I gotta stop sniffing gear oil. If you are like me, I go through rags like paper towels in a flood. For one of the few times in my life I had a smart idea. On the last day of my churches two garage sales, I can fill (cram) a paper grocery bag full of good oil soaking clothes for three bucks. Helps me, helps the church. Works great but with me there is just one resulting problem. I have half soaked rags everywhere but where I need one at the moment. lol. I just can't win some days.
In the county where I live in NYS, villages, have annual yard sales with each village having a certain weekend. On Sunday afternoon, it is fun to go around and watch the people who go thru the unsold stuff sitting at the curb. A lot of people go from village to village and scarf up everything and take it to their village where they try to sell, etc. Never thought about using used clothing when you need a rag. Thanks Tyrone
Why do you think that shop towels are called rags? Rags were the original shop towel.
I use old shirts, underwear ( yes old underwear!!), old bath towels, any type of old cloths, old bed sheets and etc. for shop rags.
Here on our farm growing up that's all we ever used working on tractors and equipment.
I guess I learned that early!
John, My old underwear goes in the rag bag also. Nice soft cotton is the best rag there is. I do wash it first though.
The surgery department at our hospital washes the surgical towels and sells them for $1 for 10 or 50 for $5. For .10c each they work well! Cheap me keeps wanting to wash them when they get oil soaked. Teresa disagrees!
I've been doing just fine for rags ever since that fateful day when one brand new bright red shirt found it's way into a huge load of white shirts in the laundry...
Gary, I thought someone would wonder about using old underwear!
Mine is washed also like everything else in our hamper. After a while you can tell when old garment's need to go. And mine go to the rag pile.
I have a charred spot on my shop wall where an oil soaked rag I must have dropped underwent spontaneous combustion.
I discovered it sometime after the fact when I was looking for a part. The shelf held a burnt model T coil and a stack of clutch plates which had been in a cardboard box but was now wrapped in ash.
I could have lost my shop and the 1913 Model T fire car parked next to that shelf.
Yes rags will soak up oil!
I have always used old clothing for shop rags. Just like Grandma I cut off the buttons and zippers and put them in a jar in case I need a button or zipper for something else. I have two small galvanized trash cans, each one has a painted lid and on one lid is written "clean rags" and on the other is "dirty rags" The only dirty rags in the can in the shop would be grease or dirt. All rags with solvent go out the door away from the shop and are disposed of as soon as they dry.
I saw a neat trick using old jeans. Cut the back side of the jeans out around the pocket, then staple or tack the pocket on the wall or bulletin board to hold small rulers and pencils.
If you have a commercial laundry in your area, they will sell used shop rags by the bag. They might have a hole or silicone in the rags but they are cheap and throw a ways. I have our laundry driver bring a bag every moth or so. I'm guessing there are around 100 rags in the bag.