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How to make a DIY detergent

The cost of laundry can really add up. Clothing, underwear, bed linen, towels, the list of things you need to wash is endless. Unfortunately, the laundry detergent you use is not. Constantly having to stock up on detergent is not cost effective, which is why you should save yourself the money and make your own DIY detergent. 

  • The benefits of DIY detergent 
  • What you’ll need
  • The recipe 
  • Top tips 
  • How Laundryheap can help 

The benefits of DIY detergent 

Aside from being cost effective, there are a lot of benefits of DIY detergents. Firstly, you have complete control over the ingredients that you want to include. This means, there are no harmful chemicals or added toxins that could cause skin irritation. Not to mention, the lack of harmful chemicals and toxins is much better for the environment. Additionally, through making your own detergent you are not buying unnecessary packaging and are, therefore, decreasing the use of single-use plastic. 

What you’ll need 

To make your DIY detergent you need three simple ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • A bar of natural soap

The recipe 

You can make your DIY detergent in three easy steps:

  1. Grate your bar of soap- using a food processor will make this step a lot easier, but a hand-held greater will work just fine.
  2. Add the grated soap to 250ml of washing soda and 250ml of Borax 
  3. Stir the mix well

Top Tips 

Use three level teaspoons per wash and store the rest of your detergent in a lidded container. Don’t forget to label your container so people know what’s inside- for extra safety add a list of ingredients to your label.

If you want to make your DIY detergent last longer, make a bigger batch by doubling the amounts of each ingredient, but using the same ratios.

Photo by Aqua Mechanical

How Laundryheap can help

If you want to save your DIY detergent for clothing only, our Home and Bedding service can be used on the remainder of your washing. We will pick up, launder and deliver your items back to you within 24 hours, at no extra cost. Book your slot on our Laundryheap app. 


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

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

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

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

Know Your Material Before Your Start 

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

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

What You Will Need

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

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

Leather Shoes

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

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

Suede Shoes 

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

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

Sheepskin Boots

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

Canvas Shoes

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

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

Running Shoes

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

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

White Trainers

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

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

Don’t Forget The Laces

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

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

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


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Cleaning Your Children’s Dirty Sports Kits

Cleaning your little one’s sports uniform is a problem faced by mothers the world over. Whether you are a soccer mom, rugby mum or athletics mother, at one point or another you will find yourself faced with grass stains that seem impossible to tackle. 

Fear not though, this guide will help you regain the joy you first felt watching your children play sport and no longer shudder every time they come home with a dirty kit. 

  1. Act straight away
  2. Know your fabric
  3. Pre-soak
  4. Pre-wash 
  5. Avoid Chlorine Bleach
  6. Removing Grass
  7. Cleaning mud
  8. Cleaning Sweat
  9. Drying
  10. Consult The Professionals 

Act Straight Away

You could be forgiven for wanting to bury your head in the sand when your child first comes home with a fresh bag of wet, muddy and smelly clothes . Especially if it isn’t laundry day. It is important to keep in mind that by doing this you will be making the whole process much harder for yourself in the long run. If you take one thing away from this guide today let it be this. Tackle that kit as soon as it comes through the door.

Know Your Fabric

Standard football kits are made predominantly from a polyester-nylon mesh. School rugby kits are often made from polyester with a lycra blend. Both sets of materials are made for their durability and thankfully are both easier to clean than cotton.

Pre Soak

Once you’ve established the fabric you want to get that kit soaking as quickly as possible. Try to run the tap and get as much mud off as possible. Some parents have even been known to hang the kit on the washing line and rinse with a hose. 

Once you have got as much mud off as possible, fill a bucket with warm water, mix with one cap of laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda. We would advise leaving the kit to sit for at least an hour or more.

Pre Wash

Check to see if your washing machine has a pre-wash option. If so, take advantage of it! Using your pre-wash setting allows the main wash to be as clean as possible. 

We advise using half a cup of standard washing powder and a half a cup of oxidizing stain remover in the pre-wash. Do the same when it comes to the main wash but use a full cup of stain remover this time.

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Avoid Chlorine Bleach

Despite how tempting it may seem to use chlorine bleach, don’t! Polyester and chlorine do not see eye to eye. If you feel you have to use bleach try to find an all-fabric bleach. You don’t want to be forking out more money for a new kit because you ruined the last one. 

Removing Grass Stains

The absolute best way to get rid of grass is to use non-chlorine bleach. But as mentioned above make sure this bleach is not chlorine bleach as it won’t end well for anyone involved. Make sure you soak the kit in this for a solid hour before using the heavy-duty detergent to finish the job.

