A while back, in an attempt to make my bed a warm, fluffy Mecca the likes of which you see on Pinterest, I bought a new bedding set. As a person who is always cold in the winter, I was attracted by this gigantic heavy comforter that I found on sale. (Now I know why it was on sale, this thing a nightmare. But I’m getting ahead of myself….). It was touted as a fancy, “luxury”, King size comforter, the kind you find in 5 star hotels. Oh, the bliss! And for a reduced price! I snapped it right up with excitement; my bedroom was gonna rival the Four Seasons, y’all!
Right away I realized it was really just the hugest, heaviest damned comforter I’d ever seen. Getting this thing onto my bed was no easy task; it’s just so big and bulky, and hard to manage. But it is warm and cushy, (and really pretty, too!) and I have enjoyed many a cozy night sleeping under this thing. So I really didn’t regret my decision to buy it at all. Until yesterday.
As bedding tends to do, the comforter gets dirty and needs to be washed. It’s full of sweat, and bacteria, and who only knows what else- oh, and sporting two chocolate-y hand prints courtesy of my son. I was vaguely aware from looking at the care instructions that this might not be an easy task; it specifies that you need an oversize washing machine to handle this beast. But I’m the owner a pretty size-able washer and dryer set, so with hope in my heart I decide to see if it will fit. After all, I have been able to wash all of our past bedding in these machines so it’s probably not a problem.
It’s a problem. This comforter is nowhere close to being able to fit into my washer. Drat! This is going to require a trip to the laundromat. Inconvenient. But not the end of the world.
So I haul the thing down the block to the nearest laundromat; surely laundromats are set up for this sort of thing. Otherwise, how do people wash such ridiculously sized blankets? I go inside, lugging this massive hunk that is twice my size and half my weight, and proceed to wander around, trying to shove this giant load of fabric into various washing machines, whilst trying to ignore the confused stares of the other patrons (I must have looked like such a tool.)
Nothin’ doin’. It doesn’t fit into any these washers either; in fact, most of these machines are smaller than my washer at home. What the hell? This comforter doesn’t need an oversize machine- it needs an industrial size machine, obviously. Just great. Where am I supposed to find one of those? I do notice that the laundromat is sporting some pretty huge dryers, though, and that’s when I get a bright idea.
(Now, the words “dry cleaners” did spring to mind as well, but I had reservations about that. Can dry cleaning really clean a comforter that is covered in human….stuff? I’m not sure, so I decide to go with Option B.)
My (not so bright) idea is this: the bathtub. It’s big enough to hold this albatross, it has water, and can I not just slap some Tide and Oxy Clean into it, fill it with some water, and just do a hand wash? Then, I’ll haul it back it to the laundromat and use a giant dryer to finish the job. This will work, I said. This is a great solution, I said.
(Now, if this was a great solution, I wouldn’t be blogging about this whole thing, would I? Foreshadowing!)
Ok. So. I get back home and proceed to put Operation Bathtub Blanket into action. Fill the tub up with some water and soap and toss The Hulk into the tub. I get down on my hands and knees and start trying to wash the comforter. As it fills with more and more (soapy) water, I realize I have a big problem. If I thought this thing was heavy and hard to handle before, imagine how heavy and unmanageable it becomes when it’s chock full of water! It’s now triple it’s normal weight. I can’t lift the thing. I can’t move the thing. It’s now a sopping wet mess that I can’t even slightly move around the tub, let alone get it washed properly.
I begin to sweat as slight panic sets in. This was a bad idea. I immediately regret this decision! What the hell am I going to do now? How am I going to rinse the soap out of something I can barely budge? It’s just getting more and more full of water and soap, and I’m desperately tugging on the thing and cursing the day I was born. I decide to drain the soapy water- this is as much washing as it’s going to get. I’ve got to get the fucking soap out of here before things get worse. I try to run fresh water into the tub to start rinsing it the best I can, but it’s so soapy it just keeps sudsing up the rinse water. So I drain the water again. Refill the tub. Slosh the blanket around for awhile. Drain the tub. Refill the tub. Rinse. Repeat. I fight and fight this soggy disaster, bent over until my back is aching fiercely, and still the soap continues to pour out of the comforter.
This goes on for about 2 hours, and I’m still not managing to make much headway. I finally wind up rolling up my pant legs and getting into the damned bathtub with the comforter. So here I am, stomping around on it like Lucy Ricardo stomping the grapes in the wine making episode of I Love Lucy, when my kids come in to see what hell is going on.
“Ummm….whatcha’ doin’, Mom?” asks my 7 year old.
