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How to host a festival at home

Image by Henry Burrows

With festival season being, close to, completely cancelled because of COVID19, it’s time to bring the festival fun to you. Grab your tents, glitter, and music, because this is how you can host a festival at home. 

  • Give your festival a name
  • Make access passes
  • Create a map
  • Pick your line-up
  • Get your house festival-ready
  • Set activities 
  • Get yourself festival-ready
  • Dine al-fresco
  • Stick with camping 
  • Document the journey

Give your festival a name

Begin planning your stay-at-home festival by naming it. Don’t stress yourself out too much about creating a funny or witty name, something simple will do just fine. Naming your festival will simply put a name to the event and make it more official.

Make access passes 

It’s always nice to have memorabilia from a festival. Despite your festival taking place in your own home, and with limited guests due to COVID rules, making access passes is a fun way to commemorate the event. Make your passes by either drawing or create a simple graphic. Print your graphic on plain paper or card and fold it into a small rectangle. If you have access to a laminator, laminate the pass to avoid it becoming damaged by spilled drinks or general wear and tear. Finally, attach your passes to some string, or a lanyard if you have one, and hand them out to your festival-goers. Don’t forget to remind them that without their passes they can’t access the festival, so they must be worn at all times. 

Image by goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento)

Create a map

It may seem silly to create a map for your festival when it’s being hosted in your own home, but it’s part of the festival experience. Draw a simple layout of your house and pinpoint the areas where events will take place. You could even create a breakdown of which bands you will be playing at certain points of the day, just like in a real festival program. Similarly to the access passes, creating a map will provide your festival-goers with a small token from the festival that they can keep. 

Pick your line-up

You can’t have a festival without music. Unfortunately, you can’t have any live performances, unless someone in your social bubble is a musician. Luckily, there are a few music streaming options that will provide all the tunes your festival needs.

Firstly, many festivals that have been cancelled due to COVID have been showing performances from past acts. For example, Radio 1’s Big Weekend is available to watch on IPlayer. You could create your perfect festival line-up by going through performances from festivals past and playing those for your guests.

Alternatively, you could create your own playlists using a streaming service. This way it is completely up to you which songs to include in your set. Regardless of your decision, make sure that you have a headline act that is worth sticking around for. 

Image by Karen Woodham from Pexels

Get your house festival-ready 

You can’t host a festival without getting your house adequately festival-ready. Make a stage for your virtual bands to perform on by using a chair or table to prop a laptop on. Pitch a tent in your garden and allocate camping space for those staying at the festival. Use fairy lights to illuminate your food court and stage area. Create an outdoor seating area using throw pillows and blankets. Finally, finish off creating the festival vibe by using colourful streamers and banners to decorate the area. You want to create a new experience for your festival-goers, so get creative with your decorations. 

Set activities

When visiting a festival there are usually activities that can be done between seeing performances. These can be anything from face/glitter painting to playing human-sized Jenga. Plan some activities throughout the day that can involve all of your festival-goers. Do some face-painting, play some games and, most importantly, have fun with it. Make sure that your activities are appropriate for all ages so that any children at the festival can join in. 

Get yourself festival-ready

Part of the fun of festivals is dressing up for them. Think flamboyant but comfortable. Shorts, feathers, sequins, tassels, and, of course, a pair of wellies. You want to be prepared for all weather conditions, so it’s best to wear something lightweight for the sun, but also have a waterproof coat on-hand for the rain. The most important thing to remember when getting ready for your festival is… you can NEVER wear too much glitter. 

Image by ChrisPerriman

Dine Al-Fresco

Eating at festivals is all about grabbing something easy to eat at a food truck and dining Al-Fresco. Set up a BBQ and have burgers, hot dogs and other easy-to-eat delicious BBQ foods available for your festival-goers. Create your very own food court and let your guests lounge on throw pillows and blankets whilst they enjoy some, much-needed, festival food before they get back to their raving. The bonus of attending an at-home festival is that you can skip the endless food queues. 

Stick with camping

One of the best parts of going to a festival is camping. The joy of a stay-at-home festival is that you don’t have to camp in a crowded campsite, surrounded by queues of people waiting to use the portaloos in the middle of the night. Upgrade your camping experience by creating a calming campsite that your festival guests can enjoy. Pitch some tents and make them comfortable and cosy. Leave out plenty of sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets for your guests to snuggle up in, and light your tents with a multitude of fairy lights. You want to give your festival-goers a relaxing area to wind-down after a day of partying to their favourite artists. 

