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Thread: Shop Towels or Rags ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Edmonton Alberta
    Posts
    1,591

    Default Shop Towels or Rags ?

    After reading Tiers post about his painting gadget with disposable paper towel,was wondering what wipers or rags most use around there shop.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    472

    Default

    I am lucky enough to know someone that works at a nursing home. She gives me bags of face cloths and towels that the home regularly throws out. They are laundered and clean. I give her a $50 or a $100 ever once in a while.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    2,562

    Default

    In order of use:
    1) White shop rags
    2) Regular paper towels
    3) Blue shop (paper) towels
    4) Rags/old shirts and socks

    Being cheap, I have VASTLY reduced consumption of shop rags by having 3 different levels of 'dirty'. Clean/new get used for important tasks like cleaning things prior to paint or assembly. When they get too dirty for that, they go into the big pile for general use. Once they get pretty nasty, they go into the pile used for wiping up oil, cleaning off grease, and so on. Years ago, we used to wash them, but this system is WAY better for us and a 100 pack of rags now seems to last forever.

    The blue shop towels are pricey, but being lint free, are handy to have around. A roll lasts a long time if used with a little discretion.
    Rags/old t-shirts are free, but a hassle. They mostly get used for painting tasks and the like. Socks are good for applying and wiping off wax, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Medford Oregon USA
    Posts
    155

    Default

    I use the Scotts blue paper towels for both auto repair and hobby machine work. Costco has 10 rolls for about $15. If you buy them 1 or two pack at walmart or the auto parts store its much more money. They just work better than the old red rags and no laundry service required. https://www.costco.com/Scott-Shop-To...100069529.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    453

    Default

    I use either paper towels or blue shop towels no rags around the running equipment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    UK, near London
    Posts
    1,264

    Default

    At least two grades of loo roll, kitchen towel roll, commercial paper towels, unused paper napkins from the church tea as they get chucked not put back after being put out, old tea towels, finally old shirts but the synthetic mix makes them not very good. All have different properties and so an appropriate application. My old Egyptian cotton sheets finally gave out after 30 years but are used as machine covers not yet rags.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minnesoa
    Posts
    1,445

    Default

    Hi,

    I keep a box of these in the shop. Cheap and effective.
    https://www.menards.com/main/tools/a...3246346&ipos=2
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Atascosa County, Texas
    Posts
    8,155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rolland View Post
    I use either paper towels or blue shop towels no rags around the running equipment.
    Same here but most recently, I've moved to the Bounty half-sheet rolls. The blue shop towels are getting expensive and give off more lint than they used to. I can buy the premium brand paper towels for less now. So I do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Rugby, Warwickshire, England
    Posts
    1,021

    Default

    Mixed cloth rags for the worst clean-up jobs. White cotton T-shirt rags for most other work work (wiping parts or hands while working etc.). Lint free cotton wipers for scraping work.

    You can wash shop rags and towels in the washing machine, but any cast iron dust tends to be caught by the permanent magnet rotors of (European/British) washing machine pumps. They are simple to clean out, but it's a nuisance.
    Last edited by Mark Rand; 07-02-2019 at 06:42 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Jose, CA:Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    328

    Default

    No cloth rags allowed in my shop. Paper towels or nothing! That was the first safety rule I was taught and I've never forgotten it.

    Mike

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