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Manchester: Best Places To Unwind After Work

Outside of London, Manchester is becoming one of the biggest centres for employment in the UK. With more and more people flocking to Manchester to pursue a career, the city now has one of the fastest-growing job rates in the country. 

With more people working, comes more people stressing. Gone are the days of the straight forward 9-5. Instead, our time outside of work is now mainly occupied by our ever-evolving phones constantly bombarding our brains with text, email and calls. Also, that’s not to mention the continuous overbearing pressure that all of our social media addictions bring. 

If you happen to be one of the thousands of people in Manchester feeling depleted, bewildered, and stressed, make sure you remember to take some time to relax. Here are some of our suggestions on the best places to unwind outside of work in Manchester. 

  • Take in some creativity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
  • Lose yourself in one of the cities many green spaces
  • Channel your inner feline by hanging out with some cats
  • Go see a concert
  • Visit the Victoria Baths 
  • Take a trip to The Lowry
  • Make the most of the Manchester Museum
  • Absorb some knowledge in the Manchester Central Library
  • Grab a bite to eat in Ancoats

Take in some creativity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter 

Often referred to as Manchester’s most ‘happening’ area, the Northern Quarter is jam-packed with premier art galleries like the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. 

Even if you are not an art enthusiast, the tranquil environment of art galleries makes them the perfect go-to places for some well-earned downtime. Take advantage of one of the many trendy cafes, bars, eateries or art galleries in the Northern Quarter. Above all, be sure to take your time and connect with everything that is in front of you. Don’t forget to take time to reflect with everything going on with yourself as well. 

Lose yourself in one of the cities green spaces

Manchester is not exactly renowned for its luscious green spaces, but some of the city’s parks are real gems. One of these gems is Heaton Park. Located on the Northern edge of the city, it is the biggest park in the city and the largest municipal park in Europe. To say you can feel its size when walking around is an understatement. 

When strolling through the broad green fields, expect to find a boating lake, golf course, tram museum, animal sanctuary, and a Grade I listed country house that dates back to the 18th century. This spot is the perfect escape from the stresses of city life. In addition, the park also host’s several concerts each year, as well as Manchester’s famous Parklife Festival. 

Channel your inner feline by hanging out with some cats

Yes, you read that right. No, don’t go out and hang around with the city’s array of random cats. What we are suggesting is much less sinister. It’s called Cat Cafe. 

This magical cafe allows customers to spend one on one time with their extensive clowder of cats. For just £12 an hour, you get unlimited hot and cold drinks, as well as the pleasure of spending time with the adorable, sleepy cats who call this cafe home. The geniuses behind this idea are passionate about Assisted Animal Therapy and its benefits on humans. So pop in, stroke a cat, and let your brain forget about all the stresses of your working week. One warning though, you may never want to leave.

Go see a concert 

There is live music to be seen every single night of the week in Manchester. Venues like the Albert Hall, Manchester Arena, O2 Ritz, Manchester Academy, and Yes Manchester mean you are always spoilt for options. It doesn’t matter if it’s country music or rap that you are into, Manchester has something for everyone.

Manchester is ripe with musical history, from Oasis and the Stone Roses to the famous House scene of the ’90s. This history lives on today in the form of new bands popping up all the time and the street art showcasing the cities famous artists of the past.

Visit the Victoria Baths 

Located in the Chorlton-on-Medlock area of Manchester, the Victoria Baths were opened to the public in 1906. The building is a Grade II listed building. Manchester’s first City Architect Henry Prince designed the building. Prince spared no expense on the design and construction at the time. The structure has multicoloured brickwork and terracotta decoration. The interior boasts glazed tiles and decorative stained glass windows. 

Meanwhile, the building remains remarkably intact with most of the original tiles and stained glass still remaining. The baths are now open from March to November each year for guided tours, public open days and special events. This is a great spot to appreciate architecture, take in some history and forget about the little things that have been bothering you at work.

Take a trip to The Lowry

Once the location for a bustling dockland area, before becoming just another abandoned quay, The Lowry has had its fair share of ups and downs. Today, The Lowry makes for the ideal waterside leisure destination. Located just 10 minutes from the city centre. The Lowry sits nestled between the Imperial War Museum and Old Trafford Stadium.

