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How To Clean Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede shoes uses almost the same methods as cleaning suede clothing. It’s essential to clean suede shoes properly if you want to keep them from discolouration and permanent marks.

How To Clean Suede Shoes

  • Scuffed edges: Use a suede brush in a vigorous back and forth motion ONLY on the scuffed area, avoiding the undamaged suede areas.
  • Stubborn dry marks: Use a white pencil eraser to remove dry marks and even scuff marks that won’t brush out. Apply light pressure first and increase pressure if marks are too tough.
  • Water stains: Water stains when dry can cause discolouration to the shoe but water applied properly can help remove them. Use a damp sponge or cloth and gently dab it onto the stain. Then, use a brush to brush it out. Repeat the process if necessary but let it dry before adding more water.
  • Mud stains: For fresh mud stains, gently dab or wipe away the excess mud and let it dry before cleaning. Once the mud is dry, use a brush to remove the remaining dirt. 
  • Oil/grease stains: Blot out excess liquid and sprinkle baking soda or cornflour to the stained area. Let it to sit for a few hours until fully absorbed and brush it off.
  • Stubborn stains: Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water to the stain with a soft towel or cloth and gently dab/ wipe away the stain. Let it dry and then brush it out.

If you want to invest in a proper cleaning kit for your suede shoes, you can purchase a suede care kit that can include a mixture of the following: suede shampoo, eraser, protector spray and shoe brush. Alternatively, you can take your shoes to get professionally cleaned by a cobbler.

Laundryheap can’t clean your suede shoes for you, but we are more than happy to take care of any suede garments that you need professionally cleaned.


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How Often You Should Dry Clean Your Clothes

Ever wondered how often you should dry clean those ‘dry clean only’ garments of yours? Fortunately, most garments can be worn more than once before taking them to the dry cleaners.

Here are some of the most common ‘dry clean only’ items and how often you should wash them:

  • Business Suit– 4-5 wears 

Suits you wear on a regular basis to work don’t require daily cleaning as they don’t come into direct contact with the skin.

  • Formal Suit–  After every wear/ Once every season

For suits that are worn once or twice a year to special occasions, it’s best to wash them after every wear or once every season. This is so they can be stored away properly, freshly cleaned and ready to wear again.

  • Dress pants/ skirts/ dresses– 4-5 wears

Most dress pants/ skirts are made from stain-repellent material, so they don’t need to be dry cleaned so often unless there are visible stain or dirt.

  • Button down blouses 3-4 wears

Blouses come into direct contact with your skin and absorb your sweat, but as long as there are no visible stains or dirt, they can be cleaned after a few wears. White blouses, however, should be cleaned after every wear.

  • Silk blouses– After every wear

Silk fabric requires extra care because of its delicacy, so silk blouses need to be cleaned after every wear.

  • Evening dresses After every wear/ Once every season

Evening attire worn only on special occasions should be washed after every wear or once every season if worn more than once in the same season.

  • Jackets/coats– Once every season

Winter coats and jackets should be cleaned only before storing them away and once during the season.

These are only general guidelines on how often you should dry clean your clothes, assuming that they haven’t been heavily soiled or stained. Clothes that are soiled quickly should be cleaned more frequently than stated, while other clothing like suits and jackets can be spot cleaned to get more wears out of them.

If you require a professional dry cleaner, Laundryheap can collect, clean and deliver your clothes within 24 hours.


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Natural Alternatives To Fabric Softener

If you’re looking for ways to soften your clothes without using fabric softener, here are some natural alternatives that you can use for the washing machine and tumble dryer.

Washing Machine Fabric Softener

  • Baking Soda

This versatile product helps to regulate the pH balance of water, suspends detergent and mineral residue that causes your clothes to feel rough. When going to wash your clothes, wash as usual, include your regular amount of detergent to the load and add 1/2 a cup of baking soda to the drum. Alternatively you can add it to the final rinse cycle.

  • Vinegar

White distilled vinegar helps to reduce stiffness, allowing your clothes to remain soft. Add 1/2 a cup of vinegar in the fabric softener drawer to the final rinse cycle or along with the wash cycle itself.

