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Everything you need to know about colour run stains

Image by Aqua Mechanical

When the colours of your clothing bleed together, this is known as a colour run. Colour runs are very common, and this is everything you need to know about them. 

  • Why do colour run stains occur?
  • The colourfastness test
  • How to prevent colour runs 
  • How to get rid of colour run stains

Why do colour run stains occur? 

The brightly coloured clothing that we buy has been dyed using colour pigments. In order for our clothes to remain a vibrant colour, the colour pigments of the dye must be securely attached to the fabric. Colour run occurs when the coloured pigments have not been adequately attached to the fabric. When these inadequately attached pigments come into contact with water, the dye begins to run and can transfer onto other items of clothing. Colour run stains are most apparent when washing isn’t separated. If a darker item of clothing begins to run, it can be damaging to lighter colours of clothing.

Image by Mark Hillary

The colourfastness test

The most effective way to test if your clothing will run in the wash is by using the colourfastness test. This test should be carried out before you wash your item with any other clothing. 

Begin the test by selecting a hidden section of your item, such as the hem or seam. Dampen that section and lay something absorbent on the spot, such as a white paper towel or handkerchief. Next, iron on top of the absorbent material. If the colour from your item bleeds onto the absorbent material than your item is not colourfast and therefore could stain any other clothing it is washed with. 

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

How to prevent colour runs 

The best way to minimise the damage of colour run stains is by washing the same, or similar, coloured clothing together. This will mean that, should your colours run in the wash, there will not be a dramatic impact made to your other items in the wash in turns of colour difference. 

It is important to remember that hot water opens the fibres in clothing, therefore encouraging any non-colourfast clothing to run. The best way to combat this issue is to wash your clothing in cold water. 

Finally, to prevent colour runs, don’t leave your washing in a wet pile or in your washing machine, whilst wet, for a long period of time. This encourages any non-colourfast clothing to run and potentially stain multiple items of your clothing.

How to get rid of colour run stains 

If your colours have run and the stain is noticeable the best thing to do is treat the stain as soon as possible. Put your stained item back into the washing machine, on its own, and wash it again using laundry detergent. As long as you act fast, ideally when the item is still wet, the stain should remove itself. If washing your stained item using normal laundry detergent does not treat the stain, you can find specific stain remover laundry detergents. 

If your colour run was particularly bad, don’t forget to put your washing machine on an empty spin to clean out your machine and avoid any damage to the clothes you put in later. 

The best way to avoid colour run stains is by letting us launder your clothes for you. Book your Laundryheap service by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. We are now servicing Boston, including Boston City, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. 


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Best summer reads

There’s nothing quite like being completely immersed in a new book. That’s why this International Book Lovers Day, we have devised a list of the top five best summer reads.

  • How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister 
  • The Shelf by Helly Acton
  • Love in Colour: Mythical Tales from Around the World retold by Bolu Babalola 
  • The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams
  • Sisters by Daisy Johnson

How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister

How to Disappear is the latest psychological thriller from the Sunday Times Bestselling author Gillian McAllister. The story focuses on Laura and her daughter Zara, who witnesses a terrible crime. Zara speaks up about what she has seen, which leads to her having a target on her back. Laura realises that the best thing for her daughter is for both of them to disappear, but she soon finds out that staying hidden is harder than disappearing.  

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers that keep you guessing every page, then this book is the summer read for you.

The Shelf by Helly Acton

The Shelf is an exploration of our modern society. The story’s protagonist, Amy, is surrounded by friends getting married and having children. When her long-term boyfriend takes her on the holiday of a lifetime, the last thing she expects is to be dumped and thrown into a reality show. On the show, she must compete against 5 other women in tasks that will determine who is ‘The Keeper’.

Throughout this novel, Acton explores what it means to be a woman in the modern-day and what could be worse than being left on the shelf.

