Editor, Author, Priestess of Words
In the winter, I picked up a very pretty red-orange-yellow checkered chenille blanket from the HomeGoods Store. I was in the throes of re-reading the Harry Potter series and the blanket conjured up definite visions of a snug Gryffindor common room. Though I am a devout Hufflepuff, I bought the blanket and thought about how awesome it would be to curl up under it and read.
The blanket was awesome right up until the first time I washed it. I adored this blanket, so I made sure to follow the care tag’s instructions: Machine wash gentle with cold water. Got it. Nothing could be simpler. But when the washer stopped, it was like someone had murdered an Elmo in there. Little bits of red fluff were everywhere, both on the blanket and inside the washer. I reasoned that this had to be the worst of it, that maybe it had just shed some loose fibers but now things were going to be okay. Into the dryer it went.
The same thing happened. Bits of red fluff everywhere, and the lint trap was so thick with red that I could have spun it and made a decorative pillow case to match the blanket. Okay, this has to be it, I thought. How much more could the blanket shed? A lot more, it turned out. So, so much more. Two washes and dry cycles later (about two or three months in all), and my dryer stopped drying so well. What once took a single cycle to dry a few pairs of jeans and some shirts was now taking two…then three…then four. When we cleaned out the trap, vacuumed inside the machine, and snaked around in the hose and vent it seemed like we would never be rid of the red fluff.
And then, one day, I was home alone and running a load of some of my clothes. I began to smell something burning, like popcorn left in the microwave for too long. I glanced over towards the laundry room, the door of which was open.
Fire. Fire in my clothes dryer.
So, you would think I’d learn my lesson and throw that blanket away. No, of course not. I gave it to my dogs to lay on, fulling intending to throw it away after they had their fun with it (they like to chew and tear blankets), but then I forgot all about that. I was moving their crate and cleaning everything recently, when I discovered that under their dog bed and toys, way back in the crate, the blanket had been lumped up. Huh, I thought, I wonder how this got back there. Well, it’s high time it got washed…big mistake. It sheds just as much as before, and it is everywhere.
Now, my husband and I are attempting to rid ourselves of every last bit of that monstrous fluff before we have another little bonfire on our hands. We’ve pulled out the dryer, vacuumed everything, and today I toss the thing into the trash. Honestly, this is what I get for bringing a Gryffindor blanket into my home…Gryffindors are always trouble.