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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How to Make the Most of Your Laundry Time

Let’s face it, we’ve all found ourselves helplessly searching for something to do in the hour it takes for laundry to be washed. Often regarded as the household chore people loathe the most, Laundry generally gets a rough time. 

Waiting for your washing to come out of the machine or dryer is often the most frustrating aspect of doing laundry . With such small increments of time, people often wonder what they should do? Well, we are here to change that with a few simple suggestions. 

  1. Listen to a Podcast
  2. Read A Book
  3. Listen To An Audiobook
  4. Call Your Friends or Family
  5. Watch Something On Your Phone
  6. Do A Quick Workout
  7. Online Shopping
  8. Get Some Work Done
  9. Catch Up On Emails/Messages
  10. Hire A Professional To Free Up Your Laundry Time

Listen to a Podcast

If you haven’t already jumped on the Podcast hype-train, then where have you been? Podcasts are a great distraction from just about any boring task that doesn’t require your full attention. 

There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of different Podcasts at your disposal, with most of them being free to listen to, it’s a no brainer for killing time doing laundry. Whether you are into true crime, sport, music, history, self-help or comedy, there is something for everyone in the Podcast world. Put your headphones in, sit back and let the time fly. 

Read A Book

Most people don’t have time in their busy schedule to sit down and read a good novel these days. With so much of our time spent on work, replying to emails and checking social media for current events, the art of sitting and reading a book is in steep decline. 

Waiting for your laundry to be done is the perfect opportunity to pull out that novel someone bought you as a gift two Christmas’ ago. Find a comfy seat, relax and get lost in the words. The time will fly by. 

Listen to an Audiobook

Reading isn’t for everyone, we understand that. Luckily for us, we live in a digital age, that means you don’t have to strain your eyes from trying to focus on the small font used in books. If you feel you don’t have the attention span to sit and read a whole novel, then Audiobooks have you covered.

Just about every novel released now is accompanied by an Audiobook version. Harry Potter fan? Why not listen to the seven books narrated by the melodious voice of Stephen Fry? Let the narrator take you on the author’s intended journey and forget about all your laundry worries.

Call Your Friends or Family

So much of our interactions with people come in the form of text or email these days. Why not take the hour you have spare to call one of your friends or family. That’s right, call, as in over the phone and with your voice. Crazy, right? Waiting for laundry provides the perfect space in your day to call that special someone and catch up on all the things happening in each other’s lives. 

Watch Something on Your Phone 

Nowadays most people have smartphones with instant access to whichever choice of streaming service they prefer. If you have an hour to kill why not load up the latest episode of that series you have been binging? Or check out that documentary your friend recommended you watch? You’d be amazed how quickly you forget about that laundry spinning around the machine when you are tuned in to David Attenborough’s latest documentary. Just make sure you remember to take the laundry out when it’s ready and move it to the dryer!

Do a Quick Workout

This is a great option for those neglecting the gym lately, or for those who simply just love to work out. You can do plenty of routines in the hour it takes to do some laundry. Press-ups, sit-ups, squats, dips, you name it, it can be done whilst waiting for your laundry to be finished. This will have you not only feeling good about getting your dirty clothes washed but also about giving your body some much need endorphins.

Online Shopping

What better way to take your mind of doing the laundry than buying more clothes that will one day have to be washed? We are all guilty of spending too much time scrolling through online stores latest releases, so why not do it when you are waiting for the laundry. This way you don’t have to feel guilty that you are wasting valuable time. 

Get Some Work Done

This suggestion can mean different things for different people depending on what you do for a living. If, for example, you work independently from home then laundry time is the perfect time to get some work done. 

This option can be applied to just about any profession though. Whether it comes in the form of writing a to-do list or brainstorming some ideas you want to put forward to your boss, don’t let this free time go to waste! 

Catch Up On Emails

Emailing is part and parcel of most peoples daily working routine. I’m sure we don’t need to remind you how quickly that inbox can fill up and how overwhelming it can be to start getting back to people. Why not use this unusual free time to tackle that ever-growing inbox of yours.

Hire a Professional 

Why go through the stress and boredom of doing laundry when you could be using Laundryheap? All you have to do is book a collection and delivery time. Your clothes will arrive back with you 24 hours later – all clean and ready for action. You never have to worry about how to make the most of your laundry time ever again.