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The ultimate guide to washing your ballet kit

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

In order to maintain the status of a prima ballerina, it is essential that your ballet kit is adequately washed and cared for. Luckily, we have devised this ultimate guide. 

  • Leotard
  • Tights
  • Leg warmers
  • Tutu
  • Ballet slippers

Leotard

Leotards are a staple of any ballet kit. They are usually made from lycra, which makes washing them slightly tricky.

Before you begin washing, first check the care label as some leotards are dry clean only.

If you are washing by hand, firstly, fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a gentle liquid detergent. It’s best to use liquid rather than powder detergent as powder detergent does not easily dissolve in cool water. It is also best to use a gentle detergent to prevent damage to the fibers of your leotard. 

Turn your leotard inside out, and submerge it in your basin. To allow the detergent to fully penetrate the garment, swish it in the water using a circular motion. You can also place the leotard in between your hands and rub your palms together, moving downwards so that the entire length has been washed. 

Once you are satisfied with the standard your leotard has been washed, remove it from the basin and rinse it. To ensure that your item has been properly rinsed, keep it under a cool running tap until no bubbles run from the fabric. 

After rinsing your leotard, gently press the water from the fabric, making sure that you are not wringing it as this will cause it to lose shape. To finish drying, either hang your leotard on a washing line or lay it on a flat surface, somewhere away from direct sunlight. 

If you would prefer to use the washing machine, you must use a short and delicate cycle. Anything other than a delicate cycle will misshapen your leotard. You will also need to use a cold wash setting to avoid unnecessary damage to the fibers of your item. 

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Tights

Ballet tights are thicker and more durable than normal tights, which means that you have to use an alternative method to wash them.

To hand-wash your tights, fill a basin with cool water and add a gentle detergent. Once your laundry detergent has dissolved, completely submerge your tights in the water, and swish them around in a circular motion. To ensure that the detergent reaches every area of your tights, rub them in the palm of your hands until you reach the bottom of them. Once you are satisfied, rinse them under a cool running tap until all of the bubbles have stopped running from the fabric. 

If you would prefer to wash your tights in the washing machine, place them in a mesh laundry bag first. This will prevent any snagging and potential rips. Make sure that you use a cool and gentle machine cycle and a mild laundry detergent. 

Once your tights have been washed, leave them to air dry. If you need to dry your tights quickly, use the air-only cycle of your tumble dryer

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Leg warmers 

Leg warmers keep the leg muscles of ballet dancers warm to prevent muscle spasms. They are often made from cotton or synthetic fibers, so the most effective way to wash them is by hand. 

Begin by filling a basin with cool water and add mild liquid laundry detergent. Once your detergent has completely dissolved in the water, add your leg warmers. Allow them to soak in the water for around 10 minutes, before gently squeezing each leg warmer to ensure that the detergent has fully penetrated the fibers. Once you are satisfied that your detergent has been worked thoroughly into each leg warmer, rinse each warmer under a cool running tap until no bubbles are left running from the fabric.

To dry your leg warmers, never wring them out as this will only cause them to become misshapen. Instead, press out any excess water by gently squeezing each leg warmer between the palms of your hands. Lay your warmers on a clean towel, and wait for them to air dry. This may take a while, so be patient and ensure that you leave plenty of time between when you wash your leg warmers and when you next need to wear them.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Tutu

The tutu is the stand out of any ballerinas outfit, which is why it must be cared for and cleaned. 

To hand-wash your tutu, begin by pressing it in between two clean towels. These towels will prevent your tutu from tearing under its own weight or floating to the top. 

Next, fill a basin with cold water and add a mild laundry detergent. Once your basin is filled, submerge your towel-covered tutu and leave it in the basin for 5 minutes. You must make sure that your tutu is completely submerged in the water to ensure that it is fully cleaned. 

After 5 minutes, remove your towel-covered tutu and rinse both the towels and tutu with cold water. Continue rinsing until no bubbles run from either the towel or the tutu. Once you are satisfied that all of the detergent has been rinsed out, remove your tutu from the towels and check for any lingering marks. If you do find marks, gently scrub them with a soft-bristled toothbrush

To dry your tutu, either lay it flat on a clean and dry towel, or hang it up. If you are hanging your tutu to dry, make sure that you hang it in an open area where there is plenty of fresh air to help with the drying process. 