Love in Colour: Mythical Tales from Around the World, retold by Bolu Babalola

Love in Colour is a collection of the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology, vividly rewritten by Bolu Babalola. Throughout each story, Babalola decolonises love and shows the different varieties and colours that love can come in. From business to family to romance,  Love in Colour crosses continents, perspectives, and genres, to celebrate love in its many forms.

If you are a lover of love, then Love in Colour is a must-read. 

The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams 

If you love a classic Rom-Com than you will fall in love with The Love Square. The story follows the life of Penny, who is unlucky in love. However, in true Rom-Com fashion, she meets a remarkable man who sweeps her off of her feet. The issue comes when another man sweeps her off of her feet, followed by another man. Penny has to decide which of these men, if any, is ‘The One’ in this laugh-out-loud Rom-Com.

If you were a fan of Laura Jane Williams’ book Our Stop, then make sure that you pick up a copy of The Love Square. 

Sisters by Daisy Johnson 

Sisters by Daisy Johnson is perfect for lovers of Gothic thriller. As the title eludes, this book focuses on two sisters, July and September. When they were young, the sisters forged a blood-promise, however, after moving to a new house, they find that their bond is fading away. In a house that never seems to sleep, and where no one seems to be able to get any sleep, what will the fate be of these two sisters?

If you are an avid Stephen King reader than give this short thriller a try. 

Photo by Dina Nasyrova from Pexels

Don’t let your laundry interrupt your reading. Book a Laundryheap dry cleaning service by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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How to make the most of a short holiday

Image by nile from Pixabay

When your holiday only lasts for a long weekend, or a few short days, it can seem like there isn’t enough time to get much done. That is not true. This is how to make the most of a short holiday.

  • Be prepared 
  • Unplug
  • Consider your hotel location
  • Prioritize 
  • Hire a guide
  • Try something new
  • Wake up early
  • Live like a local
  •  Be aware of time zones 
  • Give yourself time to relax

Be prepared

The key to any successful holiday is being prepared, but when you know you have a limited amount of time the need to prepare is heightened. To adequately prepare for your holiday, you first need to establish what type of holiday you want. Do you simply want to relax by the pool or on the beach? Or are you looking for more of an adventure, exploring a new city or town? After you’ve established the holiday you want, you can start researching what is available for you to do- guided tours, activities, restaurants in the local area, etc. Once you’ve done your research, set a loose itinerary for your holiday. You don’t want to put yourself under pressure by scheduling in too much in a small amount of time, but creating a loose itinerary as a guide will ensure that you see and experience all of your bucket-list things. 

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

Unplug

Holidays are all about escaping from your everyday reality. When on a short holiday, it’s best to soak up every moment of not being in your everyday surroundings. The best way to do this is to completely unplug. Keep your phone available and fully-charged just in case of an emergency, but don’t constantly be checking it. Leave the technology behind, and embrace the feeling of being outside of your normal routine. Before you know it, you’ll be back at work, so you need to enjoy your well-deserved time-off whilst you can. 

Consider your hotel location

Short holidays mean less time to explore, however that doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on the excitement of exploring a new place. When booking your hotel, look at what is in the immediate surrounding area and what is close by. Choose hotels close to the city or beach, depending on your holiday preference. Make sure that there are good transport links if you want to go on a day-trip further afield. Check the local bars and restaurants in the area. Make sure that you pick a hotel that will allow you to do everything you want to do in the time frame you have. 

Prioritise 

If you like adventurous holidays then there is probably a long list of things that you would like to achieve whilst away. That being said, on short holiday’s you won’t have the time to experience everything. Make a bucket-list of the top 5 or 10 things you want to see and/or do whilst your on holiday and prioritise your top 3. Doing this will ensure that, even though you may not see everything you want to see on your holiday, you will at least see the most important things you wanted to. 

Hire a guide

The best way to see a location in a short period of time is by taking a guided tour. Guided tours will take you around a city or a certain area of a country, and explain the history and cultural significance of it. Whether it’s an open-top bus tour or a walking tour, investing in a guide is a great way to see the highlights of a place in a short amount of time. 

