Help Solve/Identify Mystery Wet Spot on Clothes

  • Thread starter kyphysics
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  • #1
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I'm baffled.

10 days ago or so, I was preparing to wash my clothes. I grab a pair of pants and see a wet spot on it that was slightly smaller than the diameter of a Coke or Pepsi can. I believe it was a circle shape. Having not worn that pair of pants for days and not having had it come into contact with any fluids when I did, I was puzzled as to why there was a wet spot on the ankle area of one leg .

There is nothing near the clothes pile and I have no pets, nor roommates that go near that area. I thought it was very odd, but blew it off as just something random and weird that I couldn't explain.

Then, it happened again today. Once again, I pick up a pair of pants to prepare a laundry load and there is a weird circular wet spot (same size - about slightly less than the diameter of a Coke/Pepsi can) toward the ankle area of one leg. I'm now freaked out.

How is this possible? I last wore that pant over 24 hours ago and there was nothing that could have caused that wet spot. It wasn't went when I threw it on my laundry pile (which is "open air," by the way, and not in a closed hamper...meaning, it's just a large pile of clothes on the floor with a trash bag underneath it). So, yes, the top layer is exposed to air, but I don't have pets, nor any roommate.

What could be the cause of this? There is no AC vent near it (in case someone thinks of a dripping vent or something like that). My fear is that I have a snake or lizard in the house that is peeing on my clothes.

Are there any insects that could pee like this? Is there any other possible explanation that does not involve a snake or something like that urinating?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I should add that today's wet spot was especially troubling. My pant was folded with the upper half of the facing upwards and the air. Thus, the wet spot (which was near the ankle area of a leg) was on the part of the pant that was facing down (and touching other clothes).

Logically, it seems impossible for anything to have gotten it wet without "crawling" into the pant or underneath it.
 
  • #3
mcastillo356
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Hi kyphysics, I worked for a while on a clothes shop. Spots appeared on clothes. My workmates, more experienced than me, didn't find any reason: humidity of the place sometimes, warmth inside the piles of clothes, guessed some other times... And when they found no reason, they talked about fly droppings. We had to throw them to the bin
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Did it feel wet to the touch? Sounds to me like a grease stain...
 
  • #5
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Did it feel wet to the touch? Sounds to me like a grease stain...
Yeah, it did. I made sure to touch it when I saw it. It felt "recently" wet, as if someone had just poured some water on it. It wetness faded after a while (last time I looked at it, as I left it unwashed in my washer).

It's very weird.
 
  • #6
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Hi kyphysics, I worked for a while on a clothes shop. Spots appeared on clothes. My workmates, more experienced than me, didn't find any reason: humidity of the place sometimes, warmth inside the piles of clothes, guessed some other times... And when they found no reason, they talked about fly droppings. We had to throw them to the bin
Humidity is interesting only because the pile of clothes is next to my dehumidifier. I run it about 3x a week to drain the humidity out of the air. However, the vents for where the air blows out of the dehumidifier are facing away from the clothes. Also, it didn't make sense to me that only one spot had that dampness. It's as if someone poured water in just that one spot, as my other clothes did not have anything like that.

The ONLY thing I could think of was maybe when emptying my dehumidifier that some of the water spilled onto my clothes and I did not see it. I did empty it a few days ago (I believe 2 or 3 days) as it was full. However, the amount of water that would have had to spill out to still not be evaporated by tonight would seem a lot and enough that I should notice it (I could see myself not noticing a tiny splash when walking, but a big one? ...that'd seem unlikely...albeit, I did empty it in the dark with lights out that night). I am highly doubtful this is the cause. And, I'm not sure why that would explain the wet spot being on the "bottom" side of my pants not facing upwards and the air.
 
  • #7
mcastillo356
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Yes, it looks weird. Looks like grease stain?. It's been only twice?. As common sense tells me, I would start trying to pay attention to all the possible facts: is there something wrong with the machine where you wash your clothes?. I would start checking out that
 
  • #8
Klystron
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The mention of a possible snake jogged an old memory. IRC snakes separate solid and liquid components of their urine; meaning a damp patch should be associated with solid excreta distinguishable from feces by color and consistency.

Suggest checking dehumidifier for a leak if dry soiled clothing dampens from below.
 
  • #9
berkeman
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Did it smell like urine? If so, it could be mice. Do you have a cat?
 