If you would rather use a washing machine to wash your tutu, make sure that you first place it into a mesh laundry bag to prevent any rips. You must also ensure that a delicate cycle is selected to prevent any unnecessary damage to the tule of your tutu.

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Ballet slippers

Your ballet slippers are guaranteed to get dirty and dusty as you pirouette and plie. It’s important to remember that, no matter how dirty your ballet slippers become, you should never put them in the washing machine. This will only misshapen your slippers and create an ill fit the next time you wear them. 

To remove any dirt and dust from your ballet slippers, simply use a wet cloth to gently rub them. This will lift any fresh dirt before it begins to set in. For tougher areas of dirt and dust, add a drop of mild laundry detergent to either a clean cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush, and rub it into those tougher stains. Use a gentle circular motion to help loosen the dirt and lift it. 

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

If you are dubious about washing your ballet kit, let us do it for you. We are experts in cleaning delicate items and will ensure that every part of your ballet kit is cleaned to the highest standard. 

To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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How to remove hair dye stains

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Hair dye can be incredibly difficult to remove from clothing. If you have accidentally dripped some on yourself, this is how you can remove it. 

  • Before treating your stain
  • Black, brown, or blue hair dye 
  • Red hair dye

Before treating your stain

Before you begin treating your stain, check your item’s care label. If it says ‘dry-clean only’ do not treat the stain yourself. Instead, book your Laundryheap dry cleaning service and let us handle it. If your care label doesn’t say ‘dry-clean only’ you are safe to proceed. 

Black, brown, or blue hair dye

To treat your hair dye stain you will need…

  • A soft-bristled brush
  • Water
  • A basin 
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent 
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Chlorine bleach (for white clothing)

Begin treating your stain by holding your garment under a cold water tap. This will help remove any hair dye lingering on the surface of your item. Make sure that you use cold water only as hot water will only aid the stain in setting further into your clothing

Next, pour a capful of heavy-duty laundry detergent over the stain and use a soft-bristled brush to gently rub it in. It’s best to use a laundry detergent with stain-lifting enzymes, so double check you are using the right detergent prior to pouring. Continue rubbing your stain for 5-15 minutes, or until you begin to see the hair dye become lighter in colour.

Once you are satisfied that your stain is a lighter colour, fill a basin with cold water and add oxygen-based bleach per the instructions on the packaging. Submerge your garment in the water and bleach mixture, making sure that the hair dye stain is completely in the water, and leave it to soak for at least 8 hours. 

After 8 hours, lift your item out of the water. If your stain has been removed, you can wash your item as you normally would. Should the stain remain, mix a fresh basin of cool water and oxygen-based bleach and leave your garment for another 8 hours. 

If your hair dye stain is on a white item of clothing and mix a solution of 1 gallon of water and 1-fourth a cup of chlorine bleach. Submerge your stained garment in this mixture, and leave it to soak for 15 minutes. Do not leave your item in the solution for any longer than 15 minutes as the chlorine bleach will begin to weaken the fabric. 

After 15 minutes, remove your item from the solution.

Removing red hair dye 

Red hair dye has a different composition than black, brown, or blue hair dye, and so the stain needs to be treated in a different way. 

To treat your hair dye stain you will need…

  • 2 soaking containers
  • Dishwashing liquid 
  • Ammonia
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • Oxygen-based bleach 
  • Water 

As with removing black, brown, or blue hair dye, begin treatment by running your stained item under a cool water tap to remove any surface hair dye. 

Next, mix a solution of 1 quarter of water, one-half teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and one tablespoon of ammonia, in a container. Submerge your stained garment in this solution and leave it to soak for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, remove your garment from the solution and, using your fingers, rub the stained area. This will help loosen the hair dye and allow it to be removed from the fabric with greater ease. Once you have rubbed your stain for around 5-10 minutes, submerge it in the previously used solution for a further 15 minutes. 

