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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. 


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Challenges Of Travelling Solo

Solo travelling can be an experience like no other! With no friends or family with you, it can be easy to begin daydreaming about sleeping in with no judgement or stuffing our faces day after day, guilt-free. 

Travelling solo can indeed produce a wealth of excitement and adventure. It is also true that it brings with it some real struggles. One day your drinking at a hostel bar with new your new fascinating international friends, the next you might find yourself alone and lost in one of the less friendly neighbourhoods in town. If you are thinking of giving solo travelling a try, then make sure know what you are getting yourself into. 

  • Breaking the news to friends and family that you will be solo travelling
  • Having to make new friends 
  • Bringing your bag with you EVERYWHERE
  • Not speaking to anyone for a whole day (or more)
  • Relying on selfies
  • No one to split the bill with 
  • Getting lost on your own
  • Feeling sick with no one to look after you
  • Having no one to share your experiences with 

Breaking the news to friends and family that you will be solo travelling

This is something anyone who has considered travelling solo will understand. Before your dream is even close to becoming a reality, expect your parents to ask you thousands of time: “Why would you want to travel ALONE?!”. The same applies to close friends who might take offence to you wanting to travel on your own instead of with them. 

Getting questioned by your friends and family is always the first struggle solo travellers face themselves with. Some will question your motives for travelling solo, some your capacity to make friends and others might question your ability to survive on your own! Nearly 100% of the people bombarding you with such questions would have never been solo travelling themselves. They might not understand the numerous reasons there are for wanting to see the world on your own. Don’t let these initial reactions from people put you off of your dream. 

Having to make new friends 

The fear of not making new friends when travelling alone is probably number one on most peoples list of worries about travelling solo. Images flash through our minds of us sitting alone at a hostel bar, no one wanting to talk to us, checking our phones habitually for any human contact we can find.  

This reality can be especially true for those of us who are more introverted and don’t make friends as easily as others. It might be that you are surrounded by more brash extroverts who prevent you from getting a word in or just that you find it hard to build enough courage to start a conversation with someone. Thankfully, there are some suggestions to combat this struggle. You can always book day trips where you find plenty of like-minded solo travellers also looking for friends. Better yet, you could use this opportunity as a chance to grow your social skills and push you out of your comfort zone. 

Bringing your bag with you EVERYWHERE

Picture this, you have just arrived at your destination after 8 excruciating hours on a bus with no toilet on board. In a desperate hurry, you grab your bags and head full steam ahead for the bathroom. Just as you enter the door of the bathroom, you realise no one is with you to look after your bag, meaning you have to stuff yourself and your two oversized bags into the cubicle with you. 

This situation isn’t unique to bus stations, though. Want to go to the toilet in Mac Donald’s? Better bring your bag. Want to check out that beautiful view at the top of the hill? Be sure to take your bag. With no one around to watch out for your stuff, you have to be extra vigilant and ensure you bring your luggage with you EVERYWHERE when travelling from one spot to another. 

Not speaking to anyone for a whole day (or more)

The thought of spending some time alone could seem appealing to some people thinking of travelling solo. Although not all people quite realise just how much time they will spend alone. It is pretty common to leave the hostel in the morning, explore the city all day, and return at night without having said a word to anyone. Especially if you are in a country with locals who speak little English. 

While this can sound like heaven to some people, others aren’t as keen on their own company. This can often induce feelings of loneliness in people. The best way to avoid this problem is to hang around the hostel bar – strike up a conversation with the barman and your fellow travellers. Ask about their time in the city, or their experiences travelling so far, you might just find out some useful tips. You could end up finding yourself the perfect companion to accompany you on your next exploration around the city. 

Relying on selfies

A common theme for most solo travellers is that their photo albums only consist of two types of photos: photos of incredible views; and selfies with said incredible views in the background. You want to capture this once in a lifetime moment, but also don’t want to look like an obnoxious tourist carrying a selfie stick around. 

The only solution to this struggle is to ask a stranger to take a picture of you. It could be helpful to learn how to ask for a photo in the local language. This might seem like an impossible challenge, but it could be the only way to get that photo you so desperately desire.

No one to split the bills with

Splitting the bill on holiday is a ritual many of us take for granted. We all have glorious memories of enjoying delicious meals with friends on holiday and not being able to believe how cheap it was when divided up in the group. 

This problem doesn’t just relate to your time spent eating out on holiday. That cab from the airport would be 1/2 the price if you had 2 friends with you. That private hotel room with two beds inside would also be 1/2 the price if you had someone else to share with. As a solo traveller, you have to get used to eating all the costs throughout your trip. There isn’t an easy answer to this problem, you can use tools like Uber Pool to split the cost of taxis, but you will need to find friends to dine with if you want some help covering dinner. 