Removing Mud

Mud can be a tricky one. This is because the key to removing it is by letting it completely dry. If your children used their kit at the start of the school day then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. 

If this is not the case and the mud is still wet, do not attempt to wipe it away as it will only rub deeper into the fabric. A good hack is using a toothbrush or plastic cutlery to gently scrape the mud from the kit.

Cleaning Sweat

We seem to never stop mentioning the benefits of baking soda and white vinegar on this blog. Cleaning sweat stains or smells is where this unlikely couple truly show they are a match made in heaven. Simply rub some on the affected area before placing your kit in the wash. The outcome will be a fresh smelling sports kit.

Drying

Always air dry sports kits to make sure no shrinkage occurs. If you have to use a tumble dryer we advise setting it to low heat. 

Consult The Professionals

When in doubt, go to the professionals. Laundryheap will give you a fast and professional service on any dirty sports kits you can’t bare to wash again. We pick up and deliver in 24 hours and charge no delivery fees. 


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LAUNDRY ON THE GO

If you happen to travel continuously, doing the laundry is certainly a necessity as you may spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors on adventure activities, sightseeing, hiking, or shopping etc. For shorter holidays people tend to pack just what is necessary or things that we can mix and match most of the time.

Here are some tips to help with your laundry on the go.

Hotels: Some hotels offer in-house laundry services. Depending on the type of hotel you’re staying at e.g. big chains, serviced apartments, B&B etc. you may have access to laundry services or facilities. However, their rates may be sky-high which might not be your cup of tea. Moreover, if you’re someone who’s concerned about their clothes being mixed with others’ clothes this might not be ideal for you, as there is no guarantee it won’t be the case.

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Laundromats: There are laundromats available locally in most countries and cities. They charge a flat rate either per load capacity, type of item, or desired service. Although Laundromats seem like an easy deal and self-explanatory, you still do need to be somewhat familiar with at least your clothing’s instructions. It is also advisable to scout around for the best service available in order to prevent inconvenience.

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Do it yourself: There are shops and outlets where you can get buy detergents. If your items are small and easy to do, you can even wash them in your accommodation bathroom sink. As long as you have the necessary items required. Making the most of what is available to you saves you money.

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Laundryheap: What’s better than having someone else do your dirty laundry for you? It’s a dream come true right? Laundry chores can be a real pain especially when they pile up. The good thing is Laundryheap provides on-demand laundry and dry cleaning services with delivery within 24 hours right to your doorstep. You can book our service from wherever you are, including hotels. For your booking purposes all you need is a smartphone and voila you’re good to go! Even better you can download our free app on IOS and Android from the app store.

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LAUNDRY TIPS FOR BUSY PARENTS

With the chaos of getting things done and having to look after the little munchkins, it’s almost impossible to not get overwhelmed by chores, especially the never-ending story of doing laundry.

Here are a few laundry tips to help you save time.

  • PRE-SORTING THE LAUNDRY: Let’s face it, laundry is a chore that is time-consuming. A good idea is to have different baskets for different fabrics, colours, and the condition of laundry. Not only is it time-efficient when the need arises to do the laundry, it also prevents mistakes and having to deal with the possibility of colours bleeding onto another fabric and ruining your clothes.

 

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  • HANG ACCORDINGLY:If you despise ironing, one practical trick to consider is to hang your laundry once out of the machine to prevent extreme creasing. Moreover, if you’re dealing with washed and dried clothes, it’s best to put away on hangers and if possible colour coordinate hangers for specific clothes. Not only does this give your wardrobe a very refined and colourful look, it also creates space and helps differentiate your clothes for different purposes. Nothing is worse than having to ransack your closet for one specific outfit on a busy day.

 

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  • HAVE OTHERS CHIP IN: There’s nothing wrong with you asking for a helping hand. Your children can do simple things like allocating their dirty clothes to the right laundry basket or sorting and folding after themselves. In addition, that gives you an opportunity to focus on other pressing chores around the house.

 

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  • SET SPECIFIC DAYS: To avoid the laundry from overflowing, try to wash the clothes that are used the most; that way you don’t get intimidated or overwhelmed by your laundry. Set specific days for different types of laundry, for example, Wednesdays for coloured fabrics and Sundays for bedding, towels, rugs etc.


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  • MULTI-TASK: While waiting on the laundry in the washer, you can either put the other batch in the dryer or try to invest your time in doing the ironing. It helps immensely with your productivity as well as decreases your chances of procrastination.


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If you’re still uncertain or don’t have time to do the laundry, you can schedule your laundry with us and we’ll gladly sort it out for you.