  • #10
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Did it smell like urine? If so, it could be mice. Do you have a cat?
I didn't try to smell it, but there was no noticeable urine smell. So, if there was, it'd have likely been super feint. But, I don't think there was that smell (nothing I noticed generally).

No cat and no other pets.

I saw a dang lizard/salamander run by me on the side of garage the other day. I wonder if that could have entered inside? A year ago, I killed a snake outside. . .that's the thing I fear...a snake having gotten inside.
 
  • #11
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The mention of a possible snake jogged an old memory. IRC snakes separate solid and liquid components of their urine; meaning a damp patch should be associated with solid excreta distinguishable from feces by color and consistency.

Suggest checking dehumidifier for a leak if dry soiled clothing dampens from below.
No leak in dehumidifier that I can tell. Also, I don't think this hypothesis works so well, as no other clothing items that wet. Just the pants - both times. Socks and shirts were not wet.

Snakes do have a hybrid fecal/urine excretion, but from what I've read, some snakes also have a "normal" fluid type of urine stream too. It depends on the snake, I think.
 
  • #12
Fervent Freyja
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Leak in your ceiling?
 
  • #13
DaveE
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If it's happened twice, it may happen again. This would be your opportunity to set up some experiments. You can invent them as well as any of us. Like move the clothes and put a rag or paper towels where the clothes were; or cover the laundry basket and see if moisture is falling from above, etc.
 
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  • #14
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It's been only twice?. As common sense tells me, I would start trying to pay attention to all the possible facts: is there something wrong with the machine where you wash your clothes?. I would start checking out that
a.) So, this is the third time. It happened tonight again. I went to wash my clothes at 2AM and again saw a circular wet spot (although, slightly more oval this time). It was damp to the touch and I could see (darkness of the spot) and feel (touch) it had to have occurred recently (probably within the hour or two I'm guessing).

The dampness level was not just surface level moisture - like someone had sprinkled some droplets of water on my pants. I experimented with doing just that and the damp spots went away within 10 minutes if just light, surface level droplets of water. So, this was more concentrated and had to be deep enough into the pants to still be quite moist to the touch.

b.) What about a washing machine could cause this? Keep in mind that these clothes are NOT wet prior to me putting them into my open air clothes pile (I don't have a hamper with enclosed lid). What is very weird is that all 3x it's occurred on the same type of clothing - my grey sweat pants. The location of the circular wet spots has been different, though. Ankle area once and twice on the thigh area. It's not occurring on other garments of clothing in the same used laundry pile. The size of the circular/oval wet spots is roughly the same all 3x.
 
  • #15
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If it's happened twice, it may happen again. This would be your opportunity to set up some experiments. You can invent them as well as any of us. Like move the clothes and put a rag or paper towels where the clothes were; or cover the laundry basket and see if moisture is falling from above, etc.

c.) I looked up lizards and snakes and they are almost always diurnal species - active during the day. On a rare occasion, one might be nocturnal. All 3x of this incident have been during the night (usually around 10 PM to 2AM) when doing laundry.

Any Sherlock Holmesian thoughts? Btw, today's incident occurred after removing my clothes from the dehumidifier area (as someone said maybe it was related to it being next to it). I put them in a different room . . .I did run the dehumidifier this evening in a room across from my clothes pile, but it wouldn't make sense how it'd create a wet spot JUST on my grey sweat pants in roughly the same pattern as the previous 2x (while being several feet away in a different room).

Could this be condensation of some sort? I doubt it, because why the same pattern and only on my grey sweat pants?
 
  • #16
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Could some insect like a slug (which is nocturnal) do this?

We had 90% humidity today in my city. Could a super humid day create some random wet spot JUST on my sweat pants - lol?
 
  • #17
mcastillo356
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Hi kyphysics. Humidity percentage could perfectly be the reason
 
  • #18
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Hi kyphysics. Humidity percentage could perfectly be the reason
Assuming this is true, anyone idea why the wet spot would collect on my sweat pants and not elsewhere? Why not on the carpet? Why not on a shirt? Why not damp walls?

It's very odd that it's been on my sweat pants 3x now in a similar pattern.

