The Mystery of the Exploding Tissues

I think it would be fair to say that most people experience the “exploding tissue in the washing machine” situation at one time or another.

You know… it’s those times when despite having thoroughly checked the pockets of the garments being loaded into the washing machine, a tissue still sneaks in, goes through a full wash cycle, and explodes into a million little pieces.

Given my emergency preparedness training at work, it should come as no surprise that I always kept a tissue neatly tucked in a pocket (especially since the pandemic) to catch unplanned, unscheduled or unexpected sneezes.

That being the case, over the years, I was no stranger to the occasional case of exploding tissues in the wash.

It’s not that I didn’t check my pockets. I did… I do… I always do… but once in a while, I might miss one.

That being the case, I developed and implemented a two-step checking process to try to catch those sneaky little buggers (or “boogers” in the case of used ones):

Step 1: I check the pockets before an article of clothing goes into the laundry hamper.

Step 2: I check the pockets again before the clothing goes into the washing machine.

This two-step process has proven to be invaluable as I have found myself breathing a sigh of relief in catching some just before a wash load, especially a load of dark coloured clothes.

But still, every once in a while, a tissue sneaks through and makes a mess.

Why is this?

What karmic payback warrants this?

What negative energy have I projected into the universe, involving paper products or washing machines, which would invite the universe to restore karmic balance by delivering shredded tissues back to me with the laundry Gods roaring with laughter?

Will there ever be a time that said karmic debt will be paid off?

I’ll never forget the time when a tissue was likely hiding in the pocket of my running shorts during allergy season. When I washed my running gear, the tissue decided to explode over each and every item. When I opened the lid of the washing machine, it looked like celebratory confetti all over my clothing, in celebration of a new personal best running time.

It was still a mess, but it looked like a party in the machine.

This is certainly not a new problem and I am not the only one afflicted with it. Back when I was an apartment dweller, doing laundry in the communal laundry room, I sometimes dealt with other people’s tissues, lurking in the shadows of the washing machine, and deciding to unleash during my wash load.

I knew they weren’t mine, when I was washing something like a load of towels or t-shirts, items without pockets or places for the tissues to lurk.

Even though those tissues went through two washes, I still removed the shreds while trying to make as little contact with my fingers as possible. Just the idea of handling other peoples’ tissues (clean or otherwise) was beyond gross to me.

Fortunately, it hasn’t always been a messy clean-up. Every now and then I might take a load of laundry out of the dryer and find a tissue almost perfectly intact.

How does that even happen? Was the tissue hiding in an article of clothing and folded itself like origami in the wash, keeping the tissue in the same location throughout the agitate, rinse and spin cycles? Statistically, the odds are against such an ideal situation but I find the outcome impressive nonetheless.

Thankfully, throughout the worst outbursts, I discovered that lint rollers were a great tool for easier clean ups, to restore clothing to their normal state. I also reinforced my regular habit for checking and cleaning out the dryer vent to keep things clean and clear.

Given the tissue situation and given my emergency preparedness training at work, I wonder if I need to incorporate a THREE-step checking process to keep them out completely.

Alternatively, should I just skip tissues altogether and resort to the more primitive use of my sleeves as I did when I was a little kid?

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1 Comment

Filed under home, Humour, Running, stories

One response to “The Mystery of the Exploding Tissues

  1. So the “dual control” method (step 1 and step 2) has failed you. Maybe you need to add a “quality control ” process and have someone else double check, then sign off that all pockets were free of tissues? 😂

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