The area is a hub for renowned theatre productions, ranging from West End classics to productions from across the world. As well as being a place for lovers of theatre, there’s also a cinema, shopping centre, loads of great restaurants and plenty of places to relax after work. Whether you are a sports fan, shopping addict or just lover of all things cultural, The Lowry has something for everyone trying to escape the perils of work.

Make the most of the Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum boasts a vast array of treasures from both the natural and the cultural world. And with 4 floors of displays and exhibitions in 15 galleries, featuring collections from the world over, rest assured you can get lost in the Manchester Museum for hours on end.

What better way is there unwind after work than to visit a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Stan or taking in some works of art in the Museums Manchester gallery? The museum has a host of permanent exhibits, as well as new special events popping up all the time. There is also a cafe right next door, perfect for when you have had a long day of absorbing history. Enjoy a cup of tea, reflect on what you’ve seen, and most importantly, take your mind off of work.

Absorb some knowledge in the Manchester Central Library

Looking for a quiet place to unwind after a day of meetings, telephone calls and emails? Look no further than Manchester Central Library. Like The Victoria Baths, the library is a Grade II listed building. The iconic venue was first opened in 1934. The year 2010 saw the building receive a £50m refurbishment, taking four years and bringing the building into the 21st century.

The library now combines historic features with cutting-edge modern design. Have a walk around the library and take a look at previously hidden heritage spaces and the grand Wolfson Reading Room. They also have a cafe on-site, so find a book, grab a coffee and let all that unwanted stress disappear.

Grab a bite to eat in Ancoats

Ancoats is located right beside the Northern Quarter, which featured earlier on this list. This, like its neighbouring suburb, is a hip area known for its flourishing food and drink scene. Once a gritty textile district of the city, Ancoats has now become one of the top spots for nightlife in Manchester.

With a wide range of cuisines available from Scandinavian eateries, Japanese tea-houses to Mexican tequila joints – there is something to tickle all taste buds in Ancoats. Alongside all this wonderful food is numerous craft breweries and speakeasy-style bars, for those who are more thirsty than hungry. Ancoats is the perfect place to let off some steam after work, with something for everyone, we challenge you not to have a good time in this quirky neighbourhood.

Wondering how to free up some time after work to enjoy some of the activities on this list? Why not use Laundryheap to help take some of the burden of house chores away. We offer a same day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free delivery within 24 hours.


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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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Coventry: 9 Reasons To Visit The West Midlands City

Coventry often gets overlooked on the tourist trail in the United Kingdom. Rich with history, hidden gems, and a host of incredible tourist attractions to see, the West Midlands town is certainly worth a visit.

Recently named the UK City of Culture for 2021. The city is home to four major sporting teams, a plethora of music venues and its cultural influence on the UK is evident throughout history. So, whether you are thinking of visiting from another part of the UK or further afar, this list will give all the reasons you need to visit Coventry.

  • See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals 
  • Take in Coventry’s version of the Sistine Chapel
  •  Watch one of Coventry’s four major sports teams
  • Visit the Lady Godiva 
  • Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music
  • Go to the Transport Museum 
  • Check out the unsung art and culture 
  • It’s easily accessible 
  • We operate there! 

See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals

During the Blitz of World War II, Coventry was on the the cities most affected by the shelling. The bombing in November 1940 is what saw the devastating destruction of the Coventry Cathedral. 

The ruins of the medieval structure remain today in the form of a visitor site. Afterwards, Sir Basil Spence designed a second cathedral which features a grand but modest tapestry by the renowned English artist Graham Sutherland. This second cathedral now lays adjacent to the site of the original. Coventry is the only city in the UK to have had a total of three cathedrals in the past millennia.

Watch one of Coventry’s four sports teams

Coventry has several professional sports teams that play their home games in the city. In terms of professional football, Coventry City FC has represented the city since 1883 and currently play in the Football League One. City are the only professional football team representing Coventry. 

Rugby Premiership side Wasps RFC is the newest professional team to play their home games in the city. They left London for the Ricoh Arena in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. As well as Wasps, Coventry R.F.C. and Coventry Bears represent the city in Rugby Union and Rugby League respectively. 

Visit the Lady Godiva 

Coventry legend narrates that Lady Godiva, an English noblewoman, rode naked on a horse through the city’s street in protest to a tax her own husband had imposed on his tenants. Some even claim the phrase ‘Peeping Tom’ came from this legend because in later versions of the story a man named Thomas was struck blind for looking at the naked Godiva riding. 