Image by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Document the journey 

Finally, make sure that you document your festival journey. Your festival is bound to be a lot of fun for yourself and your guests, so make sure that you capture plenty of photos and videos to remind you of what you created. You could even go live on Facebook and Instagram and share parts of your festival experience with your followers. 

Image by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

The joy of a stay-at-home festival is that there is less chance of your clothes getting covered in mud from staying in a field all weekend. If you do happen to get muddy during your festival, let us take care of your clothing. Book a Laundryheap hot wash service by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Your questions answered on washing face coverings

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

We have all been advised to wear face coverings when entering enclosed spaces outside of our own home- but do you know how to care for your face covering? These are your face covering questions, answered. 

  • How often should you wash your face covering?
  • How do you safely remove a face covering?
  • What should you do if you can’t wash your face covering immediately?
  • Can you wash your face covering with other laundry items? 
  • What’s the best way to wash a face-covering in the washing machine?
  • How do you hand wash a face covering?
  • How do you dry a face covering?

How often should you wash your face covering? 

You should wash your face covering after every wear. Your face covering will create a barrier to catch any virus-filled droplets that are breathed out in your everyday life. It is important to remember that you may encounter some people who will not be wearing masks and their virus-filled droplets could attach to the front of your face covering. To avoid any cross-contamination of COVID bacteria it is safest to wash the front and inside of your face mask after every wear. 

Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels

How do you safely remove a face covering?

Remove your face covering with care. Use the strings securing your covering to loosen and take it off. When removing, and once removed, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you can wash your hands. You should wash your hands immediately after handling your face covering to remove any harmful bacteria that may have been transferred. 

Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels

What should you do if you can’t wash your face covering immediately?

If you can’t immediately wash your face covering, simply place it in a disposable bag until you can. Avoid placing your covering directly onto a surface as this can spread potentially harmful bacteria. If you do place your covering on a surface, make sure to disinfect the surface as soon as possible. 

Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Can you wash your face covering with other laundry items?

You can wash your face covering with other laundry items, as long as your covering is not overly delicate. COVID bacteria are highly unlikely to transfer from one material to another before the laundry detergent eliminates it. 

What’s the best way to wash a face covering in the washing machine?

The best way to wash a face covering in the washing machine is dependant on the material of your covering. Put your face covering in your washing machine with similar materials so that it does not get damaged. Prior to putting your covering in your machine check the care label to see what the highest appropriate temperature is. There is no need to buy a specific laundry detergent, whatever brand you usually use is completely fine. Once you have inserted your face covering with your other laundry items and inserted the detergent, set your washing machine to the highest appropriate temperature, and wait for your cycle to finish. 

How do you hand wash a face covering?

If your face covering is made from a particularly delicate material it may be best to hand wash it. If this is the case, all you need is laundry detergent and warm water. Pour a decent amount of laundry detergent onto your mask and use some warm water and a scrubbing motion to make the material soapy. Scrub your mask for a minimum of 20 seconds, making sure that all areas of it have been covered. After 20 seconds or more, rinse your mask with warm water, making sure that all of the soapy residue has been washed off. 

How do you dry a face covering?

The most effective drying method for a face covering is either by tumble drying or air drying. If you are using the tumble dryer, set the dryer to its highest temperature, and leave your covering in until it is completely dry. Alternatively, lay your face covering completely flat on a flat surface and wait for it to air dry. If possible, dry your mask in direct sunlight.

If you decide to air dry your mask make sure that you iron it once it has been dried. You want to use some form of heat to make sure that all of the bacteria from your mask have been eliminated and using an iron is the fasted way to do this. 

At Laundryheap, we want to ensure that you stay safe. That is why we offer a hot wash service and will deliver your laundered clothes contact-free. Book your slot by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Top tips for disinfecting clothing

Image by Marco Verch

With COVID19 restrictions being eased, it is more important than ever to make sure that your clothes are properly disinfected. These top tips for disinfecting clothing will ensure that your clothes remain clean and that you remain safe. 