I’m sweaty, soaked, and exhausted, but give my most winning smile to my son. “Oh, just…washing the blanket from my bed, ya know…”.
“In the bathtub?” asks my 11 year old daughter. “What happened to going to the laundromat?”
I explained that the none of washers were big enough, and she stood blinking in confusion as I continued to squish around the bathtub.
“So….this is what you decided to do instead.” The judgement was clear in her voice.
I keep stomping while they watch me silently for awhile, until I decided an audience to this was just too shameful, and I banished them both from the bathroom. I finally decide I got most of the soap out, and turn the shower on to give it a good final rinse. Ok, it’s washed. I take a break to sit on the bathroom floor and glare at it for awhile.
Now it’s time for Phaze 2. I now have to get enough water out of the blanket to be able to lift it and get it to the laundromat dryer, without flooding the house or the car. It’s still so full of water I can’t even begin to lift it, so I’m going to have to find a way to wring it out, section by section. I start in, wringing and wringing until my hands ache, but it’s not working. It’s just filling the tub with water, and getting parts that I already wrung out soaked again. So now my pattern is wring, wring, LIFT part of it up until the tub drains. Wring, wring, HEAVE IT UP until the tub drains. Wring, wring, AHHHH LIIIIFFFT until the tub drains. This is about another hour of work, for anyone keeping track.
I finally get enough water out of it to where I have a hope of lifting it out of the tub- hooray! I was slightly afraid that I was never going to be able to get it out, the comforter would just live there, and we would never get to use that bathtub again. I tug and tug, and manage to finally get the entire thing out and into a laundry basket. It immediately starts leaking all over the bathroom floor, as there is still a ton of water trapped in this thing, and I realize that a trip to the laundromat isn’t gonna happen- at least not yet. So now what to do with it? The garbage can was looking like a pretty good place for it right now, but it’s too tall; I would never have the upper body strength to load The Hulk into it. Damn.
Luckily, we have been having unseasonably nice weather for January, so I decide that air drying in the great outdoors is a decent option. I go out in the backyard, take four of our deck chairs out onto the lawn, and set up a makeshift drying rack. I drag the laundry basket, with Lake Blankie dripping all to and fro throughout the house, out onto the lawn, and somehow manage to get it draped over the chairs. It remained there for the rest of the afternoon, drip drying. Every once in awhile I’d go shake the shit out of it so that water would fly out of it, and rain all over my head. It did work, however, and the comforter went from being the world’s largest water weenie to just being wet. Bonus!
More trouble arose (because of course it fucking did) when the sun went down. The temperature dropped quickly because it’s freaking January, and so the last time I went to check on the progress I realized the comforter was starting to freeze. Seriously. It was starting to stiffen with frost, the fabric gluing itself together in the wrinkles.
What’s worse than a heavy, wet comforter? One that gives you frost bite when you touch it! I freak out and slap on a pair of gloves- because honestly, I could barely stand to touch it- and frantically load it up and haul it back into the house. It’s still wet, and I now absolutely loathe this godforsaken blanket. The idea of hauling this icy mass back to laundromat is not appealing, so my husband gets the only decent idea that either of us had through this entire ordeal: I shall dry it with fans. Because, why not? This thing has made a total parody of me already, so what’s one more ridiculous antic to finish up this saga?
I hang ol’ Frosty over a clothing rack in the basement, place two electric fans on each side of it, and leave the damned thing to either finally get dry, or just descend back into Hell where it came from. At that point, I honestly didn’t care which scenario happened. I dug out our old comforter for us to sleep under that night, and climbed into bed with an aching back and a bruised spirit.
It took almost 24 hours but at long last, the comforter was dry and clean, and I begrudgingly put it back onto our bed. I realize how foolish it is to ever use it again and risk getting it dirty. I’ve warned my husband that if he truly insists on still sleeping in our bed, he is NOT, under any circumstance, to let a single part of his body touch that blanket. (That earned me a condescending eyebrow raise but he didn’t argue, so I’ll take his silence as agreement). I’m hoping that the memory of me in the bathtub with it was disturbing enough to my children that they won’t ever even look at it again, much less touch it. And if the time comes that it needs washed again, I’ll probably just take it outside and burn it at the stake.
To whoever designed such a comforter: Go screw yourself! Why on Earth would you make such an asinine bed covering that can not be washed using mere mortal means? You MUST know how dirty these things get, so seriously, what the hell? The least you could do is slap a warning label on about Satan being the manufacturer and to buy at your own risk. Or maybe just mention that by “luxury” you mean that you need to be rich enough to be able afford to just throw it away every time it gets dirty and buy a new one.
Sleep well, but don’t get your comforter dirty,