Coventry City pays homage to this story in various forms, including a clock and a statue of Lady Godiva riding her horse in the city centre. As well as these more traditional nods to the legend, the city hosts the Coventry Godiva Festival. This is Britain’s largest free family festival. The event hosts up to 189,00 people and has had artists like Kasabian and Biffy Clyro headline over the years. 

Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music 

The Specials was formed in Coventry in 1977 and are arguably Coventry’s most successful exports. They are known as the originators of Two Tone music (which fuses ska with punk rock) and took Britain by storm in the late 70s. 

Two Tone music is credited with spreading a message of racial unity. As a result of this, Coventry City FC has released a limited edition shirt to commemorate the band and the influence they had on English culture. The kit features aspects of the label’s black and white branding, and the anti-racism Kick It Out logo. One framed shirt has been donated to the Coventry Music Museum by the club to celebrate Two Tones 40th anniversary. 

Go to the Transport Museum 

Coventry was once one of the car manufacturing capitals of the world. Despite this no longer being the case, the museum still has an impressive collection of cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

Not many people know Coventry was actually the birthplace of the bicycle. You can learn more about this and loads of other interesting facts at the Transport museum. Most importantly, the museum is located in the City Centre, so it is easily accessible for those visiting without a car. 

Check out the unsung art and culture 

Coventry certainly has its fair share of art and culture to take in. Warwick Arts Centre sits on the outskirts of the city and has an incredible programme of films, plays and performances. Despite the name, the centre is much closer to Coventry than Warwick. It is also one of the biggest centres of art outside of London. 

Within the city of Coventry itself, be sure to visit the Herbert Art Gallery which hosts various exhibitions from local artists old and new. After that, why not take a trip to the Belgrade Theatre, a long-standing provincial theatre. Similarly, you can visit the more modern Tin Music and Arts Centre in the Canal Basin. This centre hosts a mix of music, film and classes, providing something for all tastes. 

It’s easily accessible 

Coventry is only about an hour by train from London, located around 95 miles to the north-west of the capital. The city’s convenient midlands location means it is also easy to get to from cities in the North of England. 

For overseas travellers, Coventry does have its own airport that goes to a few locations within Europe. Alternatively, Birmingham City airport is only a 30-minute drive or 20-minute train journey away.

We operate there! 

If all the reasons on this list are not enough to entice you into visiting Coventry, then you should probably know that we also operate in the city. If you do find yourself in Coventry with laundry that needs to get done, Laundryheap are here to help! You can book 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.

laundry machine

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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New Year Advice For Starting Fresh

With the new year fast approaching, many people start to look to January as a time for a change, for a fresh start, and for ways to improve there life. Change can mean different things to different people, depending on how you currently live your life. Whether you require a new work out regime or want to spend more time with the people closest to you this year. Rest assured these pointers will help you get a hold of those dreaded January blues.

  • Let go of last year
  • Be specific about what you want
  • Start getting organised
  • Be nicer to people
  • Get that blood flowing
  • Sleep more
  • No more unnecessary distractions
  • Strengthen relationships that matter to you

Let go of last year

Often people who want to start fresh are held back by the knot of previous failures, involvements, feelings, obstacles. We cannot go for that job because of the last job rejection we got, or we cannot find time to visit our parents because we have too many other commitments.

If you are looking to start fresh this new year, you must get rid of all of this old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let go of last year, and start anew in your mind. 

Be specific about what you want

The main reason resolutions fail is because they are non-specific. So many people go into the new year claiming “new year, new me”, with no specific direction as to how they plan to change. Why not try “new year, new strict meditation schedule to abide by”?

Aim to have a quantifiable goal, a date, and a series of checkpoints to complete to get yourself there. If you are serious about achieving your goal in the new year, you need to have a clear plan for how you are going to do it.

Start getting organised

As well as being specific about the main change you want to achieve this year, you must make sure all the other elements of your life are in good order. If you want to increase work productivity or cut down of junk food, then make sure you have the housework schedule organised!  

Having unwanted stresses and disturbances from other areas in your life can be a trigger for abandoning your new routine. Try to make sure you have a handle on other parts of your life to allow you to focus on changing the parts you don’t like.

Be nicer to people

It is no secret that giving to others is one of the best ways a person can feel truly fulfilled. Whether that comes in the form of giving to charity or simply smiling at someone on your morning commute. It will make them feel better, and as a result, you will feel better. No matter where we are, there are no shortages of people, causes or organisations that could benefit from our help and kindness.