  • The difference between cleaning and disinfecting 
  • Wear gloves
  • Use a bleach detergent
  • Choose a hot wash
  • Dry clothes completely 
  • Steam clean your clothes
  • Clean your machine
  • Disinfect your laundry basket
  • Use Laundryheap

The difference between cleaning and disinfecting 

It is not enough to simply clean your clothing, you need to disinfect them. Cleaning your clothes involves removing dirt and germs from the surface of the fabric. Disinfecting your clothes involves using chemicals that guarantee the removal of bacteria, preventing the spread of bacteria to other surfaces. 

Wear gloves 

Before you begin your laundry put on a pair of gloves. Your gloves will protect you from getting any of the bacteria from your clothing onto your hands, therefore limiting the risk of bacteria spreading to other surfaces. Once you have completed your laundry you are safe to remove your gloves and immediately wash your hands.

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

Use a bleach detergent 

To ensure that your clothes are adequately disinfected it’s best to use bleach detergent. The bleach will denature the protein in any bacteria lingering in your clothing, subsequently killing it. Before using bleach detergent, always check the care label on your clothing as bleach may damage you more delicate items of clothing. 

Choose a hot wash

Washing your clothes at 55-60 degrees will help ensure that your laundry comes out bacteria-free. Hot water makes many detergents more effective at tackling bacteria on clothing, plus the heat of the water aids in deactivating the bacteria. Similarly to when using bleach, always check the care label of your clothing as more delicate items of clothing may become damaged if hot washed. 

Image by Paul Hudson

Dry clothes completely  

Before you re-wear any freshly washed item of clothing you must make sure that it is completely dry. Bacteria thrive in damp environments, so wet clothing provides the perfect breeding ground for it. To make sure that your clothes are completely dry before re-wearing them, either dry them in the tumble dryer or put them in the dryer for a quick 5-minute blast. The heat from the tumble dryer will warm your clothing and kill off any of the remaining bacteria. 

Image by viZZZual.com

Steam clean your clothes

If you need to disinfect more delicate items of clothing that can’t withstand a hot wash or bleach detergent, try steam cleaning your clothes. A steam cleaner uses steam to disinfect your clothing, removing bacteria as well as odours. In addition to removing bacteria, steam cleaning also removes wrinkles from your clothes so there is no need to iron them.

Clean your machine 

After using your washing machine to disinfect your clothes it’s important that you disinfect your washing machine. If not cleaned, your washing machine could transfer lingering bacteria from a previous wash onto a fresh load of laundry, resulting in the spread of bacteria. To adequately clean your machine, either insert a dishwasher tablet or 2 cups of white cleaning vinegar into the machines detergent dispenser and set your machine to a hot wash. 

Disinfect your laundry basket 

Similarly to your washing machine, it’s important to disinfect your laundry basket once all of your dirty laundry has been removed from it. The best way to disinfect your laundry basket is to use 0.1% sodium hypochlorite to completely wipe down every surface of your basket. This will leave your laundry basket completely clean and unable to spread bacteria. 

Use Laundryheap

If you want to make sure that you laundry is completely disinfected book you Laundryheap slot now. Our hot wash service will disinfect your clothing, plus our contactless delivery will ensure that both you and our drivers are safely distanced. Book your delivery by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Things to do with kids during quarantine

With limitations on when you can go outside and who you can see, keeping your children entertained during quarantine can seem like a difficult task. Here are 10 fun, interactive things that you can do with your kids during quarantine. 

  • Bake 
  • Have a picnic
  • Video call family and friends
  • Make your own playdough
  • Create your own board game 
  • Make slime
  • Explore Africa 
  • Create pasta jewellery 
  • Take on Dr. Seuss’s Word Challenge
  • Build a fort

Bake

Baking is fun for all the family. Gather your children and, together, choose a simple recipe to follow. Baking is great for teaching children how to measure ingredients and how to follow instructions, so divide the baking responsibilities amongst them. Not only is baking educational and fun, but you will all be rewarded with a delicious sweet treat at the end. 

Have a picnic

With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, people within the same household are now allowed to sit in open spaces. Take this opportunity to gather the family and head to the nearest park with a picnic. The fresh air and the chance for your kids to stretch their legs will do you all the world of good.

If the weather does not permit a park picnic, then have one indoors. Grab a blanket and lay out an abundance of snacks and treats on your floor. You can still have all the fun of an outdoor picnic inside, plus there is the added bonus of not being bitten by ants.

