Laundryheap Blog – Laundry & Dry Cleaning

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

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

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

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

Know Your Material Before Your Start 

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

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

What You Will Need

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

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

Leather Shoes

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

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

Suede Shoes 

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

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

Sheepskin Boots

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

Canvas Shoes

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

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

Running Shoes

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

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

White Trainers

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

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

Don’t Forget The Laces

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

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

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


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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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COMMON LAUNDRY PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

With laundry being the most boring chore, there’s nothing worse than having to deal with mishaps. It’s annoying to see your favourite white shirts turn pink, or your most fitted pair of jeans shrink. Irrespective of how embarrassing these problems are, we’ve all been there.

Keep reading for our guide to your laundry problems and solutions.

  • DISCOLOURATION: Experiencing discolouration is sometimes a result of the washing machine not being set up properly. It is advisable to read the manual in order to understand the specs of the machine to avoid surprises. Another factor is the wrong choice of washing detergent or not washing your clothes with the required amount of detergent. To avoid white turning grey or yellowish, you should soak your whites immediately once you take them out especially if you happen to notice any discolouration on areas such as the armpit, or neck. Wash if possible. That way your white stays whiter.

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  • DETERGENT RESIDUE ON CLOTHES: Overloading your washing machine is one of the most common factors to this problem because it restricts the water from circulating well enough on your clothes. It’s advisable to re-wash and rinse your clothes before drying if you notice any form of detergent on your clothing. Don’t just over-look detergent residue on clothes because it can result in a skin reaction. But if you’re not overloading your machine yet experiencing such problems, that might be an indicator of some malfunction in your washing machine. Hence you should have it checked and fixed.

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  • WRINKLED CLOTHES: Ensure the washing machine is set to the appropriate cycle otherwise it can generate excessive heat and water hence resulting in wrinkles on clothing. Often times, it is almost impossible to avoid this problem but there are a couple of less time-consuming yet efficient ways to avoid such inconveniences especially with fabrics such as polyester, nylon, wool etc. Sorting is one of the most efficient ways to avoid this problem especially when you take out your clothes from the dryer. Avoid piling your clothes. Rather put them away. That way it’ll save you ironing time. 

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  • GREASE STAINED: Some stains can be really stubborn and don’t come off easily. In order to avoid putting your machine through a long cycle as well as putting pressure on the other items, it’s best you pre-treat the stain or apply a detergent solution suitable for the type of stain, directly on the stained area before washing your clothes.

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  • SHRINKAGE: Heat and agitation are the most common reasons for shrinkage. Your laundry method and the type of fabric can result in clothing shrinkage. To avoid this problem, hand-wash,  hang, or air dry your clothes that have the possibility of shrinking. A bonus would be reading the labels when purchasing or before washing.

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  • PILLING AND SHEDDING: Some fabrics do have a  have a natural tendency to shed and pill especially synthetic texture fabrics. In order to avoid or minimize this problem, it is best to regulate the washing machine cycle to gentle wash and avoid using extremely hot water, or better still avoid using the washing machine altogether and wash by hand as it’s safer and mostly gentler that way. Moreover, turning your fabric inside out before washing will help eliminate excess pilling.

When drying, you should either air-dry on a line or lay flat on a surface instead of using the machine dryer, especially with knitwear.

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Plus you can always save yourself a headache when you book our service for all your laundry and dry cleaning needs.


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5 LAUNDRY MISTAKES YOU’RE PROBABLY MAKING

Doing your own laundry means you’re likely to be making mistakes. As great as the home washing machine can be – and as hard as we try! – the results just aren’t up to scratch. Although making sure your clothes are clean is the priority, the way you do your washing also affects their appearance and longevity.

LAUNDRYHEAP – the on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service – lists 5 laundry mistakes that can be avoided.

  1. TREATING STAINS INCORRECTLY – we’ve all been there – we spill our lunch on our brand-new top or favourite jeans. Cue panic and frantically rubbing the stain with a variety of detergents. Rubbing a stain too much actually makes it worse, as it could wear away the fabric or spread it around. As soon as you notice a stain, rinse in cold water and dab gently with a stain remover or neat laundry liquid for best results.
    treating stains incorrectly
  2.  DETERGENT MEASUREMENTS – using too much detergent can cause excess soap suds to get caught in the fabric, which eventually leads to a build-up of bacteria. Yuck! How much detergent you use depends on the water hardness in your area – if your water is hard, use more than the box says, but if it’s soft, use less. Your clothes will be super-clean and bacteria free in no time!detergent measurements
  3. OVERFILLING THE MACHINE if you’re not keen on laundry, it’s no surprise that you find yourself waiting until there’s a massive pile waiting by the washing machine. Instead of squashing it all into one wash, split it up into two or more. Overloading doesn’t just damage the inside of the machine, it also means your clothes don’t wash properly and come out with creases.overfilling the machine

     

  4. FORGETTING ABOUT FASTENINGS – washing clothes can become complicated when it comes to accommodating the many types of zips, buttons and other fastenings. Of course, these items can be washed normally, but it’s only a problem when you forget to do them up before washing. Zip up jeans and skirts before washing – they can snag more delicate items in the same wash. However, don’t button up shirts as they can pop open.forgetting about fastenings

     

  5. LEAVING GAPS BETWEEN LOADS – it may seem like a false economy to do multiple loads of washing back-to-back, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Doing one wash after another is actually efficient, as the machine will have retained heat from the previous cycle, saving on energy usage. Who knew washing could actually save you money?

leaving gaps between loads

Instead of wasting time worrying about washing, let LAUNDRYHEAP do it all for you. We love the satisfaction of returning spotlessly clean clothes to our customers – even better, we do it all in 24 hours, making sure you always look great!