Get your blood flowing

This tip applies to people whose main focus is related to their physical health and those who aren’t particularly looking to improve this. Doing regular exercise helps you in all walks of life. Staying active increases the production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings. These positive feelings will serve you well on your journey to change. 

If physical fitness is top of your new year improvement agenda, then make sure you find a routine that works for you. Once you’ve found that perfect formula, make sure you stick to it! 

Sleep more

It is hard to be productive when you are exhausted. That’s because a good nights sleep is just as important to our health as regular exercise or a healthy diet. The best way to stick to your goals this new year is by getting a good rest at night.

There are a few ways you can ensure you can sleep better, try replacing your pillow, or reducing your blue light exposure in the evenings. We know what your thinking, I have to get off my phone in the evenings, no way! Fear not, if you can’t live without your phone, there are ways to stop blue light without having to go cold turkey. Download apps that block blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhone’s and Android models. 

No more unnecessary distractions

If social media is distracting you, get rid of it. If it’s the television, get rid of it. Even if its the sound of the clock ticking in your study room, get rid of it. 

You will find more time to focus once you have gotten rid of unnecessary distractions. Focus on the thing that matters most. In this case, concentrate on how you are going to improve this year. Feel free to take breaks and indulge in your guilty distractions, but always return to focusing on what’s important.

Strengthen relationships that matter to you 

Sometimes we get lost in the chaos of our own lives and forget to spend time with our loved ones. Having people to connect with helps lower stress levels and gives you someone to confide when you are unsure about your choices.

We know life can get in the way sometimes with stuff like work, kids, and chores to be taken care off. Why not use Laundryheap to help free up some time? We can take care of all your laundry troubles and have your clothes returned to you within 24 hours of us collecting them. 


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How to be more environmentally conscious when doing laundry?

Laundry isn’t usually on the top of people’s list of ways to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. If you are someone who does multiple loads of laundry every week, it could be having a more substantial effect on the planet than you might think. The amount of water, energy, and products used when doing laundry can inevitably add up. 

Washing and drying your garments in a more environmentally conscious way can make for a more Eco-conscious household. These simple switches will not only reduce the environmental impact but will also save you money while you’re at it. 

  • Washing clothes in cooler temperatures
  • Always make sure you wash full loads
  • Get a green washing machine
  • Use green laundry detergent 
  • Wash by hand
  • Cut down on drying time
  • Hang clothes to dry
  • Don’t iron unnecessarily
  • Get the professionals to take care of it

Washing clothes in cooler temperatures

Up to 90 % of the energy used when doing your laundry involves just heating the water. Most of us know that having a long, hot shower is less environmentally friendly than a quick, short one. The same applies when doing your laundry. 

Washing clothes at 30°C instead of 40°C uses about 40% less energy. Doing your laundry at a lower temperature can also be better for your clothes. Exposing your clothes to hot temperatures can shorten the lifespan of the garment.

Always make sure you wash full loads.

Reducing the number of loads you do per week will save water and save you money. Even the most environmentally-efficient loads can use up to 40 gallons of water per load. 

Try reducing your loads as best you can throughout the week to reduce your carbon footprint. You could wear some clothes more than once before washing. This solution doesn’t go for all pieces of clothing, socks and underwear come to mind, but not tossing your jeans in the laundry basket after one wear is the first step to improving your laundry habit.

Invest in green machines

We are not suggesting that everyone throws out their current working washing machine and head to the shop to buy a new eco-friendly one today. If you are in the market for a new washer or dryer, buying a greener model can save energy and use less water, lowering your bills in the process. 

High-efficiency machines use between 20% to 60% less water and as little as 50% energy as traditional washing machines. Investing in a green washing machine will significantly reduce your environmental impact at home. 

washing machine

Use green laundry detergent 

Conventional washing detergents can be very damaging to the ecosystems where the dirty water we wash down the drain can end up. Standard laundry detergent contains phosphates which can have disastrous effects to marine life that comes in contact with it. 

When purchasing more Eco-friendly detergents, make sure you keep an eye out for labels that indicate the product is biodegradable and phosphate-free. These detergents are often more gentle on the skin, too. 

Wash by hand

We know this option will cause some people to wince.  Hand washing can be time-consuming, but there are some ways to make the process easier. Tools like a pedal washer can allow you to exercise while you wash your laundry, helping your body and the environment at the same time.

