Mystery Unsolved

June 25, 2009


Remember back in November when we had the mystery liquid on the basement floor, and it turned out to be Rain-x in the closet upstairs that was dripping on the floor? Well, a couple of weeks ago I noticed that the closet floor was wet again, but didn’t know why. My best guess was that the Rain-X had seeped into the walls and floors and was just being squeezed out by ghosts or something.

Well, today there was another puddle on the basement floor! What the what?? I went up to check the closet, and there was a giant wet mess in there.

Good freakin' grief.

Turns out that it is a bag of ice melt crystals that has mutated somehow. I don’t know what the deal is, but this is no good.

They leaked out the bag, and the inside of the container is wet.  They're the same stuff.

I have contained the crystals so they can cause no further damage, but if anyone can explain this mystery to me – I’m all ears.

So is Cricket.

Cricket is not amused.

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About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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19 Responses to “Mystery Unsolved”

  1. Mark Said on:

    Now that’s weird.


    • Lauren Said on:

      The ice melt or the cat? 😀

      Speaking of the cat, that’s where she sleeps now -- at the top of the stairs. That’s also where I accidentally kicked the bejeebeez out of her in the dark when I went to bed. She did not love me for it.


  2. Beth Said on:

    That’s disturbing. And wet.


  3. Brad Said on:

    They have jars for your closet that are full of crystals of some kind that absorb moisture. Maybe they just use ice melt and charge ten times as much. Hey… this could be another opportunity for selling something on the square on the Fourth. Paint some rustic stars on it and it would sell like crazy!


  4. Gretchen Said on:

    Let me take a crack at an explanation…and jump at the chance to use chemical jargon!! (my inner geek is emerging)

    The ice melt was probably calcium chloride. (this is the same thing Brad was referencing, marketed as a product called Damp Rid.) It is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs water. When it absorbs a lot of water than it basically dissolves and becomes a watery mess, which then drips down to the basement and causes great puzzlement.

    This has been your chemical education tip of the day.


  5. Curt Said on:

    As for your stoop. Here is your solution.

    There is an R rated (bad language) spoof of this. It is funny, but I didn’t know if I should post it.


  6. Lauren's mom Said on:

    What is Rain-X and why do you have it in your closet? Does it rain in there?


    • Lauren Said on:

      Ha! The closet is rain-free…. mostly.

      Rain-X is a magic liquid you put on your windshield and rain sheets off of it -- you don’t have to use your windshield wipers! Magic stuff, I say.


  7. Jessica Said on:

    Gretchen is absolutely right. Salt, BTW, also does the same thing in a really damp environment, which is why salt clumps in the shaker when it is really humid and why you might find the bottom of the cardboard salt box wet in humid weather. So, it sounds like you have a moisture problem in the closet.

    You could try to make a GIANT Damp Rid in the closet -- get a small plastic tote/box with a lid, put ice melt in the box, punch holes in the lid. That way when the ice melt has reached maximum capacity, it won’t drip all over the floor. Replace with new ice melt when old has done its job. (I just made this up -- have no idea if it will work, but it is WAY cheaper than buying little jars of damp rid. I think I will try this in my basement!)


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