I looked up rats and mice and they are actually nocturnal, so they could be the culprit. However, the signs don't entirely fit either. There is usually a smell associated with rat and mouse urine. I never notice any smell. Additionally, I don't see droppings anywhere in the house, nor hear scratching sounds at night. Lastly, I saw a video of a rat urine sample. The amount seems less than what these spots are on my sweat pants (although, it could have just been a small sample. Although, the pee seemed more scattered. The wet stains on my pants are in a specific circular/oval pattern . . . not like drops of scattered moisture.

All very confusing!!!
 
  • #19
DrGreg
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Could this be condensation of some sort? I doubt it, because why the same pattern and only on my grey sweat pants?
Could condensation be forming on the ceiling (at night when the temperature drops) and then dripping down?
 
  • #20
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Could condensation be forming on the ceiling (at night when the temperature drops) and then dripping down?
If it is, I'm not seeing wet spots anywhere else. It's only on my sweat pants in an open air laundry pile that has been moved to another room.

That level of coincidence wouldn't make sense as a high probability cause. I just doubt I'd have condensation dripping down exactly on my pants in two rooms and nowhere else. Additionally, as noted in an earlier post, the damp spot the second time I spotted it was actually on the side of my pants not exposed to the air (it was in the folded area).

All this feels like a rat/mouse/snake/slug, etc. may be getting into my clothes pile and causing the fluid. But, those causes don't fit so well either for various reasons noted.

I am even wondering if I had dried mold on my pants and the humidity in the air is causing it to "grow" at times? But, that doesn't feel right either. The second time I noticed the wet spot, it was very damp as if someone poured a lot of fluid on my pants in that one circular area. I doubt mold would get that damp.

I worry about a stinkin' rat.
 
  • #21
mcastillo356
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Hi kyphysics. It's all guessing, wondering, inferring... Nothing... Nothing solid. Let time take place. There will be an answer. Let it be. I really think answer will rise. That's what I would do if I was you. Time, that is all it will take.
Excuse my English.
Greetings.
PS: This post should be inappropiate. Delete if so... I'm portraying too expeditive, like some kind of annoying teacher that has no argues, but tries to state another (and definite) theory about this topic
 
  • #22
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Happened again: 11:30 AM today (with a twist)

Instead of piling up my clothes (I don't have a hamper) on the ground (on top of a trash bag) in the open air as I've been doing, I started putting them "prematurely" into the washer as I finished wearing them each day. I did not wash them, but just put them in there as an alternative space. I kept the lid open.

Today, the clothes had piled to the point where they were near the top and I was running low on some items too, so I decided to give them a wash. To my astonishment, the top item (underwear) was soaked with some sort of fluid (to my best guess, it was a clear fluid). It was very wet to the touch. Very wet. I peaked into the machine and stirred it a bit and saw no rodent or possible source. I sniffed the underwear and there was no real noticeable smell. It could have just been water. If I HAD to think of a non-water smell, MAYBE there was a faint smell of urine. I had to put my nose very close to get a possible slight smell of urine. So, I dunno.

What's different today is that it occurred at 11:30 AM vs. late night (the three other times). IF this is an animal, then it's diurnal. The "wetness" was such that it likely did not occur late night. It should've been dry or drier by now is my guess if the animal pee happened that late. It was like "fresh" wetness - like someone poured some water just now on top of the clothes (within the hour).

Rats come out at night. Snakes can be diurnal (coming out day and night). I'M SCARED. Any thoughts?
 
  • #23
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I'd quickly add to the above post: IF it were a snake, it'd seem bizarre that I've never seen it, as it'd have to travel relatively long distances to go from my original piles of clothes to the washer. If it's seeking out my clothes, it's got to travel in "open" spaces where I'd seemingly catch it, no? ...Unless it's traveling through the air ducts (hidden)? Whereas, a seemingly faster animal, such as mice/rats, may be able to quickly run past my gaze. But, they're nocturnal. *sigh* Hard to figure this out. . .Anyone believe in the paranormal? :oldbiggrin: I've seen some articles/stories online where there are weird wet spots in supposed haunted houses. :oldeek:
 
  • #24
Fervent Freyja
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It would help a whole lot if you posted pics so that we could help you investigate this a little better!
 
  • #25
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I'll try next time it happens. It's not a daily event, so I am often surprised by it out of the blue. Instead of taking a pic, I'm eager to wash my clothes quickly and wash my hands too. Next time, I'll try to snap a pic first. :smile:
 

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