Getting lost on your own

Having two heads instead of one when navigating your way around a new city comes with its advantages. When you get lost in a new place with a friend, it can be an exciting adventure that you will one day retell to all your friends. When you get lost in a foreign place on your own, it can quickly become a scary experience, especially as darkness starts to creep into the sky. 

The best thing you can do if you find yourself in this sort of situation is to remain calm and remind yourself that if you got yourself to this point, then you can yourself back to your hostel. It might be a good idea to carry a business card from your hotel or hostel or take down the address on a piece of paper. That way you’ll always have the address to get home, even when your phone has run out of battery. Another tip would be making the most of the free city maps you find in almost every hotel or hostel reception.  

Feeling sick with no one to look after you

It’s never nice getting sick, especially when you are on holiday, and even more so if you are alone. No one wants to be the person in a hostel dorm keeping everyone up all night, with there sneezes and coughs, not to mention the fear of spreading the illness. 

With no friend to confide in and tell you it’s going to be OK, you can find yourself calling your parents at awkward times to describe your symptoms in the hope they have the magic cure. If you do get sick while travelling solo, take the time to slow down, get some rest and take the break your body is clearly crying out for. It could be a solid move to treat yourself to that private hostel room to ensure you don’t alienate yourself from the rest of the backpackers by keeping them up all night.

Having no one to share the experience with 

There will be various times throughout your solo journey that something unbelievable will appear in front of you, you will be dying to discuss this phenomenon, but alas, you will be alone. This can often be a strange realisation for travellers when they find themself faces with incredible beauty but have no one to discuss it with. 

That is not to say these moments can’t still be enjoyed when you are alone. Times like this are perfect for self-reflection or journaling your experiences. It will also help you to appreciate your own company and eventually realise some moments are more special when only experienced by yourself.

If you are travelling solo and you are lucky enough to end up in one of the cities we operate in, why not choose Laundryheap as your new laundry companion. We are currently based in London, but our services are available in London, Manchester, Coventry, Birmingham, New York, Dublin, Dubai, Sharjah and Amsterdam. 


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Complete Guide To Removing Different Sauce Stains

Is there anything worse than dry food? Sauce, in all its incredible different varieties, has meant we never have to worry about our food being too dry again. These moist and flavoursome little bottles of joy do come with there own problems though.

It doesn’t matter if it is the bright red ketchup, golden yellow mustard, or the infamous brown BBQ sauce that your taste-buds desire most. All of these wonderfully tasty condiments can leave us in a state of panic every time we carelessly spill them onto our new white t-shirt. We are here to try and ease that panic. Next time you find yourself overindulging in a hot dog that is drowning in mustard and ketchup, make sure you know how to remove the stains once the inevitable happens. 

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard
  • BBQ Sauce 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chilli Sauce 

Tomato Sauce 

 You can find this versatile vegetable (or fruit!?) in cuisine all over the world. Whether its ketchup on your fries, spaghetti sauce or bloody mary’s, sauces that mostly contain tomatoes can make it seem like the end of the world when spilt on our clothes.

The best thing you can do when spilling tomato sauces on your clothes is act as soon as possible. Try to use heavy-duty laundry detergent and make sure you use the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the garment care label. Always ensure you check the laundry symbols before washing the garment. To start with, gently rub the liquid detergent directly on the stain. Next, place the garment into the machine to be washed. Make sure to air dry after, as heat from the dryer can set in any remaining stain particles that have not come off in the wash. 

Mustard

Like ketchup, mustard can cause most people to shriek when it’s spilt on your clothing due to its luminescent colour. Mustard contains a dye called Tumeric to enhance the yellow colour, which means it must be treated differently to other stains on this list. 

If a mustard stain does not get treated quickly, the turmeric dye can remain on your clothing as a permanent reminder of your carelessness. Try to catch the stain while it is still moist and blot immediately. Make sure you do not rub the stain, as you do not want to spread the turmeric onto unstained parts of the garment. 

Finally, mix a solution of three-quarters of dish soap and one quarter rubbing alcohol. Apply the mixture to the stain and allow to soak for 10 minutes, just long enough for it not to dry. The alcohol in the solution should turn the stain a dark colour, but not to worry, it will rinse right out! Rinse the treated area with hot water, and then launder like normal.

BBQ Sauce 

Would a barbecue even be a barbecue if it wasn’t messy to eat? Most people attending a barbecue know the risks going in, but that still doesn’t make the BBQ sauce stains any less harrowing. 

