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The new replacement stuff is not new. It is stained.

This morning we were enjoying a cup of coffee in bed with the newspaper. I reached for my cup, which was sitting on a tray between us and boom, over it went. Our old plastic tray, now residing where all melted plastic must go, had molded, not cut out handles. The new tray has cut out handles. Now we know why you don’t want cut out handles.

The coffee spilled on the beautiful, new ivory silk-cotton down comforter we purchased to replace our beautiful old silk-cotton down comforter. The old one had coffee on it too but not like this. When we leaped to grab tissues or anything else at hand to mop up the coffee my spouse picked up the tray that contained the offending cup along with the coffee that now resided outside of the cup. The coffee, having gained its freedom from the cup, rolled out the left side handle into the middle of the bed. He tilted it to gain control of that side and the remaining coffee rolled out the right side. We did manage to keep it off the gold shag carpet that adorns the bedroom floor of this temporary, rental house.

It was a large mug and there was a very large amount of coffee on our new comforter. I knocked cup over and it made me felt bad because I knew I needed to go to the eye doctor to have my eyes checked. My bifocals are not so focal anymore. I misjudged the location of the cup.

Soon after the coffee bath, I dragged the behemoth, oversize California king comforter off the bed and hauled it down to the laundry room. For once I was glad to have this 6,000 square foot temporary home. The laundry room is larger than some living rooms I have had in my life. I managed to get the comforter spread out and surveyed the damage. About 25% of the surface area of one side was the color of coffee. I would not mind the color that so much but the pattern of leakage around the edges of the blobs made it look like a wet water color painting hung out to dry on a clothes line in the wind. It lost all of its artistic flair.

I learned a long time ago that you could wash down comforters if you were careful. In days of yore, the good outdoor equipment companies recommended dry cleaning or carefully washing their down products, including sleeping bags. You could even purchase outdoor company branded down soap. There were little tennis-ball type things that you were supposed to throw in the dryer with them to fluff them up.

We used to dry clean our comforters but somehow they seemed to be gathering spots and stains at an alarming, and expensive rate. Sometimes it was the coffee other times it was the soothing tea you were drinking because you were sick that you forgot about when you drifted off to sleep. More than once it was the poor pouch with a squall in her tummy. And, of course, there was the occasional tossing of a pair of pants on the bed only later to discover that they had mud on them.

I guess being a down comforter is like life. Stuff gets on you and sometimes it sticks.

So, today, our comforter that is only a few weeks old had its first bath, followed by its second bath. After we sopped up what we could I put stain remover on the remaining offending coffee. I let that stand for a bit. I put the comforter in our huge capacity HEF washer and set it for all the cycles I could find. There was a promising one called “stain fighter.” Closer inspection revealed that it was not the sudsy-super hero I wanted but a longer cycle with a pre-wash and an extra rinse. The screen touch pad directory touted it as having “superior stain fighting abilities.” Superior sounded good.

The touch pad on the washer also told me it would be 2 hours and 8 minutes. I checked a couple of times along the way and indeed it was taking 2 hours and 8 minutes. I am not quite sure how a washer can calculate something like 8 minutes but mine can. I can even hook it up to the internet should I wish to start my wash while I am flying back from Paris using the inflight internet access.

In reality, the internet thing is pretty interesting. Think of the times when you have the end-of-cycle buzzer on and the dryer is crying out over and over that your old work clothes are dry and you had better come get them before they get wrinkled. Every 14 minutes the buzzer goes off again. Imagine whipping our your cell phone and telling the dryer downstairs to hush. I guess that technology was invented by someone that had a home office upstairs and a laundry room downstairs who was multitasking paperwork and laundry.

Back to the down comforter. After the 2 hour and 8 minutes had passed, I pulled it out of the washer and there was the offending coffee. The color was much more like a cappuccino than the black coffee it had been but it was still there.

So, back through the stain-fighting cycle it goes. I now have 1 hour and 12 minutes remaining of the 2nd 2 hour and 8 minute cycle to wait to see if the stain is gone yet. I suspect it will stay with us as a reminder that even the replacement items are going to get stained, old and they are even going to someday need to be replaced.

It is a soul-settling thing to know that our fire-necessitated replacement items will not always be new. They will grow old and need to be replaced.

down comfortor

The pre-stained comforter