Image by Andrew Bowden

Try something new

Part of the thrill of going on holiday is experiencing something new. Whether that is a new country, a new destination, or even a new way of living. Whilst on your short holiday, push yourself to try a new experience. It could be anything from a new cuisine, to just talking to a new person. Being on holiday is the perfect opportunity to explore new experiences you would never try in your everyday life, no matter how long your holiday is. 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Wake up early

If you have a long list of experiences that you want to try whilst on your short holiday, it’s best to wake up early. Some people enjoy relaxing and not having to set an alarm whilst on holiday, however, if you know that there’s a lot you want to achieve, it’s best to start your day early. Don’t force yourself to wake up early every day though, remember that you are also on holiday to relax. 

An alarm clock showing the time set at nine o’clock in the morning (09:00 / 9AM)

Live like a local 

If you’re holidaying in a country you have never explored before it can be exciting to spend your time living like a local. Before heading on your holiday, do some research into bars, restaurants, and general places where locals will go. When on your holiday, engage a local in general conversation and show a willingness to get to know about their culture and way of life. You will get a much more authentic experience out of a country if you spend, even a day, living like a local. 

Image by
Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

Be aware of time zones 

When travelling outside of your home country it’s best to remember if there is a time difference. Depending on where you are travelling to and from in the world could depend on whether you get an extra few hours on holiday or not. If you are aware of the time zones you are travelling to and from prior to your trip, you can easily plan around it. 

Image by Janiere Fernandez from Pexels

Give yourself time to relax

The most important thing to remember when going on holiday, no matter its length, is to relax. You are going on holiday to escape your normal life, have a new experience, and unwind. Remember to enjoy your time off and not stress yourself out if you don’t see or do everything you wanted to. 

Don’t worry about the post-holiday washing, leave it to us to pick-up, dry clean, iron, and re-deliver to you. You can even pre-book your laundry pick-up up to two weeks in advance. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Laundry tips for sensitive skin

When you have sensitive skin, laundry can become ten times harder. Here are ten top laundry tips that will protect your sensitive skin. 

  • Use hypoallergenic products
  • Try liquid detergent 
  • Clean your appliance 
  • Use fabric softener
  • Separate your clothing
  • Follow the instructions
  • Wash new clothes
  • Hot wash your sheets
  • Rinse your washing 
  • Wear gloves

Use hypoallergenic products

Many laundry detergents use bleaches, dyes, and fragrances to make their products more effective. If you have sensitive skin, avoid these detergents as they can cause irritation. Instead, look for products that are specifically designed for sensitive skin. Alternatively, try making your own laundry detergent. 

Image by Mike Mozart

Try liquid detergent 

There isn’t a lot of difference between liquid detergent and powder detergent, however, when it comes to sensitive skin you should always try and buy a liquid detergent. Powder detergents will often leave a soapy residue on your clothing. If not removed, this residue can cause irritation when you wear your freshly washed clothes. Liquid detergent can also leave a residue, however, due to its liquid consistency, does not leave as much, therefore lessening the irritation caused. 

Clean your appliance 

Whether you have sensitive skin or not it is vital to clean out your washing machine after every two to three washes. The detergent draw of your washing machine can easily become clogged with excess laundry detergent that clumps together if not removed. This can encourage mould to grow in the draw. If you suffer with sensitive skin this mould can cause and insufferable amount of irritation. 

Use fabric softener 

Fabric softener works by smoothing the fibres that make up your clothes and making them soft to touch. If you have sensitive skin, specifically eczema, keeping your clothes soft will stop harsher materials from rubbing your skin and causing irritation. When buying a fabric softener, make sure that it is specifically designed for sensitive skin as some softeners can cause irritation by being overly fragrant. 

Separate your clothing 

When you wash your clothing it’s important to separate your clothes by their material. If you wash delicate fabrics, such as silk, with harsher fabrics, such as denim, the harsh fabric can damage the fibres of the more delicate material and make the clothing more abrasive. This can lead to your clothing causing irritation on your next wear. To avoid this, wash all of your delicate fabrics in one load and your harsher fabrics in another. 