Removing the stain is a two-step process. Soak the affected garment just like you would soak a dirty dish in warm water with dishwashing detergent, this will help loosen the sauce from the fabric and help clean the stain. Once you have left to soak for at least ten minutes, pour some vinegar on the affected area and scrub with a kitchen sponge. After you’ve treated the stain, run the garment through the washing machine like normal. 

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is probably the least threatening colour of all sauces listed in this guide, but do not let its neutral colour fool you. Mayonnaise can leave oily spots on your clothing that are not always easy to remove.

When you spill a blob of mayonnaise on your clothing, use a blunt object like a butter knife or spoon to lift as much of the Mayonnaise off the fabric as you can. Never rub because this will push the stain deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. Seeing as the bulk of the issue is an oil-based stain, every Mayonnaise stain should be pre-treated using solvent-based stain removal products. If you don’t have any solvent-based stain remover at hand, apply a bit of heavy-duty liquid detergent instead. Then work it in by delicately rubbing with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Lastly, wash the garment in the washing machine on the highest heat it recommends on the label

Chilli Sauce

Need some spice in your life, but don’t like it trickling onto your clothes? A good old fashioned spicy hot sauce is great for adding flavour to your dishes, but not so great for your new white work shirt. Most hot sauce ingredients consist of peppers, spices and vinegar. Assuming your favourite brand of chilli sauce doesn’t add too much artificial food colouring, the stains should be simple to remove. 

Acting immediately is proving to be a common theme in this guide. You guessed it, don’t wait until you’ve finished your food to act on a chilli sauce stain, get on the job straight away! 

First things first, run the stain under the tap for at least a minute. Do not rub the stain here, instead let the water flow do the work. We also recommend turning the item inside out and cleaning from the backside to remove it from within the fabric. After this, place the clothing in a sink filled with cold water, add a tablespoon of liquid detergent and vinegar, then gently scrub the stained area. Lastly, put the item in a washing machine and make sure to use warm water, never hot, as this will set the stain. 

If you don’t have the time or patience to clean a worrying stain out of your clothing, why not let the professionals help you? Laundryheap is here to help by offering same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next day delivery.


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8 Best Maternity Stores in New York City

If you or one of your loved ones is pregnant, then first thing’s first, congratulations! Over the next few months, you will become more devoted to your little bundle of joy. That could mean anything from decorating the baby’s new room or getting a scan. Another important issue for soon-to-be Mothers is purchasing maternity clothes. Don’t look at this as a daunting task but think of it as some much needed “you” time. This is likely going to be the most necessary retail therapy you will ever need in your life. 

This list will help you find the most comfortable (and stylish!) maternity clothes New York City has to offer. 

  1. Yummy Mummy 
  2. Rosie Pope
  3. A Pea in the Pod at Macy’s 
  4. Motherhood Maternity 
  5. Janes Exchange 
  6. Pink Blush Maternity
  7. Hindy’s Maternity Boutique
  8. ASOS Maternity 

Yummy Mummy

Regarded as the one-stop-shop for “all things breastfeeding”. The store is located on the Upper East Side and stocks breastfeeding-friendly apparel with a selection of bras, pants, dresses, skirts, tops and more. The philosophy at Yummy Mommy is that you never need to sacrifice comfort or style to feed your child. 

Address: Inside Knickerbocker Plaza, 1751 2nd Ave Suite 203, New York, NY 10128, USA

Rosie Pope

This chic shop has an abundance of trendy apparel for mums-to-be and babies. You can pick up a mix of imaginative, fashionable, and differing styles of maternity apparel. Products can range from casual stay-at-home pants to more formal dresses for that all-important date night. Maternity clothing is only part of the overall in-store experience with concierge services, parenting classes, and even a room they describe as The Mancave (for distracting irritable Daddies to be). 

Address: 1265 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA

A Pea in the Pod at Macy’s 

One of the more high-end stores on this list, A Pea in the Pod stocks a variety of designer maternity wear for the more fashion-conscious Mummies-to-be. There is nothing unfashionable about the maternity wear on offer here. You will be able to find all the latest trends here whether you are looking for a new bikini or a cute dinner dress. 

Address: 151 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001, USA

Motherhood Maternity 

Don’t want to spend loads of money on clothes you may only wear for a few months? Then Motherhood Maternity has you covered. With plenty of stylish, affordable and durable clothing starting at as cheap as $5.00 for tees and tanks this store ticks all the boxes. These guys stock everything from maternity jeans, maternity tops, maternity dresses and nursing bras!

Address: 270 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001-6720, USA

Janes Exchange

This is another one for the future Mommies who want to save some dollars before the baby arrives. This buzzy secondhand shop has a large selection of maternity clothes, as well as kids clothes, gear and toys. They even boast a play area for any older siblings of the new baby that might be accompanying you. Janes also stocks new maternity clothing from Cadeau.