Hand washing can give you a sense of just how much laundry you’re going through weekly. As well as helping you see where you can cut back on the amount of laundry you do. 

Cut down on drying time.

Your dryer uses up a lot of energy – so anything you can do to cut down the time using this machine will help the environment. Not using your dryer as much can also save you money on your electric bill. 

Little things like cleaning the filter in your dryer can also save energy. If the filter is clogged, the clothes take longer to dry, meaning more energy wasted. 

Hang clothes to dry

One of the most optimal ways to cut down on time using your dryer is to hang your clothes to dry. If weather permits, hanging your clothes to dry on the line outside can take away 100% of the energy used when using your dryer. 

For people who live in a warmer climate drying clothes outside can be quick and easy. Those who live in wetter corners of the globe, can always line dry indoors all year round. Hanging clothes to dry will not only reduce energy, it will also cut your electric bill and make your clothes last longer.

Don’t iron unnecessarily

Ironing is top of most peoples most hated chores list. So why not cut it out when it isn’t necessary? Ironing consumes excess energy and can deteriorate the fabric on your clothing. 

We understand that even the most environmentally conscious of us still don’t want to rock up to a job interview with a creased shirt. To avoid looking scruffy, all you have to do is hang up your shirt straight after the wash cycle is complete. For materials that are more prone to creasing, like linen, just cut the final spin cycle on your wash, leaving more water in the fabric, resulting in fewer creases.

Get the professionals to take care of it

It might sound unconventional, but commercial washers and dryers tend to be more efficient than domestic machines because they are bigger and can take bigger loads. By using professionals like Laundryheap, you can lessen the number of loads, meaning less wasted energy and water at home. 


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Birmingham: Fun Facts About The UK’s Second City

The UK’s second city isn’t always first on everybody’s must-visit list, but we are here to change that. Birmingham is best known for its industrial background, hardworking people and famous waterways, the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ also has a rich history of arts, music and culture. 

  • The First Game of Lawn Tennis Was Played in Birmingham
  • Birmingham has More Canals Than Venice
  • The Busiest Theatre in the UK in in Birmingham
  • Cadbury Chocolate and HP Sauce are both from Birmingham
  • Inspiration for the Lord of the Rings
  • Home to some of the UK’s most famous metal bands
  • Bullring Shopping Centre has been going since the Middle Ages
  • Home to the real-life Peaky Blinders

First Game of Lawn Tennis Was Played in Birmingham

Modern-day tennis as we know it can be traced back to Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Pereraw who are credited with playing the first game of modern lawn tennis in their house in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Edgbaston Lawn Tennis Club remains the oldest in the world. Take that Wimbledon! 

Birmingham Has More Canals Than Venice 

Birmingham’s famous waterways stretch for a whopping 35 miles, meaning it has more than the famous Italian city. These canals are enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and narrowboat owners alike and serve as a reminder of the cities industrial past.

The Busiest Theatre in the UK is in Birmingham

With a whopping 520,000 visitors per year, the Birmingham Hippodrome is officially the UK’s busiest theatre. Here you can catch year-round performances varying from dance, pantomime, musicals and theatre. 

Cadbury Chocolate and HP Sauce are from Birmingham

That’s right, two of Britains most iconic food brands call Birmingham home. Cadbury’s chocolate started opened for production in 1905. Cadbury made its first Dairy Milk bar in 1914, with a higher percentage of Milk than previous bars, it soon became the company’s best selling product. 

Another titan of the British cupboard is the famous HP Sauce. The ‘HP’ stands for Houses of Parliament, although this sauce’s roots don’t trace back to Westminister, but to its factory in Aston.  

Birmingham was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings

Not many people know that Lord of the Rings author J.R.Tolkien spent his formative years in and around the city. It was the landscape of the city and surrounding countryside that provided part of the inspiration for his books.

Locations like ‘The Shire’, home to his famous Hobbit characters, was inspired by a village called Sarehole, which has now been absorbed into Birmingham’s suburbs. 

Home to some of the UK’s most famous metal bands

Another lesser-known slice of Birmingham’s history is the cities connection to Heavy Metal music. Bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest all played their first gigs in the city, with many of their members having grown up in Birmingham. The city still hosts a strong metal scene today in venues like the Tunnel Club and Scruffy Murphy’s. 

Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham has been going since the Middle Ages

Bullring Shopping Centre is situated in an area that has been a shopping hotspot in Birmingham since the middle ages. Long before enormous shopping malls and department stores, this area was host to a bustling corn market. The market legally began trading in 1154 and lives on today in the form of the Bullring Shopping Centre. 

Home to the real-life Peaky Blinders

If you haven’t heard of the BBC’s hit period drama Peaky Blinders yet then where have you been? Set in post World War One Birmingham, the show has done more in recent years to put Birmingham on the map than anything else.

Tommy Shelby and his gang brothers have become the new heroes of the city. Championing the Brummy accent not just across the UK, but now taking America by storm since the hit streaming service Netflix has started airing the series. Based loosely on a real gang from the city with the same name, this show is a gateway to Birmingham life in the 1920s.

Thinking about visiting Birmingham to experience some of this amazing history first hand? You can also get your laundry done while you visit. Laundryheap operates throughout the city, all you have to do is book a same-day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free next day delivery.  


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How to Make the Most of Your Laundry Time

Let’s face it, we’ve all found ourselves helplessly searching for something to do in the hour it takes for laundry to be washed. Often regarded as the household chore people loathe the most, Laundry generally gets a rough time. 

Waiting for your washing to come out of the machine or dryer is often the most frustrating aspect of doing laundry . With such small increments of time, people often wonder what they should do? Well, we are here to change that with a few simple suggestions. 

  1. Listen to a Podcast
  2. Read A Book
  3. Listen To An Audiobook
  4. Call Your Friends or Family
  5. Watch Something On Your Phone
  6. Do A Quick Workout
  7. Online Shopping
  8. Get Some Work Done
  9. Catch Up On Emails/Messages
  10. Hire A Professional To Free Up Your Laundry Time

Listen to a Podcast

If you haven’t already jumped on the Podcast hype-train, then where have you been? Podcasts are a great distraction from just about any boring task that doesn’t require your full attention. 

There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of different Podcasts at your disposal, with most of them being free to listen to, it’s a no brainer for killing time doing laundry. Whether you are into true crime, sport, music, history, self-help or comedy, there is something for everyone in the Podcast world. Put your headphones in, sit back and let the time fly. 

Read A Book

Most people don’t have time in their busy schedule to sit down and read a good novel these days. With so much of our time spent on work, replying to emails and checking social media for current events, the art of sitting and reading a book is in steep decline. 

Waiting for your laundry to be done is the perfect opportunity to pull out that novel someone bought you as a gift two Christmas’ ago. Find a comfy seat, relax and get lost in the words. The time will fly by. 

Listen to an Audiobook

Reading isn’t for everyone, we understand that. Luckily for us, we live in a digital age, that means you don’t have to strain your eyes from trying to focus on the small font used in books. If you feel you don’t have the attention span to sit and read a whole novel, then Audiobooks have you covered.

Just about every novel released now is accompanied by an Audiobook version. Harry Potter fan? Why not listen to the seven books narrated by the melodious voice of Stephen Fry? Let the narrator take you on the author’s intended journey and forget about all your laundry worries.

Call Your Friends or Family

So much of our interactions with people come in the form of text or email these days. Why not take the hour you have spare to call one of your friends or family. That’s right, call, as in over the phone and with your voice. Crazy, right? Waiting for laundry provides the perfect space in your day to call that special someone and catch up on all the things happening in each other’s lives. 

Watch Something on Your Phone 

Nowadays most people have smartphones with instant access to whichever choice of streaming service they prefer. If you have an hour to kill why not load up the latest episode of that series you have been binging? Or check out that documentary your friend recommended you watch? You’d be amazed how quickly you forget about that laundry spinning around the machine when you are tuned in to David Attenborough’s latest documentary. Just make sure you remember to take the laundry out when it’s ready and move it to the dryer!

Do a Quick Workout

This is a great option for those neglecting the gym lately, or for those who simply just love to work out. You can do plenty of routines in the hour it takes to do some laundry. Press-ups, sit-ups, squats, dips, you name it, it can be done whilst waiting for your laundry to be finished. This will have you not only feeling good about getting your dirty clothes washed but also about giving your body some much need endorphins.

Online Shopping

What better way to take your mind of doing the laundry than buying more clothes that will one day have to be washed? We are all guilty of spending too much time scrolling through online stores latest releases, so why not do it when you are waiting for the laundry. This way you don’t have to feel guilty that you are wasting valuable time. 