Follow the instructions

It’s easy to over-pour your detergent, but when you have sensitive skin it’s best to be more cautious with how much you use. If too much detergent is used it can linger on your clothing and cause irritation. This can also happen when you over-fill your washing machine. To avoid this, try and use the correct amount of detergent and not over-fill your washing machine. 

Wash new clothes

After buying new clothes it’s always best to give them a wash before wearing them. Many stores will use starch or dyes on their clothing to make them last longer on the shop floor. These chemicals can cause irritation if not washed away. Before wearing any new item, put it on a quick wash just to ensure that your skin stays irritant-free. 

Hot wash your sheets 

Dust mites and allergens can cause a great amount of skin irritation, especially when the pollen count is high during the summer months. Avoid being surrounded by these irritants whilst sleeping by hot washing your bed sheets. The heat from the wash will kill any lingering allergens and leave you free to enjoy a dreamy sleep.

Rinse your machine

Regardless of whether you use liquid or powder laundry detergent, there will always be residue left over after a wash. To avoid this residing detergent from causing any irritation to your skin, put your machine on a rinse cycle before beginning your laundry. This will wash away any remaining detergent and leave you with a clean washing machine to wash your clothes in. 

Wear gloves

If you are hand washing your clothing you may want to wear a pair of gloves. Firstly, the gloves will protect your hands from being consistently exposed to your detergent, and therefore protect them from the risk of being irritated. Secondly, leaving your hands in water for a consistent amount of time will dry them out, which can lead to cracks and irritation. Wearing a pair of gloves will protect your hands from the water, therefore leaving them free from any potential irritation.

The best way to prevent your skin from becoming irritated when doing your laundry is by using a professional dry cleaning service. Book your Laundryheap dry cleaning slot by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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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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How to remove nail varnish from your clothing

It is infuriatingly easy to spill nail varnish on your clothing. This is how you can remove those pesky nail varnish stains 

  • Removing nail varnish from machine-washable clothing
  • Removing nail varnish from delicate clothing
  • Using Laundryheap

Removing nail varnish from machine-washable clothing 

If your clothes are machine-washable, meaning that they aren’t made of a delicate material, it can be easier to remove a nail varnish stain. 

What you will need:

  • A small blunt tool, such as a pair of tweezers
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Acetone-based nail varnish remover
  • Laundry detergent

Before you begin removing your nail varnish you need to make sure that the stain is completely dry. Trying to remove the stain before it is dry can lead to the nail varnish becoming embedded within your clothing, making it harder to remove. 

When the stain has dried, use a small blunt tool, such as a pair of tweezers, to peel off the largest sections of the stain.

Next, soak a microfiber cloth in acetone-based nail varnish remover and dab it along the seam of your garment. This is just to make sure that your fabric will not be damaged by the chemicals. Once you’ve made sure that your acetone-based remover won’t cause further damage to your clothing, dab the solution over your stain. You want to use a dabbing motion rather than a scrubbing or wiping motion as dabbing will lift the stain easier. Dab until it looks like your stain has faded in colour. 

Finally, put your item in the washing machine, adding some laundry detergent. You need to make sure that your washing machine is not overloaded as this could prevent the stain from being treated. Set your machine to the highest sufficient temperature on your stained items care label and wait for the cycle to end. Once the cycle has ended, if the stain is still present, repeat the process until it has disappeared. 

Removing nail varnish from delicate clothing

If you have spilled nail varnish on a more delicate fabric that is not machine washable, such as silk or lace, you need to use a slightly different method for removing the stain. 

What you will need:

  • A relatively blunt tool, such as a pair of tweezers
  • Coconut or mineral oil
  • Dry cleaning solvent 
  • Cotton pad or dry cloth

Similar to machine-washable clothing, you need to wait for your stain to be completely dry before attempting to remove it. 

Once your stain has dried, use your blunt tool to pick off large areas of the stain. You need to be careful whilst carrying out this step as you don’t want to damage your clothing.

