New comforter, courtesy of my stupidity


I could kick myself.

Yesterday I decided to wash my comforter. I have a thick comforter on a queen bed, so in the past I’ve taken it to the laundromat once a year or so to wash it.

But in November I bought a new washing machine, one I though was large enough to wash the comforter.

As soon as I said thought, you probably know where this is going.

So, I took it down into the laundry room and did my normal pre-laundry preparation. (What is pre-laundry preparation?  Well, in my case, it means turning on a portable flood light and searching every area of the garage and laundry room for snakes.  Years ago I found snake skins—and then their owner—crawling across my dryer.  I’d prefer never to be surprised like that again.)

Once I verified I was snake-free, I opened up the washer and stuffed the comforter in.

As soon as I said stuffed, you should definitely know where this is going.

Normally I start the water and scoop in the powered detergent and let it dissolve before I add the clothing or bedding to the machine. This time I was in a bit of hurry, and forgot.  So after I stuffed in the comforter, I dumped the powdered soap on top.

I stood back and surveyed the machine. It was a tight fight, no doubt about it, but with the soap already on the comforter it felt too late to turn back.  I cranked her up to the highest setting and let ‘er rip.

I should’ve turned back.

I’d set the machine on the highest water setting, given it a fifteen minute soak, and a second rinse. Despite all that, when I opened up the machine, the top of the comforter was still pretty dry.  The soap hadn’t dissolved, but had turned into a paste that was stuck in all the folds of the comforter.

And the thing was heavy. Soaked through with water even though it had been rinsed.


But I soldiered on, repositioning the comforter so the top was now on the bottom. I ran the machine again, with full water and a second rinse.  I stopped the cycle a few times to push the comforter down into the water and move it around as much as possible.

It was no use. The thing was so heavy when filled with water that the machine couldn’t agitate it at all.  After two full washings, the thing was sopping wet and still had undissolved detergent grit all through it.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t dare run a third cycle, fearing the washing machine would protest.  I thought briefly about taking it onto the back deck and trying to rinse it out with the garden hose.

But then I came up with a better idea. I’d had this comforter since I moved into my house.  It was a move-in gift from a dear friend, but I started to believe that maybe it had lived a long enough life and was ready to go to that big bed in the sky.  And maybe I could get a lighter one, one with flowers on it.  And then I’d have to get new throw pillows to match and wouldn’t that be nice.  And shams, I could get pink or purple shams….

I know you know where this is going.

And so that’s how I ended up with lovely new bedding.

That will be washed only at the industrial laundromat.