  • Epsom Salt

Make DIY fabric softener crystals using Epsom salt and essential oils. Mix a cup of Epsom salt with 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice. Add 1/4 of a up of this mixture to the drum before you begin the wash cycle. You can also choose to add Epsom salt only if you don’t want to make your clothes more fragrant.

Dryer Fabric Softener

  • Wool dryer balls

Wool dryer balls are made from  natural wool and act as a great natural alternative to fabric softener and dryer sheets. These can last up to 1000 loads and can make your clothes smell naturally fragrant if you add a few drops of essential oils on them.  

  • Aluminium foil

Aluminium foil works great in reducing the static of your laundry, keeping the fabrics smooth. Roll aluminium foil into a smooth ball and chuck them into your dryer along with your clothes.


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10 Free Things To Do In Amsterdam

If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam and want to make the most out of your trip without spending too much, here are 10 free things you can do in Amsterdam.

10 Free Things To Do In Amsterdam

  • Amsterdam Walking Tour

Learn about the history and modern-day Amsterdam through a free 3-hour Amsterdam walking tour to see the top attractions in the city including the canals, Anne Frank House and more. The tour starts at the National Monument in Dam Square and usually ends by Anne Frank House.

  • Ferry Ride

Take a free ferry ride behind central station to the North of Amsterdam crossing the river Ij (pronounced “eye”) and enjoy the Amsterdam waterfront view. The ferries can be found behind central station and you can choose from 3 different routes. Buiksloterweg, where you can explore the EYE Filmmuseum & Tolhuistuin, IJplein to visit a more residential area with shops, and NDSM Wharf, for multi-disciplinary festivals, performances, exhibitions, dance parties and a wide range of other events.

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  • Vondelpark

Enjoy nature and take a stroll through Vondelpark, located in the heart of Amsterdam. Though not different from other parks, with many open green spaces, flower beds and a lake, it’s a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • Rijksmuseum Garden

Although the Rijksmuseum requires an entrance fee, you’re free to roam around the beautiful garden. You can see beautiful flower beds as well as a collection of statues and sculptures.

  • Goat Farm at the Amsterdamse Bos

Visit the goat farm situated in the heart of Amsterdamse Bos and feed the goats. You can also see other farm animals like lambs, chickens, pigs, cows and horses. The farm features a kiddie pool, a river and biking and hiking trails.

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  • Stadsarchief (Amsterdam City Archives)

Check out Amsterdam’s collection of rich history and treasures, protected in the basement of the historic De Bazel building. It showcases historical documents, archaeological artefacts and contains many maps, drawings and pictures, a library and extensive audio, film and photo archives. 

  • NEMO Science Museum

Visit the 5- floor NEMO science museum an enjoy the playful hands-on experience of learning. NEMO also has an accessible sloping rooftop that is open to the public, where you can see a view of Amsterdam city centre as well as learn about generating power from elements through the ‘energitica’ exhibition.

  • Gassan Diamond Tour

Take a tour at Gassan’s factory of Diamonds where you can watch the entire process and craftsmanship of how diamonds are transformed, while a guide tells you about the process.

  • Poezenboot

If you love cats, you will want to visit Poezenboot. It’s a boat that shelters up to 50 cats up for adoption. It’s free to go and check out but donations are welcome.

  • Amsterdam’s Chinatown

Roam the streets of Amsterdam’s china town and while you’re there, check out the amazing Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple and it’s lavish interior.

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If on your visit you require a reliable laundry service, Laundryheap will be able to do the job for you. We offer laundry, dry cleaning and ironing and will collect and deliver your items within 24 hours. 


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How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Tumble Dryer

If you don’t have a tumble dryer/ machine dryer in your home but are looking for ways to dry clothes quickly after doing the laundry, here are some quick tips for drying your clothes without a tumble dryer.

How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Tumble Dryer

  • Use the spinning setting on your washing machine: The spin cycle on your washing machine helps to remove excess water from your clothes before you go to dry them. This process will help speed up the drying time, even when you hang your clothes up to dry.
  • Use a towel: Lay a clean towel flat down and place the item of clothing on top of it. Then, roll up the towel with the garment inside it into a sausage and wring out the excess water.
  • Place your clothes in a warm area: Place your clothes to dry in a warm area in your home, like on the radiator or in the boiler cupboard. The best option is to hang dry your clothes outside when the sun is out.
  • Dry clothes with an iron: Place your clothing flat down on an ironing board and put a thin clean, dry towel on top of it. Then, iron the clothing under the towel, not forgetting to turn the garment over. This will help the garment to dry without damaging the fabric.


