Pillow Fight “Down” Under

Laundry sorting enemy number one:  tag that says “DRY CLEAN ONLY!”  Disclaimer: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

What are you able to accomplish at home on a three day weekend? Most people would say, “catch up on housekeeping and laundry”.  Laundry was at the top of my list during the 4th of July weekend.  Various common sorting techniques involve strategy.   Granted, it’s not a war, yet the consummate housekeeper feels rewarded as the processional march to washer and dryer by color results in clean, systematic order.




The laundry sorting enemy is the tag that says, “DRY CLEAN ONLY!”  My Goose Down pillows were all sporting these labels.  Suddenly my systematic cleaning of all the bedding came to a grinding halt.   Wait! Why couldn’t I use my front loading washing machine with low suds soap and ultimate spin dry to wash the pillows and avoid the dry-cleaning chemicals all together while saving money?  After all, I told myself ; the pillows are old and not worth the money to clean professionally.  I would avoid embarrassment; displaying discolored pillow covers effectively shocking the clerk. Decision made!

There was no turning back once the “hatch” was closed on the washer.  I watched the “show” begin with the initial baptism of the pillows in the water and soap solution. I wasn’t expecting what happened next.  The pillow covers acted like life preservers to the feathers and blew them up like balloons inside the chamber.  Well, I took action by kneading them and eventually “drowning” the mass until the air was gone.  “Ah ha, finally in submission to the washer”, with a conquered feeling, “let the wash and spin cycles take care of them now.”


The “call” of the washer buzzer rang through the house summoning me to the “hatch”.  Here’s where the “DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME” disclaimer  is now repeated.  Do I have your attention?  The pillows were now a sopping mess of liquid inside a dripping cover.  The spin cycle failed to purge the water from the dainty feathers.  I threw them in the dryer, setting the dials to the hottest and longest settings while thinking, “bake them”.  The machine lurched and a riot began and soon the legs would march the dryer in revolt.


I declared, “I surrender” and took the victims of my cleaning rampage out to dry in the Arizona sun, clipping them with clothes pins to a cable.  There was a nice breeze…time is all that is needed.  WRONG! The feathers simply “swam” inside their covers.  I found myself wishing for my Aunt’s old fashioned ringer washing machine.  The solution I devised brought relieve to the drowned mess.  Beach towels became their salvation.  I walked on the pillows after placing them between layers of the terry cloth.  It worked.  The pillows hung for the entire day in the hot sun until I was able to introduce them to the dryer once again.  You have heard the saying, “Set it and forget it!” By nightfall, the pillows began to expand as the Down feathers came to “life”.


My pillows survived and have a fresh new beginning.  No more imagined microscopic dust mites.  The fight was over and I had won the war “Down” under.





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