Address: 191 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009, United States

Pink Blush Maternity

Pink Blush Maternity designs clothes specifically wit you, the modern mother in mind. They operate in a world where fashion meets motherhood. With looks that are stylish, trendy but most of all affordable. You’ll find everything from hospital robes to activewear for pregnant moms! 

Address: Only online

Hindy’s Maternity Boutique 

Hindy’s is one of the more upscale stores featuring on this list. Hindy’s stands out amongst the others because of its vast variety of offerings – from sportswear, career wear, cocktail dresses and just about anything else you can imagine. Hindy’s started out as a small shop and has now expanded into a nationwide scale operation. This hasn’t dropped the quality of clothes though, they still stay true to the original goal; keep Moms stylish and comfortable. 

Address: 4902 New Utrecht Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11219, United States

ASOS Maternity 

If you haven’t already heard of fashion giant ASOS then it’s fair to say you may have been living under a rock for the last ten years. You can, however, be forgiven for not knowing about ASOS’ marvellous maternity range. With relatively inexpensive products and new items added to the site every week, ASOS should be high on the list of all new Mom’s go-to maternity stores.

Laundryheap can help relieve the stress of doing laundry with our same-day laundry and dry cleaning service, to give you more time for the important things in life, like shopping!


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How to Stop Your Raw & Selvedge Denim From Fading

Denim jeans have been an essential item of clothing since the 19th century. Before the 1950s, most denim jeans were crafted from raw and selvedge denim. In the decades since the way jeans were produced changed drastically with the implementation of new cost-cutting technologies and manufacturing in developing countries. 

Raw and Selvedge denim remains available at a slightly higher cost and has recently seen a resurgence in demand. Even though most raw denim enthusiasts are obsessed with achieving fades on their jeans, there are still a small community of people who want to preserve the dark indigo colour their jeans are when they purchase them. There are a few approaches for maintaining that dark colour, much to the dismay of some raw denim devotees. 

  1. Soak in water and white vinegar
  2. Iron sporadically
  3. Wash with specific denim care brands
  4. Refrain from strenuous activity when wearing the jeans
  5. Buy non-fading denim
  6. Have your jeans dry cleaned (professionally)

Soak in water and white vinegar

You may have seen this hack featured on our blog before in the How To Remove Stains With Viniger post. Luckily for you, vinegar has lots of incredible uses that don’t include fish and chips, like being used to set the indigo dye in your jeans. 

Once mixed with water (about half a cup for a tub full), soak the pair of jeans in the mixture to limit any further fades. This is also a good cleaning option for denim heads who don’t want to wash there jeans at all. 

Iron regularly to stop creasing

Parts of your jeans that crease are often the first places that you will find fading; the crotch, knees and the seat are the most prominent areas for fading. 

Ironing out these creases after every wear will help minimize fading in the areas mentioned above. This isn’t the most time-efficient method and will require a high level of dedication from the wearer. So it all depends on how dedicated you are to minimizing those fades.

Wash with specific denim care brands

There are a host of reliable brands that have been tried and tested by the raw denim community to ensure the best care for your jeans. However, it is important to bear in mind if you want to limit fades, avoid the washing machine at all costs.

One common brand used to clean raw denim is Woolite Dark washing detergent. A small amount of Woolite Dark mixed with water provides an excellent soaking environment to soak your denim in. Alternatively, brands like Mr Black Garment Essentials produce ‘Denim Refresh’ products, a biodegradable solution designed to clean, refresh and extend the life of your beloved raw denim jeans. 

Refrain from excessive activity 

Without a doubt, the most depressing option on this list, refraining from wearing your new raw denim is probably the last thing you want to think about right now.

Having several different pairs of selvedge jeans can mean spacing out how much you wear each pair, leading to less fading in the long run. This option is obviously dependant on your budget and how desperate you are to maintain that dark indigo look. 

Buying non-fade denim 

This one has to go down as the easiest tip on this list and that is to just buy jeans that don’t fade. Unfortunately, raw denim that doesn’t fade comes at a hefty price and aren’t commonly found. 

Some traditional denim brands like  Pure Blue Japan have recently started making raw denim that won’t fade. PBJ sells a pair called NC-005. The “NC” stands for ‘No Change’, referring to the fabric holding its colour. These jeans will still show signs of wear, but will not fade to a lighter shade like other raw selvedge denim.

Have your jeans dry cleaned (professionally)

Taking your jeans to specialists like us here at Laundryheap ensures your denim will get the best care possible. Our service is reliable, professional and takes just 24hours. Did we mention that it’s also free next day delivery? What are you waiting for!