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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK.. so after a long and satisfying day of working hard in the garage (or in my case.... the driveway) you have some rags soaked in oil.

What do you do with em?

Seems a waste (and a bit of an environmental mess) to just toss em.... but to wash em in the same washing machine as my boxers?????


What do you do?
 

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I just wad them up in a pile, next to paint thinner and gasoline.
 

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Devil's Advocate. Just to cheese you off.
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bad idea. oily rags can cause spontaneous combustion. As bad as it is, I burn them. I either keep them in a sealed coffee can to help me start campfires (as well as some dryer lint) or I put them in the burn barrel when we burn our tree trimmings in the fall. Hey, it's still less pollution than a single big-rig puts out on a 100 mile trip.


Might ask your local oil recycler what they suggest. maybe they'll take oil-sogged rags, too?
 

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todd i wouldn't burn them.. you are in california, and therefore they should have strict air quality policies, and you can get seriously fined if they find you burning oil.
check your local transfer station to see if they have a oil recycling program, and ask what to do with spent rags. check local laws before "throwing them away."

Here, in CT we can toss batteries, car batteries (which must have a special tag and cost a few bucks to dispose of), and oil must be recycled.
 

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just wash them your self in a sink or what not, mix some dawn dish soap and a can of coca cola and agitate them by hand, let them saok a while agitate again, drain the sink, rinse them out and let them air dry and BAM good as new
 

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I burn them as it is biodegrdablelbabdlel
 

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ax0n, I think focusdchaos was kidding.
and it cracked me up too! he should've added that he keeps his collection of tnt and fireworks in the same corner too, plus that's his favorite place to smoke
 

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the rule is. if they are dripping you are not suposed to toss them. if they dont drip with oil they are ok for the trash. so if they drip, sqeez the oil out and then trash em. at work one of the guys collectes them washes them and then we use them again
 

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so making a pile of dirty rags the size of mt everest is a bad idea, spontaneous combustion hhmmm.........(running to garage)
 

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I thought that was only linseed oil that caused the spontaneous combustion. If it is, then you should be fine so long as you didn't varnish anything. Me, I just wash them at a laudrymat. Who cares about what gets washed in them next, it won't be your boxers.
 

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If you want to take the time to wash them, go with the guy who mentioned dish soap and coca-cola. It works... some good "cuts-the-grease" dish soap is great for oily rags and coveralls. I have no idea why the coke works... but it does.
 

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Any kind of oil can oxidize. linseed's particularly evil, and has a very low flash point, but as a general rule, any PILE of oily rags can oxidize, forming a little bit of heat. Heat + fuel + air = oxidization happening even faster, eventually, this process can get the core temperature in the middle of the rag pile up to a hot enough temperature to ignite without a spark or external flame source.

The best bet is to not pile them up, but to spread them out or keep them in an airtight container, preferably one that's mostly metal.
 

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I have no idea why the coke works... but it does.
Phosphoric acid and carbonic acid is in coke (as well as other cola's).

Phosphoric acids is one of the few acids that can etch glass.
 

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You might also talk to an equipment rental place or mechanic shop (one of the big chains). Most have a company that does uniforms and rags, and they typically handle oily rags. I'd imagine they wouldn't have an issue with you tossing a handful in a rag bin. When I was at Hertz we occasionally had people come up and ask to get rid of used oil, filters, and rags. We crushed the filters, tossed rags in the rag bins, and put the used oil in a holding tank. :dunno:
 

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#2 for burning, I don't have strict air pollution laws here.

But I do wait as long as possible.
Often, if you let them dry, they still retain some absorbent qualities, and can be re-used for a long time.

My buddy uses the disposable shop-rags, and uses them as firestarters for the big burn pile they have for landscaping and random wood that they seem to always have.
 

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EAT MORE CORN DAMNIT!!!!
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I stack mine next to the 5 year old threads.... that way I can dig them up once in a while...
 
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