Get Some Work Done

This suggestion can mean different things for different people depending on what you do for a living. If, for example, you work independently from home then laundry time is the perfect time to get some work done. 

This option can be applied to just about any profession though. Whether it comes in the form of writing a to-do list or brainstorming some ideas you want to put forward to your boss, don’t let this free time go to waste! 

Catch Up On Emails

Emailing is part and parcel of most peoples daily working routine. I’m sure we don’t need to remind you how quickly that inbox can fill up and how overwhelming it can be to start getting back to people. Why not use this unusual free time to tackle that ever-growing inbox of yours.

Hire a Professional 

Why go through the stress and boredom of doing laundry when you could be using Laundryheap? All you have to do is book a collection and delivery time. Your clothes will arrive back with you 24 hours later – all clean and ready for action. You never have to worry about how to make the most of your laundry time ever again. 


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Complete Guide To Removing Different Sauce Stains

Is there anything worse than dry food? Sauce, in all its incredible different varieties, has meant we never have to worry about our food being too dry again. These moist and flavoursome little bottles of joy do come with there own problems though.

It doesn’t matter if it is the bright red ketchup, golden yellow mustard, or the infamous brown BBQ sauce that your taste-buds desire most. All of these wonderfully tasty condiments can leave us in a state of panic every time we carelessly spill them onto our new white t-shirt. We are here to try and ease that panic. Next time you find yourself overindulging in a hot dog that is drowning in mustard and ketchup, make sure you know how to remove the stains once the inevitable happens. 

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard
  • BBQ Sauce 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chilli Sauce 

Tomato Sauce 

 You can find this versatile vegetable (or fruit!?) in cuisine all over the world. Whether its ketchup on your fries, spaghetti sauce or bloody mary’s, sauces that mostly contain tomatoes can make it seem like the end of the world when spilt on our clothes.

The best thing you can do when spilling tomato sauces on your clothes is act as soon as possible. Try to use heavy-duty laundry detergent and make sure you use the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the garment care label. Always ensure you check the laundry symbols before washing the garment. To start with, gently rub the liquid detergent directly on the stain. Next, place the garment into the machine to be washed. Make sure to air dry after, as heat from the dryer can set in any remaining stain particles that have not come off in the wash. 

Mustard

Like ketchup, mustard can cause most people to shriek when it’s spilt on your clothing due to its luminescent colour. Mustard contains a dye called Tumeric to enhance the yellow colour, which means it must be treated differently to other stains on this list. 

If a mustard stain does not get treated quickly, the turmeric dye can remain on your clothing as a permanent reminder of your carelessness. Try to catch the stain while it is still moist and blot immediately. Make sure you do not rub the stain, as you do not want to spread the turmeric onto unstained parts of the garment. 

Finally, mix a solution of three-quarters of dish soap and one quarter rubbing alcohol. Apply the mixture to the stain and allow to soak for 10 minutes, just long enough for it not to dry. The alcohol in the solution should turn the stain a dark colour, but not to worry, it will rinse right out! Rinse the treated area with hot water, and then launder like normal.

BBQ Sauce 

Would a barbecue even be a barbecue if it wasn’t messy to eat? Most people attending a barbecue know the risks going in, but that still doesn’t make the BBQ sauce stains any less harrowing. 

Removing the stain is a two-step process. Soak the affected garment just like you would soak a dirty dish in warm water with dishwashing detergent, this will help loosen the sauce from the fabric and help clean the stain. Once you have left to soak for at least ten minutes, pour some vinegar on the affected area and scrub with a kitchen sponge. After you’ve treated the stain, run the garment through the washing machine like normal. 

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is probably the least threatening colour of all sauces listed in this guide, but do not let its neutral colour fool you. Mayonnaise can leave oily spots on your clothing that are not always easy to remove.

When you spill a blob of mayonnaise on your clothing, use a blunt object like a butter knife or spoon to lift as much of the Mayonnaise off the fabric as you can. Never rub because this will push the stain deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. Seeing as the bulk of the issue is an oil-based stain, every Mayonnaise stain should be pre-treated using solvent-based stain removal products. If you don’t have any solvent-based stain remover at hand, apply a bit of heavy-duty liquid detergent instead. Then work it in by delicately rubbing with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Lastly, wash the garment in the washing machine on the highest heat it recommends on the label

Chilli Sauce

Need some spice in your life, but don’t like it trickling onto your clothes? A good old fashioned spicy hot sauce is great for adding flavour to your dishes, but not so great for your new white work shirt. Most hot sauce ingredients consist of peppers, spices and vinegar. Assuming your favourite brand of chilli sauce doesn’t add too much artificial food colouring, the stains should be simple to remove. 

