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Old 06-06-2010, 03:33 AM
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Default Oily rag storage?

How do you handle this at your shop?
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:00 AM
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Here's the point of oily rags that need storage, why the heck do people think that oily rags need to be stored in that condition??????????? Read the last paragraph for a specific storage can for this purpose.

For the non-business shop like mine it's easy to have a 5 gallon bucket with an easy removable lid sitting in a dark recess of the shop with 3 gallons of water and a cup or two of detergent already mixed in solution?

I bought 3 big arm full bags of red rags years ago and have yet to need to open more than the first bundle.

At the end of the day or at anytime during the day I have a rag or many rags that has more oil or grease on it than is on my hands or the work in front of me, I drop it/them into the bucket. A couple times a day as I pass by the bucket I use the tomato stick with a 6" long 2x4 screwed to the bottom to push down/agitate the rags in the soapy water.

I usually have 10 or 15 rags dirty/filthy/oily/greasy after a 3 day weekend at the shop sitting in that bucket and by Sunday afternoon they've been well soaked and agitated so I rinse them out, putting them into a bag to wash in my s/s washer if I want them to have that 'fresh country' smell.

If your shop has 'rag service' and delivery and pickup during the week or month, there are specialized containers just for this purpose, explosion proof/fireproof with a grounding lead etc etc. Expensive to purchase, but your insurance guy will be happy and you'll sleep better at night.

Last edited by LW Hiway; 06-06-2010 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:43 AM
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I like your rag storage for the home shop LW, might have to set up one of those myself.... Been thinking about a 5 gallon bucket with lid for my hands anyway, I often use a hand cleaner that is easy to rinse off after, and would like to avoid as much of that grease etc going into our septic system as possible. I could throw the rags in there too, and maybe have a second bucket with cleaner water for rinsing, hmmm.....
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:51 AM
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We have a thrift store that recycles things from estates and garage clean outs and the money goes to the library. They only take cloths that have been washed. They go through them and put prices on them and grade them.

Anything that does not meet grade is put into a paper grocery bag for rags. They even separate them a little. Terrycloth, large stuff like sheets, and all cotton. I buy all cotton T-shirts for 25 cents. I usually buy 8 bags or $2 worth at a time.

When a rag gets dirty it goes in the trash. When I clean the shop everything out goes in the trash.

The ladies are always happy to see me come because their rag pile builds up. I have seen farmers haul them off by the pickup load.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:06 AM
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I second the bucket, and use a mop wringer (I prefer the commercial plastic variety-no rust) with laundry detergent for cleaning. I don't "store" oily rags. Reuse or dispose immediately, and the throwaways go outside the shop (usually in a scrap vehicle).

I use the bucket for hand cleaning too. The used water works SUPERBLY on fire ant mounds. It soaks in, and is biodegradable.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:15 AM
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I started buying paper tools years ago to wipe up oil and grease with. I buy them in the 8 roll package instead of one roll at a time, I use them to clean up the worst of the oil and grease and then they go out to the trash burner at the end of the day. Once the parts have been run through the parts washer I use red cloth rags to dry the part off, these rags get air dried and re-used. I bought a bag of 100 of them three years ago and still have 50+ new ones on the shelf. I have many old holey red rags that I use when a paper towel is not the right choice that also get burnt at the end of the day.
Once the shop rags get dirty enough I run them through the washer and then dry them. I then clean the washer out and run a full load of my work jeans through it to finish cleaning the washer.
Marine Clean from POR-15 works great to clean the washer out.
Dan.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:07 PM
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I believe I will need to do a combo. Paper towels for brake clean/laqcure thinner. Rags for dirt/ect.

I dont believe OSHA would approve of a 5 gal bucket sadly. My first inspection in next month.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spyder View Post
How do you handle this at your shop?
I have a wood stove, and I store them in it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spyder View Post
I believe I will need to do a combo. Paper towels for brake clean/laqcure thinner. Rags for dirt/ect.

I dont believe OSHA would approve of a 5 gal bucket sadly. My first inspection in next month.
Who is inspecting you and why?
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:16 AM
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I guess all generators of hazmat are being looked at in certain area's.

Last edited by LW Hiway; 06-07-2010 at 01:27 AM.
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