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Picturesque spots to walk during self-isolation in Ireland

As we continue to self-isolate, our limited time outside is becoming more important than ever. Being outside in the fresh air helps boost your energy and restore focus, whilst eliminating any cabin fever you may be feeling from being stuck inside all day. If you are residing in Ireland, here are 5 picturesque spots to walk and enjoy the fresh air. 

  • Mangan’s Loop, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow
  • Portumna Forest Park – Rinmaher Walking Trail
  • Killeshandra loop
  • Lough Easkey
  • Raven’s Point Loop, Co. Wexford

Mangan’s Loop, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow

This 5 km looped trail will take you through quiet country lanes, forests, and mountains. Tinahely is a small village nestled in the Derry River Valley in the Southern reaches of Wicklow Mountains. From the trail head, you can choose 3 looped trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. Before deciding to take on this 90-minute trek, be aware that parts of the trail will require mountaineering equipment. 

Portumna Forest Park – Rinmaher Walking Trail

If you love to explore nature in it’s natural habitat than the Rinmaher Walking Trail is perfect for you. This 10 km loop is for those looking for a slightly longer walk as it will take approximately 2 hours to complete. With views of Lough Derg and signs providing information about the local fauna and flora, this trail is perfect for a picturesque walk after work. 

Photo by  John M

Killeshandra loop

The Killeshandra loop offers a chance to walk through unspoiled Cavan countryside. Surrounded by dense forestry, broken up by streams, this trail offers 2 hours of complete serenity in nature. Surrounded by nothing by coniferous and broadleaf trees, this is the perfect trail to lose yourself in and forget about the stresses of coronavirus.

Photo by Liz McCabe

Lough Easkey

Travel the 6 km shores of Lough Easkey on this trail, taking in the peaceful and serene lakes, surrounded by beautiful forestry. On your route, you will come across the blanket bog, a special conservation area that boasts rare types of moss and threatened bird species. Be sure to wear appropriate hiking boots when taking on this walk as some areas can become soft and boggy. 

Photo by Oliver Dixon 

Raven’s Point Loop, Co. Wexford

Take in the sea breeze whilst exploring the forest at the Raven’s Point Loop. Observe the Raven sand dunes that have been forming since the 1600’s, whilst admiring the trees that were planted in the 1930’s to avoid coastal erosion. Wonder beyond the forest and to the adjoining fields where a population of wild geese roam. This trail provides a combination of beach and forest which is perfect for fully relaxing before heading back inside. 

Photo by Nigel Mykura 

After exploring the wonderful trails that Ireland has to offer, get your hiking clothes dry-cleaned using our services. Visit the Laundryheap website or download the Laundryheap app to book your slot. 


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How to make hand sanitiser

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

As COVID 19 continues to affect our lives, we must do everything to stay safe. Hand sanitiser is perfect for fighting germs whilst travelling, however, is becoming increasingly difficult to buy. Try making your own hand sanitiser using this simple recipe. 

  • Warning 
  • Prep
  • What you’ll need
  • The recipe 
  • How to use it

Warning 

Please bear in mind that using hand sanitiser should not be a replacement for washing your hands. The most effective way to kill bacteria is to wash your hands using soap and water. Hand sanitiser should only be used when you are on the go, or if soap and water is not readily available to you. 

You should also be aware that your homemade sanitiser may not be as effective as a store-bought one. This is because the tools you use will not be effectively sterilised, nor will the environment that you produce the sanitiser in. It is always best to use a store-bought sanitiser for the most effective protection from bacteria so only make your own if there are no alternative options. 

Before making your own hand sanitiser, be wary about adding essential oils as they can cause skin irritation. Make sure that you are aware of how your skin will react to whatever essential oils you may add prior to their use. 

Prep 

Before making your hand sanitiser make sure you clean your work station using diluted bleach. You also want to ensure that you thoroughly wash and sanitise the equipment you will be using. This needs to be done to ensure that any bacteria in your environment is eliminated to the best of your ability and therefore will be less likely to transfer into your mixture. 

You will need to use rubbing alcohol in your hand sanitiser mixture. Prior to creating your mixture, you need to ensure that your alcohol is not diluted. Undiluted alcohol will have a higher success rate of killing bacteria. 

Finally, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before beginning the process. Similarly to sterilising your environment and equipment, you need to ensure that any bacteria are eliminated, including bacteria that you may be carrying on your hands. 

