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Really, really tough question!

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  • Really, really tough question!

    Hah-hah, I fooled you. This is actually a silly question.
    What do you do about shop rags... supply, laundering(?), etc?
    I'm talking about home shops, not "businesses".

  • #2
    Happiness is a pile of clean shop rags.

    Around here (Toledo, OH) there are a couple of guys who sell used shop towels at flea markets and swap meets. Get a dozen or so for a buck.

    Old T-shirts etc. also serve.

    I wash in washing machine when wife is going to be away for a while. Usually run a load of hot soapy water after, and scrub out tub when done. Do jeans next, you don't want to end up with chips in your sheets and undies.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      get em by the bale at the recycler.
      they tear up anything white and compact them.
      been working on my last bale for two years now.
      cost about $50


      • #4
        I use a lot of the red shop towels and usually my wife will run them thru the wash for me but if they are too dirty/greasey I take them to the laundermat. Lots of soap and hot water. My wife agrees about the chips. Got to know when to wash what.


        • #5
          At my work we use the shop towels also, and once a week we just take them to the laundra-mat, and they wash them for use and then we go pick them up the following monday....Towels or shirts are cheap...sometimes they're not worth washing..



          • #6
            I wash mine as well - don't care if the laundrimat likes it either! I buy shop towels from Costco (regular and terrycloth).

            Be carefull of storing oily rags - they should be stored in a proper OSHA fire can or in a tightly sealed metal can somewhere it won't burn down the garage or house. I have seen paint dust get so hot it bursts into flames in a industrial paint booth (little piggy did not clean up very well...). Not worth risking everything over.


            • #7
              I use paper towels -- safer around rotating parts -- and just throw 'em away. Generally, for amount of cleanup I need to do they're adequate.

              Guy Lautard mentioned somewhere that he has a roll of toilet paper mounted by his lathe -- a quick source of paper to clean up small items. I've never gotten around to doing it, but it seems like a pretty good idea.

              Of course, if you're rebuilding an engine block or something, you probably need the absorbancy and volume of cloth rags.
              Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
              Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
              Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
              There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
              Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
              Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


              • #8
                I really like paper 'shop towels' obtained in a roll from Autozone (auto parts chain). Tho made of paper they seem almost like a cloth fabric and are much more durable and absorbent than normal paper towels.
                Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                • #9
                  I buy the packs of shop towels at the local BJ's. 50 for $9.50 or so. Other discount places should have similar deals. When they get really dirty, betond washing, I just toss 'em.


                  • #10
                    paper shop towels. This is the answer. You want shop towels of cloth? Here is why not to do this in a home shop or small shop. The laundering beats up your washing machine, chips in the wifes underthings, your socks. Also. re-use, chips in the rag, wipe your hands or steel chips in a rag when doing brass work - scratches.

                    Store used paper towels in a metal container with a metal top - at home I use one of those old gift candy popcorn containers. Prevent fire by spontaneous combustion. Empty it in a plastic bag the morning of rubbish pick-up and leave by the garbage, or put in a metal trash container. I leave them seperate by the container. Store re-usable but oily the same way - SAFETY!!!!!

                    I use the "Scott's" Brand. They are somewhat expensive, but can be re-used many times over. The white ones are for the most part one time, but the blue and orange ones are great many time wonders.

                    A home shop machinist may spend about $30.00 on paper rags per year, more than cloth, but better in the long run.
                    CCBW, MAH


                    • #11
                      Actually when rebuilding a engine block you want it SQUEEKY clean. Washed shop rags may heve dirt, chips ect. still in them.
                      Scotts blue work well for everything up to final assy. then use white to make sure it is clean.


                      • #12
                        I should have mentioned the shop towels are for me, not machines. I use rags or this giant "toilet paper roll" that dispenses from the center of the roll (that way I don't confuse the two!) for dirty stuff. Sometimes I even use Isopropyl wipes.

                        I have clean room wipes designed for Laser optics that I use for "Jo" blocks and other fine tools.



                        • #13
                          I use blue paper shop towels that were mentioned befor, about 55 to the rool $1.79 or $2.00 at k-mart walmart & auto stores. Don't work as good as cloth sometimes but safer, won't pull your fingers in to work, will tare off first.


                          • #14
                            I get the leftovers from the church rummage sale, even if I don't want them they drop them off at the farm. Free and I just throw them away after a use some times if the material is wrong it doesnt get used at all. I use paper for when it counts or hit it with some break cleaner.


                            • #15
                              The large linen suppliers(uniforms, roll towels, shop towels etc) routinely weed out worn, ripped or otherwise "damaged" shop towels and sell them cheap by the pound. $25-30 gets you enough to last about three years.