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washing blankets


No, it's not the name of a hip rock band.

There are a number of things that have to be done only every once in a while that always, always make me wonder Is there a better way to do this?

Washing blankets is one of those things.

Given the heat, today I decided I should wash one of my blankets (I have two). Now, some people might argue that blankets are not meant to be washed (actually, I don't know. This is not a common topic of conversation!). Even if it shouldn't be done, I do it anyway. I go through this process every once in a while, and I always end up thinking that I'm doing my own private Monty Python skit. This is the kind of knowledge that is best obtained by asking our elders (read: parents, or grandparents if possible) but that I prefer to discover on my own.

My process is: First I dust it, of course, I pound on it to get some of the dust out.

Obviously, the blanket does not fit in the washing machine (and even if it did, I probably wouldn't wash it in it--too heavy). So how to do it? What I do is: put some soap on the bathtub; fill the bathtub with warm water, put blanket in bathtub.

So far so good. I'm cruising. The water is getting dirty (interpreted as a good sign in this context). Mhhmm... ok, let's turn it around... damn this thing is heavy now that it's wet... ok... water is splashing... let's see... done.

Meanwhile, I'm remembering some dialogue from Fight Club:

Tyler: Do you know what a Duvet is?
Jack: Comfort...
Tyler: It's a blanket. It's just a blanket (Jack Nods.) So, why do guys like you and I know what a Duvet is? Is it essential to our survival, you know, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word?
Jack: No...
Tyler: No. What are we then?
Jack: We're... consumers.
Tyler: Right. We're consumers. We're the by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty -- these things don't concern me. What concerns me is celebrity magazines. Television with five hundred channels. Some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
Jack: Martha Stewart.
Tyler: Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all going down, man! So fuck off with your sofa units and your green stripe patterns. I say, never be complete. I say, stop being perfect. I say, let's evolve, and let the chips fall where they may.

But I digress. Back to the blanket.

I turn it around a couple of times. Then empty the tub. Then add more water. Repeat a couple of times until the water is basically clean.

Not bad! Okay. Now... to dry it...

Uh-oh.

Start a long, arduous process through which water slowly seeps out of the blanket. But for that I really have to lift the blanket, which is by now really heavy. Water pours down my arms. My chest. Then on to the floor. Then the floor gets slippery. Wooow.... I almost fall down. Regain balance. Regain traction. Ok. Ok. Situation under control. Finally I decide that the only way in which this thing is going to dry, is to take it out into the balcony. Get a couple of chairs out into the balcony.

Then, back to the tub, get the blanket I wrap it in a huge towel and take it out.

This is harder than it sounds. The blanket, soaking, is getting compressed as I grab it. More water beings to drip. In a series of movements that are difficult to describe I end up with the blanket against my face and covering half my body, dripping water all over me. I'm soaking. I suddenly realize how I must look, and I start to laugh. This does not improve things, since the laugh-induced movement (me, plus the blanket) only releases more water. I laugh harder.

So, I'm soaked. So what, it's a nice summer day. Okay. Move along... carry soaking blanket across the house. Miraculously, the floor doesn't get wet. Okay, no miracle is involved: it's my clothes who are absorbing all the water. By the time I hang the blanket between the two chairs, half the water is already on me.

So.

The blanket is now happily drying outside. We'll see how long it takes. The sun gets to it, there's a nice wind, shouldn't be long.

I wonder, how is this done, really?

I mean, there has to be a better way to do this. Maybe this is what dry-cleaning is for. Maybe you should only dust them. Maybe there's some magical potion that you put on blankets and they clean themselves.

This system seems to work relatively well though. I'll just have to remember to wear a bathing suit the next time. :-)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on August 7 2003 at 2:53 PM

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