwork and terracotta decoration. The interior boasts glazed tiles and decorative stained glass windows. 

Meanwhile, the building remains remarkably intact with most of the original tiles and stained glass still remaining. The baths are now open from March to November each year for guided tours, public open days and special events. This is a great spot to appreciate architecture, take in some history and forget about the little things that have been bothering you at work.

Take a trip to The Lowry

Once the location for a bustling dockland area, before becoming just another abandoned quay, The Lowry has had its fair share of ups and downs. Today, The Lowry makes for the ideal waterside leisure destination. Located just 10 minutes from the city centre. The Lowry sits nestled between the Imperial War Museum and Old Trafford Stadium.

The area is a hub for renowned theatre productions, ranging from West End classics to productions from across the world. As well as being a place for lovers of theatre, there’s also a cinema, shopping centre, loads of great restaurants and plenty of places to relax after work. Whether you are a sports fan, shopping addict or just lover of all things cultural, The Lowry has something for everyone trying to escape the perils of work.

Make the most of the Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum boasts a vast array of treasures from both the natural and the cultural world. And with 4 floors of displays and exhibitions in 15 galleries, featuring collections from the world over, rest assured you can get lost in the Manchester Museum for hours on end.

What better way is there unwind after work than to visit a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Stan or taking in some works of art in the Museums Manchester gallery? The museum has a host of permanent exhibits, as well as new special events popping up all the time. There is also a cafe right next door, perfect for when you have had a long day of absorbing history. Enjoy a cup of tea, reflect on what you’ve seen, and most importantly, take your mind off of work.

Absorb some knowledge in the Manchester Central Library

Looking for a quiet place to unwind after a day of meetings, telephone calls and emails? Look no further than Manchester Central Library. Like The Victoria Baths, the library is a Grade II listed building. The iconic venue was first opened in 1934. The year 2010 saw the building receive a £50m refurbishment, taking four years and bringing the building into the 21st century.

The library now combines historic features with cutting-edge modern design. Have a walk around the library and take a look at previously hidden heritage spaces and the grand Wolfson Reading Room. They also have a cafe on-site, so find a book, grab a coffee and let all that unwanted stress disappear.

Grab a bite to eat in Ancoats

Ancoats is located right beside the Northern Quarter, which featured earlier on this list. This, like its neighbouring suburb, is a hip area known for its flourishing food and drink scene. Once a gritty textile district of the city, Ancoats has now become one of the top spots for nightlife in Manchester.

With a wide range of cuisines available from Scandinavian eateries, Japanese tea-houses to Mexican tequila joints – there is something to tickle all taste buds in Ancoats. Alongside all this wonderful food is numerous craft breweries and speakeasy-style bars, for those who are more thirsty than hungry. Ancoats is the perfect place to let off some steam after work, with something for everyone, we challenge you not to have a good time in this quirky neighbourhood.

Wondering how to free up some time after work to enjoy some of the activities on this list? Why not use Laundryheap to help take some of the burden of house chores away. We offer a same day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free delivery within 24 hours.


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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.