Video call family and friends 

During quarantine it is vital that we all stay in contact with our loved ones. Children may be finding it harder to comprehend why they can’t see their friends and family, so video calling them may satisfy their lack of interaction with people outside of your family home. To maintain some form of normality in your child’s social life, why not set up virtual play dates with their friends from school. This is a great way to ensure that your child is building on their social skills, despite being obstructed from the outside world, whilst freeing up some time for yourself. 

Make your own playdough 

Making playdough is fun, easy to do, and inexpensive. Additionally, just like with baking, your children will learn essential life skills whilst helping you make it. 

To make playdough you will need:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • ¾ cup of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • food colouring of your choice
  •  storage bags

To make your playdough begin by stirring together your flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large pot. Next, add water, oil and, if you are making only one colour of playdough, your food colouring. Put your pot on a medium heat and stir constantly until your mixture becomes thick and begins to form into a ball shape. Once your playdough has formed into a ball, take it off of the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Once cooled, if you are making multiple coloured playdough, split your dough into one ball per colour. Place each ball into a zip-top bag with five drops of food colouring and knead the dough. If you would like a more vibrant colour, add more than five drops of food colouring. Once all of your colouring has been mixed into the dough and you are satisfied with the colour, the playdough is ready to play with. 

Store your playdough in a zip-top bag after use. If stored correctly, your playdough should remain soft for up to three months. 

Create your own board game

Board games can provide you and your family endless hours of fun, however, they can become boring and repetitive once you have played them multiple times. Rather than becoming bored with the same games, why not try and build your own game with your children. Think of a fun concept and let your mind run wild creating rules, a board and players for your game. Once you’ve completed creating your board game, have fun playing it. 

Make slime

 If playdough making was a success, why not get your kids to try and make slime. Similarly, making slime is inexpensive and easy. 

To make slime you will need:

  • 8 ounces of white glue
  • 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons of contact saline solution
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Food colouring

To make your slime begin by squeezing the whole contents of your white glue into a bowl and add your food colouring. Stir the mixture together until it has combined. Once combined, add your baking soda and saline solution. Be aware that the more solution you add the thicker it will be and the less solution you add the slimier it will be. Using your hands, knead your mixture together until it holds- it will be wet and gooey to begin with, but as you knead it will become more solid. Once satisfied with the consistency of your slime, let your kids enjoy. 

Once your children have finished playing with their slime, store in a zip-top bag to keep fresh. 

Explore Africa 

Just because you and your kids are stuck in quarantine it doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world. Gather your children and head to the Explore website to watch the live African animals Livestream. On the website is an abundance of information about Africa, the watering hole where the Livestream is set and the animals that can be seen. Your children could encounter animals they have never seen before in this safari-style, educational experience, all from the comfort of your own home. 

Create pasta jewellery

Pasta jewellery is easy and fun to make. All you need is some different types of pasta and some string. Let your children’s imaginations run wild as they create pasta necklaces and bracelets. Stylish, organic and tastes great when cooked. 

Take on Dr Seuss’s Word Challenge

Open your child’s mind to the literary world by letting them take on Dr Suess’s Word Challenge. The aim of the game is to read as many books as possible. You could even create a rewards system or a competition between your child and their siblings or your child and their friends. All the information about the Word Challenge can be found at Seussville, where you will also find additional literary activities and games. 

Build a fort 

On rainy days there is nothing quite like gathering the family and building a fort. Use every cushion, pillow, duvet and blanket you can find and build the biggest structure possible. Once built, gather some snacks, some films and your family and spend the day together, relaxing in the fort. 

Image by ColdwellPro from Pixabay

Don’t stress about your laundry when you have to look after your children. Book your Laundryheap dry cleaning slot and we will pick up, launder and deliver your clothing within 24hrs. Now available in Kuwait and New York. Head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your service. 


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Everyday quarantine essentials

Being in quarantine can be stressful, boring, exhausting, and worrying. But, there are ways that you can make it easier for yourself and those you’re isolating with. These are the everyday essentials that you will need in quarantine. 