What you’ll need 

To make your hand sanitiser you will need:

  • ¾ of a cup of rubbing alcohol (99% alcohol volume)
  • ¼ of a cup of aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops of any essential oil you want to include- if you don’t have any essential oils add lemon juice 
  • An empty bottle for your mixture

The recipe 

The key to making an effective hand sanitiser is to keep the ingredients at a 2:1 ratio of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol level of your sanitiser around 60%, which is the minimum amount that is needed to kill bacteria. 

To begin with, pour all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a spoon. Once your mixture has bound together, whisk it into a gel consistency. When your mixture has reached gel consistency, pour it into an empty bottle, ready for use.

How to use

To effectively use your hand sanitiser, apply a small amount to the palm of one of your hands. Thoroughly rub your hands together making sure to spread the gel over the entirety of your hand, including your fingers. Carry on rubbing the gel into your hands until it is completely dry, this should take between 30 and 60 seconds. Note, it will take at least 60 seconds from application for the hand sanitiser to begin killing bacteria. 

We want to ensure that you stay safe during Covid 19 and make sure that we are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. That is why we now offer hot washes to kill bacteria, and contactless services to avoid our customers coming into contact with our drivers. Book your slot by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the Laundryheap app. 


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Self-isolation activities for Easter weekend

We will all be spending this Easter weekend in self-isolation. But that does not mean that we can’t have a fun-filled Easter. Here are 10 fun activities to do in self-isolation this Easter weekend. 

  • Hold an Easter egg hunt 
  • Decorate some eggs
  • Make Easter nests 
  • Play Easter bingo 
  • Finger paint Easter bunnies 
  • Make an Easter piñata 
  • Take part in some Easter games 
  • Make Easter cards
  • Make Easter masks 
  • Watch Easter films

Hold an Easter egg hunt 

Easter egg hunts are an Easter weekend staple that doesn’t have to stop because you’re in self-isolation. Whilst shopping for your essentials, pick up some Easter eggs of varying sizes. Utilise the space that your home has to offer and hide them in new and inventive places- think inside a plant pot, hidden under a lampshade, etc. If you have a garden, utilise that space as well.

To make the hunt more interesting why not make it themed? Or leave clues scattered around your home that hint to where the eggs may be. You can even video call your friends and family and get them involved. 

Photo by Cyndy Sims Parr

Decorate eggs 

Egg decorating is just as fun for children as it is for adults. Plus, decorating eggs provides you with colourful new Easter decorations for your home. Either hard boil or poke a small hole into the bottom and top of an egg to drain all of the liquid from inside of it. Grab all the crafty things in your home together- pens, paint, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, anything at all- and let your imagination run wild.  You could even make this activity into a game and award a prize for the most inventive egg decoration.

Make Easter nests 

Easter nests are easy to make and come with the added bonus of being edible.

You will need:

  • 150g of cereal- shredded wheat is suggested
  • 250g of chocolate
  • 3 tbsp of golden syrup
  • Small chocolate eggs for decoration.
  • Cake cases for serving

Begin by melting your chocolate either in a saucepan or in the microwave- make sure to keep a close eye on it to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate is melted stir in 3 tbsp of your golden syrup and your cereal of choice. Stir the mixture well to make sure that ALL the cereal is covered in chocolate. Spoon your mixture into cake cases and complete your birds’ nest with a sprinkling of chocolate eggs. Leave them to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes before digging in to an eggcellent Easter treat. 

Play Easter bingo 

Bingo may come with connotations of pensioners but Easter bingo is fun for all ages. It’s much the same as normal bingo, but instead of calling out numbers you call out Easter related words. You can even make the game more interesting by including Easter themed images. If you head over to Pinterest, there are an abundance of free Easter bingo print-outs you can use, or you can spend an afternoon making your own before settling down for a night of friendly Easter competition. 

Finger paint Easter bunnies 

Get messy this Easter and finger paint your own Easter bunnies. All you need is an array of colourful paints, plain paper and your own fingers. This activity is perfect for keeping your children, and your inner child, entertained for an afternoon. Just make sure that all hands are washed before they touch anything other than their canvas. 

Make an Easter chick piñata

Who said that Pinata’s had to be saved for birthdays? Why not get creative and make your very own Easter chick piñata?