Whilst your item is soaking, use a separate container to mix 1 quarter warm water with 1 quarter distilled white vinegar. Once your item has completed it’s 15-minute soak, rinse it well, and submerge it in your new solution. Leave your item to soak for 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, remove your garment from the solution. If your stain has been removed, wash your item as you usually would.

Should your stain remain, fill your sink with cold water and add oxygen-based bleach per the packet’s instructions. Submerge your stained item in the solution, and leave it to soak for 8 hours. If, after 8 hours, the stain has not been removed, repeat the process with fresh water and fresh oxygen-based bleach. 

The most effective way to remove any stain is to get it treated by a professional. When you book your Laundryheap service, let us know what item(s) of clothing is stained and where the stain(s) is located. To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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When should you use fabric softener?

Fabric softener can be a very useful addition to your laundry routine, but it shouldn’t be used all the time. So, when should you use fabric softener?

  • What is fabric softener?
  • When do I add fabric softener?
  • Hard water areas
  • Bed linen
  • Keep clothes looking new 
  • Sensitive skin 
  • Clothes likely to bobble

What is fabric softener?

Before answering the question of when you should use fabric softener, we need to first understand what it is. To begin with, as the name implies, fabric softener softens your clothing and leaves it smelling fresh. Asides from this, it will strengthen the fabric of your clothing, therefore making your clothes easier to iron. 

When do I add fabric softener?

Many people believe that fabric softener should be added to your washing at the same time as detergent. This is incorrect. You should add your fabric softener during your rinse cycle. Adding softener during a wash cycle will remove the chemical residue that makes your clothing soft, therefore making it ineffective. 

Photo by Sher Lyn from Pexels

Fabric softener should be used for the following situations.

Hard water areas 

If you live in a hard water area, you may notice that your clothing comes out of the washing machine feeling rough. This is because the mineral content in hard water is high and attaches to the fibres in your clothing, making the fabric stiffer than in soft water areas. Adding fabric softener to your wash can remove some of those harsh minerals, resulting in softer clothing. 

Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

Bed linen 

Everybody loves crisp, soft, clean-smelling sheets. When washing your bed linen, add some fabric softener. The next time you get into bed you will be met with soft sheets and a heavenly smell that will make it even harder for you to get out of bed. 

Photo by Harry Page from Pexels

Keep clothes looking new 

It’s awful when you put your favourite jumper in the wash and it comes out unravelled and with a hole in it. Fabric softener smooths the fibres in your clothing, reducing the friction caused when washing, and therefore reducing wear and tear. Adding a small amount of fabric softener to your washing can prevent the loss of your favourite clothing, and keep your clothes looking newer for longer. 

Sensitive skin  

For those that suffer from sensitive skin, be careful with the fabric softener that you buy. Some softeners are perfumed and can, therefore, cause additional irritation. That being said, if you buy a sensitive skin friendly fabric softener, it can eliminate irritation caused by rough clothing rubbing against your skin. 

Image by NIAID

Clothes likely to bobble 

Bobbles on clothing can really damage the aesthetic of your favourite look. They occur when friction causes the fibres on the surface of your clothing to rub together, resulting in small, irritating, balls of loose fabric. Fabric softener strengthens the fibres in your clothing, preventing bobbling from occurring. Now, you can strut down the street in your best outfit, completely bobble free. 

If you’re still not sure when to use your fabric softener, leave it to us. Book your contactless delivery slot on the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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How To Keep Towels Soft

Has your soft, fluffy towel now turned into what seems to feel like sandpaper against your skin? If the answer is yes, it’s probably because of residue build up from detergent, softener and other laundry products like dryer sheets.

How To Keep Towels Soft

  • Don’t use too much Detergent

When doing the laundry in general, you shouldn’t be using too much detergent anyway. To make sure there won’t be detergent residue on your towels, use the right amount or even less than recommended for your washer.

  • Wash in hot water

It’s important to wash towels above 40°C not only because it will help kill germs and bacteria but because detergent dissolves better when washed at a warm or hot temperature. This way, detergent residue won’t build up on your towels.