  • A basic first aid kit 
  • Groceries 
  • Essential toiletries 
  • WiFi
  • Moisturiser
  • Loungewear
  • A book 
  • Video chat
  • A bath bomb
  • Board games/puzzles 

A basic first aid kit

With the stress that the world’s hospitals are under, coupled with the fact that we are only supposed to be shopping for the essentials, it is vital that everyone has a basic first aid kit in their home. Your kit should include medical basics such as plasters, bandages, antiseptic cream, tweezers, and paracetamol. Having a simple first aid kit to hand will mean that you will only have to leave your home and concern the emergency services when it is absolutely necessary. 

photo by Senior Airman Kirby Turbak

Groceries 

We all have to eat, so groceries are an absolute essential during quarantine. When shopping for your groceries you should strike the right balance between a nutritious diet and treating yourself. These are worrisome times that we are in, so if you want to buy 3 different types of biscuits or a giant bar of chocolate, go for it. Just make sure that you balance your treats with some healthy, hearty, meals. 

Image by Mittmac from Pixabay

Essential toiletries

Items such as toilet roll, toothpaste, shampoo, and shower gel are all essential to keeping ourselves clean. It is vital that, despite being in quarantine, we maintain our physical hygiene. Having regular showers, and even taking on a task as simple as brushing your teeth, can improve your mental health and give you a more productive state of mind. If you are struggling to find essential toiletries in your local store and you live in the UK buy one of our Essential Packs and we will deliver your essentials to you. Additionally, you can buy an Essentials Pack for someone vulnerable by adding the AGEUK address to the delivery information.

Wifi 

Living in the age of the internet means that WiFi has become essential in our everyday lives. Now, it is an essential during quarantine. It would be near impossible to work from home and stay connected with your colleagues without WiFi. Outside of work, WiFi can be used to watch movies, TV shows, and to browse the internet to stay entertained. 

Moisturiser 

We should all be washing our hands to maintain cleanliness and prevent the spread of COVID19. However, constantly washing your hands can lead to dry, cracked skin that can be painful. To alleviate the pain, use moisturiser to soften your hands. Dry skin on your hands should not prevent you from frequently washing them, so a high-impact moisturiser is an essential quarantine item. 

Loungewear

Loungewear is essential to achieving maximum comfort whilst in quarantine. Whether you’re working from home, home-schooling your children, or just taking it one day at a time, you don’t want to be wearing unnecessarily stiff clothing. Tracksuits, leggings, shorts and loose-fitting T-shirts are the height of quarantine fashion. Comfortable, stretchy clothing that is easy to move in and easy to lounge in. 

Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels

A book 

Being in quarantine can become incredibly overwhelming but reading can be a useful release. When isolation starts to get a bit too much, grab a book and transport yourself to another world. Try and choose upbeat happy books that will take you away from the stresses of the modern world, however, any book that you can immerse yourself in will do. 

Coffee Break Reading Travel Book Lifestyle Concept

Video chat

Distancing from friends, family, and loved ones is incredibly difficult, which is why online video chats, such as Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime have become so important. It’s vital that we stay in touch with those we love so that we can catch up with them and make sure that they are safe. We need to virtually socialise as much as possible to maintain relationships and boost our mental health. Apps, such as Zoom, are great for virtually socialising because you can physically see the person you are talking to, plus it makes it easy to take part in things such as virtual pub quizzes, movie nights, and games. 

A bath bomb

During lock down, it is important to take some time for yourself to relax. One way to do that is by having a soothing bath with a bath bomb. Try and get a bath bomb that includes natural relaxants such as lavender and rose as this will make it easier for you to sink into a calm state of mind. To set the tone for relaxation, light some candles and make sure that you have a nice big fluffy towel waiting for you when you’re ready to get out.

Board games/puzzles  

If you are isolating with friends or family, board games and puzzles can be a great way to pass the time and bond. Relationships can become strained whilst in quarantine, so doing something positive together, such as playing a board game or completing a puzzle, can relieve some of that tension. Plus, board games and puzzles are great entertainment and can be played time after time. 

Wherever you’re isolating we hope that you are safe. Our services are fully operational, now including in Kuwait, with hot washes available and all orders being delivered contactless. Book your delivery slot by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the Laundryheap app for free. 


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How to make a DIY face covering

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

With the world slowly beginning to emerge from COVID19 lockdown, it is essential that we continue to keep ourselves and those around us safe. One was of achieving safety is by making and wearing a face covering.

  • Why should you wear a face covering? 
  • When should you wear a face covering?
  • How to make a face covering from a T-shirt
  • How to make a face covering from a bandanna 
  • How to sew a face covering 
  • How to look after your face covering

Why should you wear a face covering?