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Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Don’t have a gift yet for Father’s day? Don’t worry! Here are some last minute gift ideas you could get for your dad this Father’s day.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

  • Gadgets & Tech

Most dads love cool tech and gadgets. Think about the kind of things your dad is in to or what he’s been hinting that he needs.

If your dad is in to music, get him a speaker or wireless earphones. If he’s active and loves working out, get him a Fitbit. Maybe he would love a smart home product like an Amazon echo. 

  • Car accessories

For the dads who take great pride in their car, why not get your dad some car accessories or gadgets. Purchase a car vacuum so your dad can always keep his car clean or maybe get him a magnetic dashboard phone holder as an upgrade to the suction cup ones. If you think you’re dad could use some car security, get him a dashboard cam.

  • Toolbox

Every dad needs a toolbox/ tool set. If you feel like your dad needs to upgrade his tool selection, get him a toolbox that has all the handyman tools included.

You can also give him a tool set that doesn’t involve handyman tools, like a bbq tool set. If you want to make it more personalised, you can purchase an empty toolbox and put all your dads’ favourite things in there, like his favourite drinks, an educational book, a DVD a travel mug etc.

  • A Day out

Treat your dad to a meal in a fancy restaurant. A steak house or seafood place perhaps? Wherever you decide to eat, I’m sure there will be many father’s day deals where your dad can eat for less or even for free!

  • A Gift Card

The most simple gift choice you can give is a gift card. If you still can’t decide what to get your dad, get him a gift card to a shop that he will love. Get him an Amazon gift card or send a gift card from voucher express so he can choose which retailer to spend it on. You can even send him a laundryheap gift card!


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Work-life Balance Tips For Busy Working Parents

The struggle of every full-time working parent is maintaining the balance between work and family life. It’s almost the same busy routine every day, trying to survive the juggling act of various errands and activities.

So, how can you balance work and family life? Here are work-life balance tips for busy working parents.

Work-life Balance Tips For Busy Working Parents

  • Get organised the night before
  • Plan meals ahead
  • Create a family calendar
  • Leave work at work
  • Let your partner help you
  • Organise family time
  • Look after yourself
  • Spend quality time with your partner
  • Quit being a perfectionist
  • Outsource tasks

Get Organised The Night Before

Every morning may seem like a rush. Waking up early to prepare everything for your kids- their clothes, their breakfast, their lunch, and everything else they will need for the day. You also need to get ready for work or to run errands.

To make things in the morning go smoother, minimise tasks in the morning by getting things organised the night before. Lay out your clothes for you and your kids, make packed lunches and have their bags ready to pick up and go.

Plan Meals Ahead

Save meal prep time through the day and after work by planning meals ahead. Preparing healthy home-cooked meals can be pretty time-consuming. Prepare and chop up your ingredients in advance and keep them well-stored, pre-cook food and keep them in the freezer to be fully cooked later in the day or days in advance.

Create A Family Calendar

Having a family calendar will help you keep track of the various after-school activities your children may have and events or details for you and your partner too. It will help you manage your time well and also encourage your kids to be more responsible and organised. 

You can include individual household tasks for your children as well as homework due dates and appointments.

Make sure that the family calendar is in an easily accessible and commonly used place, like the kitchen. 

Leave Work At Work

A common thing most parents tend to do is bring their work problems home instead of leaving them at work.

Turn off your work email and avoid doing anything work-related. If you have to do work at home or are self-employed, try to work in a closed area in your house like at a desk in your room or office, if you have one, to avoid doing work around your family.

If at work, you know you have so much to do, try to manage your tasks effectively so this doesn’t affect you when you get home. 

Let Your Partner Help You

Divide your family/ home responsibilities with your partner. Communicate regularly and work together to accomplish tasks. You can maybe take turns to cook meals or run errands if you’re finding it difficult to make time for it.