  • Don’t use Fabric softener

Although fabric softener is made to make fabrics soft, it does the opposite when used on towels. Towels are made of microfiber, which is how they’re able to absorb and lock in moisture. Adding softener will only coat it with waxy residue, causing it to reduce it’s absorbency qualities overtime.

  • Use Vinegar or baking soda

Since you can’t add softener to make towels soft, a great alternative would be to use either white vinegar and/or baking soda. Both work as great natural softeners and are perfect for sensitive skin. Just add 1/2 a cup of white vinegar or baking soda to the rinse cycle in the drawer or in the drum.

Additional tips:

  • Wash towels with towels only 
  • Don’t overload the machine
  • Use the low heat setting if you need to put it in the tumble dryer

Whether you have time to spare or not to wash your towels properly, you can make the process of cleaning towels a lot easier when you use Laundryheap. Just schedule a free laundry collection and we’ll do the rest.


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What Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?

All clothing and linen items come with a care label as a guide to instruct us with the proper cleaning method required for the fabric.

In some circumstances, it’s okay to delicately machine wash clothing that says dry clean, but that depends on the fabric type. Fabrics that should be dry cleaned are delicate ones that can’t handle the agitation and hot water from the washing machine.

What Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Rayon
  • Linen

Wool: A sturdy and durable fabric like wool is too delicate to be machine washed, so it’s best to have it dry cleaned instead. The hot water and agitation from the washing machine will only ruin the fibres of the fabric. When cared for properly, it will last longer.

Silk: This luxurious fabric is known to need proper care when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, so the suitable method of cleaning is to be dry cleaned. Alternatively, it can be hand washed in cold water.

Rayon: Since Rayon is a manufactured fibre made from regenerated cellulose fibre, it can be difficult to decide on the appropriate cleaning method. This semisynthetic fabric is best to be dry cleaned as it may shrink or deform in shape in the washing machine.

Linen: This type of fabric can be hand washed as well as dry cleaned and often requires ironing. Linen is made of breathable flax fibres which, if washed incorrectly, can ruin the fabrics crisped finish. 

What Fabrics Shouldn’t Be Dry Cleaned?

  • Cotton
  • Synthetic Fibres

Cotton: Although cotton is a natural material, it can tolerate the agitation of being machine washed as well as machine dried and does not need dry cleaning. 

Synthetic Fibres: Clothing made out of Polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic or acetate does not require dry cleaning as they won’t have a negative effect in the washing machine. 

Dry cleaning sounds like a long process but it’s actually really simple. If you don’t have the right equipment to dry clean at home, you can schedule a free collection and delivery with Laundryheap.


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How To Remove Damp Smell From Clothes

Sometimes after taking out freshly washed clothes from the washing machine, they don’t smell clean at all. Instead, they have an unpleasant damp, musty smell.

Several factors can cause your clothes to smell damp, but there are simple solutions for you to eliminate the smell.

 Why Clothes Smell After Washing

  • You’re not using the right amount of laundry detergent

If you don’t use enough detergent, your clothes won’t get cleaned properly, but using too much detergent will result to residue on clothes. Read the detergent label to the check the recommended amount of detergent for your washer.

  • Your washing machine needs cleaning

Washing machines need to be cleaned and maintained in order for your clothes to get cleaned properly. If your washing machine is unclean it won’t be as effective at cleaning your clothes. Check out our guide on how to clean your washing machine.

  • You leave your clothes in the machine after the cycle has finished

When you don’t take your clothes out from the washing machine straight away, the damp clothes will create a musty smell once they’re dry or are in the process of drying.

How To Remove Damp Smell From Clothes

  • Vinegar: Add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle in your washing machine drawer. Alternatively, you can add equal parts of detergent and vinegar to your laundry on a normal cycle.
  • Baking Soda: Add 1 cup of baking soda into the washing machine and wash as normal. Alternatively, you can soak your clothes in 1-2 cups of baking soda and warm water for several hours (even overnight) before washing as normal.
  • Dry clothes outside in the sun: Drying your clothes out in the sun will kill the germs and eliminate odour.

If you would rather have a more professional approach to removing the mildew smell off your clothes, you can book a laundry collection with Laundryheap and have your clothes returned to you as a good as new.