You will need:

  • 1 balloon
  • Newspapers
  • Yellow paint
  • Crepe paper
  • Feathers
  • Orange or brown card
  • Glue
  • Easter treats to put inside

Firstly, blow up you balloon and tie off the end. Then, cover your balloon in strips of newspaper dipped in glue, 3 layers should be sufficient. Once the glue has dried, cut off the bottom so that you can insert your sweets. Mark on the eyes and mouth, before painting the balloon yellow until no newspaper is showing. Next, cut your crepe paper into 2 inch squares. You will need to completely cover the balloon, however they don’t all need to be uniform. Cover your piñata with the squares, being careful to avoid the eyes and mouth. Use your card to form a beak for your chick by cutting out two triangles. Draw on your chicks eyes, or, if you have them available, use googly eyes. For the finishing touch, cover your piñata in feathers and insert your sweets, making sure to glue the bottom of the balloon back on to seal them in. Grab your household and enjoy an Easter Fiesta!

Take part in some Easter games

Awaken your competitive spirit this Easter and host your very own Easter Olympic Games. Gather your household and set a series of challenges to be completed, each with an Easter twist. Think, egg and spoon race, bunny hop challenge, and even pin the tail on the bunny rabbit. Award each challenge with a bronze, silver and gold award, until the person with the most gold medals is declared the winner. Take your Easter Olympic games one step further by creating your own medals out of yogurt lids and string. May the best athlete win!

Make Easter cards

Another way to get your households creativity flowing this Easter is by making Easter masks.

You will need:

  • A paper plate
  • A pair of scissors
  • String
  • Sellotape
  • Any crafty materials you have around the house

Firstly, cut out two eye holes so that the mask wearer can sufficiently see. Next, think about what Easter character you want to create. Are you going to be a chicken? A bunny? Or maybe a lamb. Once you’ve decided on your character, use your crafty materials to construct your character however you see fit. Once done, and any wet materials are dried, cut a length of string that can reach around the back of your head without being too tight or loose. Use two bits of sellotape to secure each end of your string to your mask and then show off your creation to the rest of your household. 

Photo by Giftpundits.com from Pexels

Watch Easter films 

Sometimes the best way to spend Easter is by relaxing with your loved ones, feasting on Easter eggs and watching Easter films. There are plenty of films to be enjoyed by all the family, and plenty of chocolate to eat, so don’t forget to have some downtime this Easter weekend. 

From all of the team at Laundryheap, Happy Easter!


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The benefits of cleaning whilst in self-isolation

Self-isolation is not as easy as it sounds. Currently, it is the safest option for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be mentally and physically straining. Spending all day working, relaxing, eating and sleeping in one household can be incredibly draining. Believe it or not, cleaning your home could be the most effective way to rid yourself of self-isolation slump.

  • The physical benefits 
  • The mental benefits 
  • The health benefits 
  • The working benefits 
  • How Laundryheap can help

The physical benefits 

It can be hard to establish an exercise routine when you are confined to the space in your home. Regular cleaning is an easy and productive way to stay active without venturing outside. In addition, vigorous cleaning, such as wiping down walls and cleaning the oven, is a great way to rid yourself of any negative energy you may be carrying, due to the energy that is burnt carrying out the task. 

The mental benefits

Although it may not be the most exciting activity to do, cleaning your home comes with an array of mental health benefits. For example, when people experience high levels of anxiety, they tend to gravitate towards repetitive behaviours, such as cleaning. Carrying out the repetitive task of cleaning makes them feel in control and, therefore, decreases their anxiety level. 

It is vital during this precarious time that we all remain as calm as we possibly can. On average, people who have messy homes have higher levels of cortisol, a stress induced hormone. Alternatively, researchers have found that cleaning your home can lead to feelings of accomplishment and subsequent calmness. If you are feeling irritated whilst stuck in self-isolation a quick 15-minute tidy of your surrounding area could help reduce that irritation and make you calmer. 

In addition to keeping your home clean, it is important to keep your linens clean. A study by The National Sleep Foundation found that 75% of people sleep better when their sheets are freshly washed due to feeling more comfortable. A good night’s sleep leaves people feeling well-rested and both physically and mentally ready for the day ahead. Despite being at home throughout the day, it is important whilst self-isolating to remain in a routine, which includes getting a good night’s sleep.

The health benefits  

It’s now more important than ever to clean our homes and eliminate harmful germs and bacteria. Germs can weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to becoming ill. However, regularly cleaning our homes with disinfectant can kill up to 98% of the daily bacteria we could come into contact with.

As a result of increasing the amount of time we are spending indoors, it is vital to be aware of indoor air pollution. Dust, dirt and poor ventilation are all contributing factors to indoor air pollution and can result in increasing the severity of an individuals allergens. The longer you put off cleaning your home the more polluted the air will become. Fifteen minutes of cleaning a day can sufficiently decrease the air pollution in your home.

