Laundryheap Blog – Laundry & Dry Cleaning

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

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

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

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

Know Your Material Before Your Start 

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

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

What You Will Need

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

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

Leather Shoes

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

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

Suede Shoes 

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

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

Sheepskin Boots

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

Canvas Shoes

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

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

Running Shoes

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

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

White Trainers

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

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

Don’t Forget The Laces

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

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

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

laundry day

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Laundry Day Gif Story

It’s the afternoon and the time has come to do the laundry, but you just sit there like…


Then you realise, your new pair of trousers that you want to use tomorrow is in the dirty laundry pile

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So you rush to get the dirty pile of laundry like…

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You get to your laundry pile, pick out the relevant colours and throw them into the washing machine

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Then, you add the right amount of laundry detergent (and other laundry stuff)

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Turn the bad boy on and wait…
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*30-40 mins later*

Your washing is done, so you go to put your clothes into the dryer (or hang them up, if you don’t have one)

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And you wait till it’s done drying.

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*A few days later*

After it’s finished drying, it’s time to fold and put away the clothes neatly into your wardrobe

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Not forgetting to iron the important stuff.

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Or get Laundryheap to do it.


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Laundry Diaries – Reasons for Pending Laundry

Day 1

Dear Diary,

The birds are chirping, the sun is smiling in and a gentle breeze is ruffling the dark green leaves. An idyllic morning to wake up to. Oh darn! I almost forgot it’s laundry day! Time for a situation analysis – maybe I can have my cake and eat it too.

Ok, so let’s take stock.

(Rummaging in the closet)

Ha! Found some underwear. I guess the jeans I wore yesterday can last another day. But what do I do about a top? I can’t seem to find anything that is clean. Ummm… (thinking cap on – still rummaging in the closet) Oh wait, this skirt can double up as a tube top! Perfect! Laundry day tomorrow, fun day today!

Off to catch some sun….Ciao!

Day 2

Dear Diary,

Had a smashing day yesterday and am ready to do my laundry today. I’m just going to have my morning coffee and get right down to it.

(30 minutes later – coffee finished, daydreaming mode broken by thoughts of laundry)

I really should do my laundry….or maybe after breakfast. I do have the whole day free so there is plenty of time.

(2 hours later – breakfast is done, binge-watching House of Cards, laundry temporarily forgotten)

(4 hours later – stomach rumbles as I emerge from the captivating drama of British politics) I’m going to grab a quick bite before I load the washing machine.

(Sometime later – 2-course lunch finished, time for laundry…finally)

I am going to make a quick call to mum and I can get on with the laundry right after. It will just take 5 minutes and then I’m free to concentrate on chores.

(sometime later)

“Good Lord! Mum, I have to run. It’s 7 pm already and I don’t have any clothes for work tomorrow so I need to get my laundry done ASAP! Good chat though. I’ll call you later. Bye.”

Hmmm…Maybe I should shower so I can put my PJ’s into the wash as well.

(1 hour and an invigorating hot shower later)

Ok, I’m ready to do laundry now!

Oh no no no! I’m out of laundry detergent. Well, Sunday is almost over and I am way too lazy to venture out of my comfort zone now! I may as well use a couple of hours to unwind before the weekly grind starts and tackle the laundry tomorrow. I’ll figure something out.


Day 3

Dear Diary,

I wish I had tackled my laundry yesterday. Well, nothing to do but get through the day. I can wear my swimsuit under those trousers I bought 4 years ago and never used. They accentuate all the wrong curves but are the only fresh bottoms I have. As for a shirt, I wonder if I can wear the one I wore 4 days ago. It should work with a generous dose of floral perfume. I will pick up some detergent on my way home.

(Evening after work)

Guess what? Ed asked me out!! So I went on a shopping spree and managed to kill 2 birds with one stone. I found the most flattering, semi-formal summer dress for dinner tomorrow and a couple of other outfits to keep me going till I finish my laundry since I didn’t have enough time to buy some detergent.

Now I can look forward to my date in peace, without thoughts of laundry swirling around my head constantly.

Day 4

Dear Diary,

I have some major, life-changing news!

(Can’t stop jumping with glee)

I have found the perfect solution to my laundry woes – all thanks to Ed. The dinner was scrumptious, Ed was charming, funny and smart, but the icing on the cake was when he told me about Laundryheap!

He said that he’s been using it for months now and it’s extremely convenient. They collect dirty laundry, wash it and deliver it back, all within 24 hours! Isn’t that great!

Seems like a win-win situation to me. All I have to do is book a time-slot online and they take care of everything. It’s like magic – a few taps and hey presto, my clothes are clean!

Goodbye laundry duty, hello freedom!

Until next time…Adios!