After taking away the biggest section of the stain, make a dry spotter solution. To make your solution, mix one-part coconut or mineral oil with 8 parts dry cleaning solvent. Apply your solution to your stain and leave it to dry for a few minutes. 

Once your solution has dried, use a cotton pad or dry cloth to dab at the stain. You want to use a dabbing motion so that the stain lifts easier and the nail varnish can be absorbed. Keep blotting the stain until it is completely lifted. 

If your stain has not been fully absorbed, try repeating the process.

Using Laundryheap

The best way to remove stains is by using a professional service. At Laudryheap, if you make us aware of a stain on your clothing we will pay extra attention to make sure that it is removed to the best of our ability. You can book your Laundryheap pick-up and delivery-slot by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. We are now servicing Singapore


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Top day trips just outside of Amsterdam

When you’re on holiday, sometimes it’s nice to explore areas outside of the city centre. Here are the top 10 day trips to enjoy just outside of Amsterdam

  • Keukenhof Tulip Garden
  • Rotterdam
  • The Hague 
  • Giethoorn 
  • Batavia Stad
  • Gouda
  • Delft
  • Kinderdijk
  • Muiderslot Castle
  • Efteling

Keukenhof Tulip Garden

The Keukenhof Tulip Garden is one of the most iconic landscapes in the Netherlands. It is the world’s largest flower garden, home to 7 million flowers including daffodils, orchids, roses, and the Netherlands famous tulips. Take in the spectacle of fragrance and colour as you wander through gardens and pavilions, observing a multitude of flowers.  

The fastest way to reach the Keukenhof Tulip Garden from Amsterdam is to take the train to Haarlem and then get the Keukenhof Express bus to the Tulip Garden. 

Rotterdam

If you enjoy city holidays, then why not explore the Netherlands second-biggest city Rotterdam? If you are taking a day-trip to Rotterdam, take in the whole city by travelling 185 meters up the Euromast. Your journey will be taken in a rotating glass elevator so even as you travel you can observe the beauty of the city. Once you have reached the top, take in the stunning cityscape. When you’re feet touch solid ground again, take a stroll down the Maas river and explore the abundance of cafes and restaurants there are on offer. 

There are direct trains running from Amsterdam to Rotterdam so travel is no issue. 

Image by Guilhem Vellut

The Hague

The Hague is the International City of Peace and Justice. Not only is it home to the United Nations International Court of Justice and Peace Palace, but it is also home to the Dutch government and the Dutch royal family. Whilst exploring The Hague, don’t forget to visit The Mauritshuis. Featuring masterpieces by groundbreaking artists, such as Andy Warhol, Rembrandt and Vermeer, it is a must-see.

Direct trains run from Amsterdam Central to Hague central.

Giethoorn 

Giethoorn is a hidden gem. It is a classic Netherlands village, built on a complex series of canals that are best explored by Gondola. Once you’ve explored the village by boat, explore it by foot. Giethoorn is a picturesque village in every way. From its abundance of flowers to the perfectly restored farmhouses, Giethoorn is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of central Amsterdam and enjoy some country living. 

From Amsterdam Central station, take a train to Steenwijk. There are direct trains available but if you find a connecting train via Zwolle, that will also get you to Giethoorn. 

SONY DSC

Batavia Stad

If you area lover of shopping then you must visit Batavia Stad- the Netherlands leading outlet shopping mall. Explore 250 brands across 150 stores before enjoying a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants that can be found throughout the outlet. There is something for everyone at Batavia Stad, but be aware that it is best to visit the outlet on a clear day as it is open air. 

Batavia Stad is just outside Amsterdam city centre and there is a free shuttle bus that can take you straight to the outlet.

Gouda

If you love cheese then visit Gouda. In Market Square every Thursday Gouda hosts the Gouda Cheese Market where you can truly step back in time. Observe as cheese wheels are carried around by sellers in traditional costumes and sold on the market stalls. Once you have travelled around the market, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the rest of the historical town. There are several buildings, dating back to the 13th century, that perfectly preserves the history of the Netherlands. The Gouda Stadhuis, for example, was constructed back in 1448 and is a prime example of perfectly preserved gothic architecture.