Despite the fact that many countries are beginning to ease their lockdown restrictions, Coronavirus has not disappeared. We still need to make sure that we are staying safe. Wearing a face covering helps reduce the risk of transmitting COVID19 when we do leave the house for essential reasons. Additionally, they will protect those who are asymptomatic from spreading Coronavirus unwittingly.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

When should you wear a face covering?

Face coverings should be worn on public transport, in shops, and in enclosed spaces where social distancing can not be carried out and you are amongst people who are not living in your home. 

Before putting your face covering on you should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser to rid yourself of any bacteria. Once your hands are clean, place your face covering comfortably over your nose and mouth, making sure that you can still breathe.

Please note, face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or by those with respiratory problems.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

How to make a face covering from a T-shirt 

You will need:

  • An old T-shirt that you no longer want 
  • A ruler 
  • A pair of scissors 
  1. Begin by laying your T-shirt on a flat surface. Using your ruler, measure 20 cm from the bottom of the T-shirt. From your 20 cm mark, use your scissors and cut a straight line across the width of your material, creating a rectangle. 
  2. Using your ruler again, measure 2 cm from the top right corner of your fabric. From the 2 cm mark, make a 15 cm horizontal cut through your T-shirt that is parallel to the top of the rectangle. Repeat this process, parallel to the cut that you have just made. 
  3. To make your ties, cut open the two long strips of fabric that you have just created. Unfold the main piece of fabric and place it over your nose and mouth, making sure that you can still breathe. Tie the top two ties around your head, and the bottom ties around your neck. You must make sure that your ties are secure and will not become unfastened. 
Photo by Quinten Van Kerrebroeck from Pexels

How to make a face covering from a bandanna 

You will need:

  • A bandanna of at least 50 cm by 50 cm 
  • Two elastic bands or hair ties 
  1. Begin by laying your bandanna on a flat surface. Fold your bandanna in half from top to bottom. 
  2. Next, fold the top half of your bandanna two-thirds of the way down and fold the bottom half up so that the two sections meet in the middle. 
  3. Thread your elastic bands or hair ties through the bandanna, keeping them 12 cm apart. 
  4. Finally, fold the overhanging ends of the bandanna into the centre and tuck them into your elastic bands or hair ties. 
Image by Alexander Droeger from Pixabay

How to sew a face covering 

You will need:

  • Two 25 cm by 25 cm squares of cotton fabric 
  • Two 20 cm pieces of elastic or string 
  • A needle
  • Thread
  • A pair of scissors 
  1. Begin by placing your two 25 cm by 25 cm squares of fabric on top of one another. Fold one side of the stacked fabric over by 0.75 cm and hem the material. Repeat this process on the opposite side of the fabric. 
  2. Create two channels by folding over the stacked fabric by 1.5 cm on each side. Stick down both sides of the fabric, making sure that the stitches are strong enough to hold the material together. 
  3. With your needle, run your 20 cm of elastic or string through the hem of your covering to create ear loops. Repeat this process on the opposite side of the covering, making sure that you tie the ends tightly.
  4. To finish, gently pull your elastic or string so that your tied knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the fabric on the elastic and adjust them so that they comfortably fits your face. Securely stitch your elastic in place to ensure that your face covering will not fall below your nose and mouth. 
Image by Anke Sundermeier from Pixabay

How to look after your face covering 

It is not enough to just wear a face covering, you also have to regularly clean it. When taking your face covering off do not touch the front of it or the section that has been touching your nose and mouth. Instead, remove your covering using the ties around your head. Once removed, immediately place it in a plastic bag until you are able to wash it. If your covering has touched any surface, you must disinfect those surfaces immediately. To best ensure that your face covering is rid of bacteria, wash it in your washing machine after every use on a hot wash.

If your face covering has been hand-stitched it may be better to hand wash to avoid it potentially falling apart in the washing machine. If you are hand-washing, lather the fabric in laundry detergent and scrub it for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm to hot water, and either leave to dry or use the hottest setting on your tumble dryer.  Once dried, iron your face covering. The heat from the iron will kill any residing bacteria and reduce your risk of contracting a bacterial respiratory infection.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

We want to ensure that our drivers and customers remain safe during COVID19. That is why we now deliver your laundry contactless. To book your delivery slot head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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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