The working benefits 

When you are working from home it can be very easy to become distracted and forget about your work. In 2011 a Princeton University study found that clutter can increase the difficulty of focusing on a task. On a subconscious level, clutter is associated with negative emotions, such as confusion, tension, irritability and worry. Decluttering your home can not only make cleaning more efficient, but can also lead to a clearer mind and heightened sense of calm. This can make it easier to focus on your tasks. 

If you ever become mentally blocked whilst your working from home try washing the dishes. A study published in the journal, Mindfulness, found that people who engaged in mindfully washing the dishes- taking in the scent of the washing-up liquid and letting the water soak into their skin- experience a 25% improvement in mental inspiration.

Photo by: peapod labs

How Laundryheap can help

If you are running low on cleaning supplies, our Essentials Pack is available across London and includes cleaning supplies, as well as toilet paper and toothpaste. Additionally, our services are still fully operational in all cities we operate in. Book your delivery slot now


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Laundryheap: Support services added

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Updates to how we handle the coronavirus situation are constantly changing. At Laundryheap, the safety of our customers is our highest priority, which is why we are remaining fully operational. In addition to our usual services, we have devised new operations to ensure the safety of our customers. 

  • Essentials pack
  • Discount for healthcare workers
  • NHS support initiative
  • Pay it Forward
  • High temperature wash services 
  • Contactless collections and deliveries

Essentials Pack 

Around the world, people have been notified by the government to limit the amount of time they spend outside. We should only be leaving our homes for the necessities- to pick up shopping or a prescription, or to exercise. To help, we have devised an Essentials Pack to help those who are unable to get the toiletries they need. Our pack includes, soap, toilet paper, washing up liquid, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, cleaning liquid and liquid soap.

The essentials pack can be purchased for personal use, for a relative, friend or family member, or to send to someone in need. We are collaborating with AGE UK to send essentials to someone in need. If you would like to contribute to the initiative, you can book an Essentials Pack and put AGE UK into the address section.

Please note: the Essentials Pack is only available whilst stocks last and is only available in London. 

Discount for healthcare workers

Medical staff around the world are doing an outstanding job at combating coronavirus. We would like to thank healthcare workers by giving them 30% off of their laundry. If you are a healthcare worker, place your order and then contact our customer care team and give them your email address. Our team will verify your email address and add your 30% discount to your order before you pay. It’s our small way to thank you for everything that you are doing.

This offer is available in all cities we operate in.

Photo by Lydia

NHS support initiative

With our partners Under the doormat, we are providing London NHS workers with temporary homes close to hospitals. Under the doormat provides luxury accommodation for people looking for home-stays in London, and we provide them with their linens. During Covid19, we are offering the empty homes we have near London hospitals to those NHS workers who need them. 


If you are an NHS worker and would like to use the accommodation on offer, please contact: NHShomes@underthedoormat.com.

In addition, if you own an unoccupied property that you would like to offer to a key worker, contact: myhome@underthedoormat.com.

Pay it forward

We understand that covid19 isn’t easy for anyone, however, some people are more vulnerable than others. If you know someone who is considered a high risk of catching coronavirus, buy them a Laundryheap gift card and let us eliminate the potential virus from their clothing. When you buy one of our gift cards we will add an extra amount to the card as an added gift.

Giftcards are available in all cities we operate in.

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

High temperature wash services 

To limit the risk of spreading coronavirus we are now offering a hot wash service across all cities we operate in. High temperatures have better success of killing bacteria and viruses, so we recommend taking advantage of this service to ensure that your clothing is effectively sterilised.

WARNING: Please always check the care label of your clothing before requesting a hot wash service. Delicate materials, such as silk, may be damaged if they are washed at too high a temperature. 

Photo by Paul Hudson

Contactless collections and deliveries 

We are now offering contactless collections and deliveries to limit your contact with our drivers. We want to limit the spread of coronavirus, and ensure the safety of both our customers and drivers. When you book your service, specify in the delivery instructions a safe location where we can collect and deliver your clothing. Our drivers will inform you when your clothing has been picked up and when they have been re-delivered to you.

We are keeping a close eye on the governments advice on how to handle covid19. For now, our services are fully available to ensure your safety. Download the Laundryheap app now to book your delivery slot.


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Coronavirus advice for London

Photo by fsse8info

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.