There are direct trains available from Amsterdam Central to Gouda. 

Image by bertknot

Delft

The old Netherlands town of Delft will provide you with the perfect opportunity to relax away from the city. Best known for it’s Delft Blue pottery, this old Holland town is complete with beautiful canals that can be explored by walking over classic humped bridges. If you want to see the whole of the town, climb up to the top of the New Church and take in the picturesque town in all of its glory. 

There are direct trains from Amsterdam to Delft. 

Kinderdijk

The Netherlands is well known for its iconic windmills. If you want to see those windmills in action then visit Kinderdijk. At Kinderdijk you will find historic windmills that date back to the 16th and 18th centuries. You won’t only find picture-perfect scenery at Kinderdijk, but you will find a rich history that is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re interested in the history of the Netherlands, you won’t want to miss Kinderdijk. 

The easiest way to reach Kinderdijk is by car, however there are organised tours that will take you to the historical site. 

Image by kkmarais

Muiderslot Castle

Dating back to the 12th Century, and complete with a moat, Muiderslot Castle is the perfect day out for families. This is not simply an opportunity to stroll around an ancient castle, this is an opportunity to learn about the history of the Netherlands in an interactive way. As you travel around the castle there are interactive games to play, dress-up opportunities, and even falcon displays on Saturdays. Once you have fully explored the castle, take in the beautiful gardens that you are free to wander at your leisure. What is more, if you have an iAmsterdam City card you can get in for free. 

If you are feeling adventurous, take a bike ride from Amsterdam to Muiderslot Castle. Otherwise, you can drive via car or take the train. 

Image by pautrecht from Pixabay

Efteling

Efteling is an amusement park like no other. It is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Each attraction found at the park reflects elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore. 15 million people visit the park each year and enjoy not only the park but the four-star Efteling Hotel and 18-hole golf course. 

The best option for travelling to Efteling is by bus. 

If you are living in Amsterdam, or even just enjoying a shot stay, book your Laundryheap service by visiting 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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New York City Fun Facts

Photo by Roberto Vivancos from Pexels

New York is one of the most famous cities in the world. From The Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, everyone knows at least something about The Big Apple. But, did you know any of these 10 New York City fun facts?

  • The meaning behind The Big Apple
  • The languages of New York 
  • The story of the Statue of Liberty
  • The length of the Subway system
  • The Empire State Building
  • New York’s coastline
  • Rich New Yorkers
  • The Pizza Principle
  • The whispering gallery
  • The New York City library

The meaning behind The Big Apple

New York City is lovingly known by many as The Big Apple. There are many rumours about how this nickname came about, including a nod to the Great Depression when prior financiers would sell apples to make money. The first published use of the term was in the 1920’s when sports writer John J Fitzgerald used the phrase to describe New York’s horse racing track. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the name The Big Apple began to be widely used in reference to New York itself.

The languages of New York

There are over 800 different languages spoken in New York, making it one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the world. As a result of the cities’ rich immigration history, Only 51% of its residents solely speak English, the other 49% are bilingual. The second most popular language in New York is Spanish, followed by Chinese and Russian.

The story of The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is arguably New York’s most notable landmark. Standing 83 metres tall, The Statue of Liberty is a historic American landmark that millions marvel at every year. The statue arrived in New York in 1885, in 214 crates and 350 pieces. It was a gift from France to celebrate America’s centennial celebration. Interestingly, the statues iconic arm holding the torch arrived in America a decade earlier in 1876. It was put on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia to raise money for the construction of the whole statue.

Photo by Jesús Mirón García from Pexels

The length of the Subway system

New York’s Subway system is one of the largest urban mass transportation systems in the world. Each year, approximately 1,727,366,607 passengers use the underground system, consisting of 34 lines and 469 stops. If you were to travel to every stop on the system, without leaving the Subway, it would take you 21 hours and 49 minutes. 