Organise Family Time

Spend an hour every night or a day every week to spend time with your family. Instead of being in the house altogether doing your own thing, do something together. Have a family meal, watch a movie or play some games. It doesn’t have to be anything special, as long as you are relaxed and enjoying each other’s company. It’s also a great opportunity to get updated with any news.

Look After Yourself

While your family is your priority, you must never forget to look after yourself too. With so much going, it can be easy to put your needs last without thinking about the consequences. It’s essential to take care of your well-being to help manage stress levels and maintain a healthy state of mind and relationship with your family. 

Make sure you get enough sleep or at least have time to take naps. Eat healthily and refrain from eating takeaways often as this can make you feel sluggish. Try to keep active by exercising or doing a fun activity.

Spend Quality Time With Your Partner

You have to remember that you and your partner are a team. You help each other out with the responsibilities as parents. Make an effort to spend some quality time with your partner at least once a week or have a date night at least once a month. It will help improve and maintain your communication with each other as well as being able to enjoy each other’s company without the kids.

Quit Being A Perfectionist

No one is perfect, so quit trying to be. It’s okay if your home is a little messy and you’re behind on a few chores. Set yourselves a few tasks at a time instead of all at once and don’t try to multitask when you’re spending time with your family. Keep your house clean as a busy parent with these tips.

Outsource Tasks

Remember, if sometimes there are some things you can’t do, you can always outsource them! Do your grocery shopping online and get it delivered to you or get laundryheap to do your laundry and ironing for you. Whether you’re short on time or you forgot to do it, outsource the task if you can.


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10 Free Things To Do In Dublin

If you’re currently in Dublin or planning a visit and want to know what to do when you get there, here are 10 free things you can do in Dublin.

10 Free Things To Do In Dublin

  • National Museums

Learn more about the rich culture and history of Ireland in one of the 3 national museums located around the city. The museum of archaeology, where you can see primaeval artefacts, the decorative arts and history museum, for Irish clothing and furniture and the natural history museum, where you can see a collection of animals from Ireland.

  • Irish Museum Of Modern Art

Take a trip to the IMMA (Irish of modern art) and see a mixture of both exhibitions and collections focused on contemporary art.

Irish Museum of Modern Art

  • Science Gallery

Visit the science gallery to experience a unique hands-on, interactive gallery that combines science and art. The gallery holds many exhibitions that are never the same and hosts workshops, talks and other events. 

  • Chester Beatty 

Check out Ireland’s top museum that contains one of Europe’s best collections of promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures. There is a large selection of cultural displays with holdings of manuscripts, rare books, and other treasures from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

  • Trinity College

Take a quick visit to one of the oldest structures in Dublin, the Trinity college founded in 1592, located alongside Grafton Street. The old library and the book of Kells are the main attraction of Trinity college but are not free. However, you can stroll along the grounds as there are plenty of things to see.

  • Phoenix Park

Take a stroll through one of the biggest parks in Dublin, Phoenix Park. This park covers about 710 hectares and is home to remarkable monuments,  flower beds and wild deers. It is the perfect place to go to for a walk, play some friendly sports or to sit and relax. It is also home to the Dublin zoo.

Phoenix Park

  • The Iveagh Gardens

Take a trip to the ‘hidden gem’ of the city centre, Iveagh Gardens. There you will see sculptures, sunken lawns, rockeries, rose gardens, a hedge maze and a waterfall.

  • St. Stephens Green

Located right at the top of Graftons street, St. Stephens Park is a large Victorian park that covers around 9 hectares (22acres). With over 3.5km pathways, a pond, a waterfall and several sculptures, It’s another great place to relax, take a stroll or have a picnic. 

  • The Howth Cliff Walk

Take a journey to Howth- a seaside village- with lovely scenery and great seafood. Take a walk along the Howth cliff for an incredible view of Dublin Bay and the city.

  • Poolbeg Lighthouse

Get a unique perspective on Dublin and take a walk along the South Wall all the way out to the 20m high Poolbeg Lighthouse. You’ll also see the stunning view of the Bay and the city. You can best enjoy it on a summers day before sunset.

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If on your visit you require a reliable laundry service, Laundryheap will be able to do the job for you. We offer laundry, dry cleaning and ironing and will collect and deliver your items within 24 hours. 