Acting immediately is proving to be a common theme in this guide. You guessed it, don’t wait until you’ve finished your food to act on a chilli sauce stain, get on the job straight away! 

First things first, run the stain under the tap for at least a minute. Do not rub the stain here, instead let the water flow do the work. We also recommend turning the item inside out and cleaning from the backside to remove it from within the fabric. After this, place the clothing in a sink filled with cold water, add a tablespoon of liquid detergent and vinegar, then gently scrub the stained area. Lastly, put the item in a washing machine and make sure to use warm water, never hot, as this will set the stain. 

If you don’t have the time or patience to clean a worrying stain out of your clothing, why not let the professionals help you? Laundryheap is here to help by offering same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next day delivery.


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How to Stop Your Raw & Selvedge Denim From Fading

Denim jeans have been an essential item of clothing since the 19th century. Before the 1950s, most denim jeans were crafted from raw and selvedge denim. In the decades since the way jeans were produced changed drastically with the implementation of new cost-cutting technologies and manufacturing in developing countries. 

Raw and Selvedge denim remains available at a slightly higher cost and has recently seen a resurgence in demand. Even though most raw denim enthusiasts are obsessed with achieving fades on their jeans, there are still a small community of people who want to preserve the dark indigo colour their jeans are when they purchase them. There are a few approaches for maintaining that dark colour, much to the dismay of some raw denim devotees. 

  1. Soak in water and white vinegar
  2. Iron sporadically
  3. Wash with specific denim care brands
  4. Refrain from strenuous activity when wearing the jeans
  5. Buy non-fading denim
  6. Have your jeans dry cleaned (professionally)

Soak in water and white vinegar

You may have seen this hack featured on our blog before in the How To Remove Stains With Viniger post. Luckily for you, vinegar has lots of incredible uses that don’t include fish and chips, like being used to set the indigo dye in your jeans. 

Once mixed with water (about half a cup for a tub full), soak the pair of jeans in the mixture to limit any further fades. This is also a good cleaning option for denim heads who don’t want to wash there jeans at all. 

Iron regularly to stop creasing

Parts of your jeans that crease are often the first places that you will find fading; the crotch, knees and the seat are the most prominent areas for fading. 

Ironing out these creases after every wear will help minimize fading in the areas mentioned above. This isn’t the most time-efficient method and will require a high level of dedication from the wearer. So it all depends on how dedicated you are to minimizing those fades.

Wash with specific denim care brands

There are a host of reliable brands that have been tried and tested by the raw denim community to ensure the best care for your jeans. However, it is important to bear in mind if you want to limit fades, avoid the washing machine at all costs.

One common brand used to clean raw denim is Woolite Dark washing detergent. A small amount of Woolite Dark mixed with water provides an excellent soaking environment to soak your denim in. Alternatively, brands like Mr Black Garment Essentials produce ‘Denim Refresh’ products, a biodegradable solution designed to clean, refresh and extend the life of your beloved raw denim jeans. 

Refrain from excessive activity 

Without a doubt, the most depressing option on this list, refraining from wearing your new raw denim is probably the last thing you want to think about right now.

Having several different pairs of selvedge jeans can mean spacing out how much you wear each pair, leading to less fading in the long run. This option is obviously dependant on your budget and how desperate you are to maintain that dark indigo look. 

Buying non-fade denim 

This one has to go down as the easiest tip on this list and that is to just buy jeans that don’t fade. Unfortunately, raw denim that doesn’t fade comes at a hefty price and aren’t commonly found. 

Some traditional denim brands like  Pure Blue Japan have recently started making raw denim that won’t fade. PBJ sells a pair called NC-005. The “NC” stands for ‘No Change’, referring to the fabric holding its colour. These jeans will still show signs of wear, but will not fade to a lighter shade like other raw selvedge denim.

Have your jeans dry cleaned (professionally)

Taking your jeans to specialists like us here at Laundryheap ensures your denim will get the best care possible. Our service is reliable, professional and takes just 24hours. Did we mention that it’s also free next day delivery? What are you waiting for!