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is another of New York’s famous landmarks. Standing 102 stories high in Midtown Manhattan, it has been a New York highlight since 1930. Despite being a notable NYC landmark, The Empire State building is very unlucky. There is a 1 in 9 million chance of being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime. The Empire State Building is struck 23 times every year!

New York’s coastline

When you think about American coastlines, New York will not be the first place you think about. That being said, New York actually has a coastline of 520 miles, which is longer than the coasts of Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco combined.

Rich New Yorkers

New York is the only city in the world that is home to more than 100 billionaires. There are actually 113 billionaires currently living in the city, the richest of which is former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has an estimated net worth of $60.1 billion. Asides from the billionaires, there are also more than 380 million millionaires living in New York City. 

The Pizza Principle

For over 50 years the average price of a Subway ride and the average price of a slice of pizza has been relatively the same. Whenever one of the prices goes up or down, so does the other. Economists have lovingly named this the Pizza Principle. 

Image by Mike Licht

The whispering gallery

Grand Central Terminal is a commuter rail terminal in Midtown Manhattan and home to the whispering gallery. If you were to stand at one corner of the platform and have a friend stand at a diagonal corner to yourself you will be able to whisper to each other. This secret conversation can happen because of the perfectly curved arches that make up the platform. 

Image by Andreas Wulff

The New York City Library

The New York City Library is the third biggest library in the world and the second biggest library in America. It is home to 50 million books and when the library first opened in 1911 it was the largest marble building ever built in America. Today 3.5 million people inhabit the library and explore its extensive collections.

If you are in the New York City area don’t forget to book your Laundryheap dry cleaning service. Use the code FIRST10 to get $10 off of your first order. To book your slot head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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The benefits of steaming your clothes

Clothes steamers are perfect for when your clothes need freshening up but not a full wash in the washing machine. The benefits of steaming your clothes do not stop there.

  • Preserves clothing 
  • Removes stains
  • Kills odors 
  • Reduces allergens 
  • Removes wrinkles

Preserves clothing 

Over-washing causes irreversible damage to your clothing. Each time you wash your clothes the different materials rubbing together in the machine causes fibers to weaken. This can lead to holes and rips that are near impossible to repair. Clothes steamers do not include any chemicals other than water and heat, meaning that they are much gentler on clothing fibers. If your clothes are unstained, using a clothes steamer is a fast and effective way to freshen your clothing without damaging their fibers. 

Removes stains 

Clothes steamers are particularly useful at getting rid of stubborn stains. Before using your steam cleaner, pre-treat the stain in the most effective way depending on what has caused it. Once the stain has been pre-treated, aim your steam cleaner directly at the stain for around 30 seconds. The heat from the steam will loosen the stain and work with the pre-treatment to remove it. 

Kills odours 

If your clothing is unstained but odorous a steam cleaner will lift odours and leave your clothes ready to re-wear. When water reaches a steaming level it becomes hot enough to deactivate bacteria that cause odours. If you have a particularly stubborn odour, spray the strongest smelling area with a combination of white vinegar and water, this will help deactivate the bacteria and lift the smell from your clothes.

Reduces allergens 

If you suffer from allergies, such as hayfever, a clothes steamer can help alleviate your symptoms. When you use a clothes steamer, the steam pushes through the fibers of your clothing, eradicating any lingering bacteria, dust mites, or pollen. This is particularly helpful during hayfever season when pollen sticks to your clothing after being outside.

Reduces wrinkles 

If you hate ironing investing in a clothes steamer could be your saving grace. Hang your item of clothing on a coat hanger and gently run your clothes steamer up and down the garment. The steam will loosen the fibers of the fabric, allowing wrinkles in the material to be released. This will leave you with fresh, un-wrinkled, clothing without the need for an iron

Save yourself the hassle of laundering your own clothes and book a Laundryheap dry cleaning slot. We will pick up, dry clean, and re-deliver your clothes straight to your door. Book your slot now by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app.