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Traditional Emirati Clothing

The history of traditional Emirati Clothing originates from Bedouins and reigns supreme on modesty for both men and women. It represents the culture and religion of the region, and also happens to be suitable for the high-temperature climate.

A majority of Emirati’s still wear the traditional clothing, especially when and where it is required, despite the western influence.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about traditional Emirati clothing.

Traditional Emirati Men’s Clothing

  • Kandura / Dishdasha: The traditional Emirati male clothing is a long robe called the kandura or dishdasha. It is traditionally in the colour white, but there are other colours, like grey and brown, which are more likely to be worn during the winter months. The length of the kandura is typically ankle length, however, those who have a royal or wealthy status wear longer robes.
  • Ghutra/Keffiyeh: The kandura is traditionally worn with a white or red and white checked cloth draped over the head called the ghutra or keffiyeh, which is held in place by a headband the agal. These headdresses are typically worn to protect the face from blowing dust and the harsh rays of the sun.
  • Bisht: The Bisht is a jacket-like garment worn over the Kandura. It is often worn by wealthy or royal figures and also on special occasions like weddings or festivals.

Traditional Emirati Women’s Clothing

  • Abaya: Abayas are long, black flowing dresses that cover the body except for the face, feet and hands. Tradition considers black abayas to be socially conservative. However, there are now various designs and colours that include embroideries and embellishments. It is common for women to wear western outfits underneath their abaya.
  • Shela (Shayla): Women who follow the traditional dress standards usually wear a headscarf called Shela, also known as Shayla, to cover the hair. It is a lightweight material that is commonly black and worn with the abaya. A majority of women choose to wear designer scarves, like Dior, as an alternative.
  • Gishwa: For more traditional women, a gishwa is a more modest option that acts as a veil to cover the entire face, with a thin enough fabric to still be able to see through it. This is more popular among older women.
  • Burqa: Another traditional piece of Emirati clothing that is more modest is called the burqa. This type of headscarf or hijab covers the entire face and body, only revealing the eyes. It is worn over the abaya and is also common among older women.

Traditional Emirati clothing needs to be well taken care of to remain neat and presentable. Clothing can be cleaned carefully at home or taken to a Laundryheap for professional laundry and dry cleaning service.


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How To Get Rid Of Smoke Smells From Clothes

Smoke smells, whether they’re from cigarettes, cigars or bbq’s tend to stick on to fabrics. Sometimes it’s difficult to remove smoke smells from clothes, even after doing the laundry. So, how do you remove the smoke smell from clothes?

How To Get Rid Of Smoke Smells From Clothes

  • Air it out 
  • Steam
  • Odour eliminator spray
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

Air It Out 

This solution is perfect for clothes that cannot be washed or exposed to liquid, but  can work for any type of clothing. Sometimes all it takes to get rid of the smoke smell is a bit of fresh air. Hang your clothes outside for a few hours or in well ventilated area indoors if you can’t hang it outside. 

Steam

Steaming or pressing your clothes is a great way to remove odour as the heat kills the odour causing bacteria. It’s also perfect for clothes that you can’t wash. Make sure to check the garment care label to see if your clothes permit steaming.

Odour Eliminator Spray

Use an odour eliminating spray that is safe for fabrics, like febreeze, and spray it all around your clothes. You can also create your own odour eliminating spray by combining water, vinegar and plenty drops of an essential oil of your choice.

Baking Soda

Baking soda works well in removing odours. There are two ways you can use baking soda to remove the smoke smell from your clothes: soaking with baking soda only and soaking in a mixture of baking soda and water,

  • Soaking with baking soda only

Place your clothing item in a large plastic zip lock or resealable bag and add 1/2 a cup of baking soda before sealing the bag. Then, shake the bag so the baking soda is distribute the baking soda out evenly. Leave to sit for a few hours or overnight and wash as normal.

  • Soaking in baking soda and water

Fill up a sink or bucket with warm water, add a cup of baking soda and stir until the baking soda dissolves. Put your clothes into the mixture and it let it soak for up to 2 hours. Then wash as normal.

Vinegar

Fill up a sink or bucket with warm water and add a cup of distilled white vinegar. Soak clothing into the mixture for 1-2 hours before washing as normal.