What do you do with oily rags

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 01-06-2015 07:38 PM 1555 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3519 days

01-06-2015 07:38 PM

What do you do with your oily rags?

I put them in a bucket outside but I hate that in the winter it turns into a huge block of ice.

23 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5644 posts in 2945 days

#1 posted 01-06-2015 07:46 PM

Leave the bucket indoors (assuming it’s filled with water). Or just stretch the rags out on the concrete floor away from other stuff and let them dry (what I do, and then toss). You could also just lay them outside with no bucket, or you could get one of those fire proof trash cans used in industry and put them in it (that’s my long term goal).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Waldo88's profile


207 posts in 1749 days

#2 posted 01-06-2015 07:50 PM

I spread em out on a concrete floor away from other things for a few days. In the incredibly unlikely event one should catch fire, it would be benign anyway as there would be nothing else to catch fire.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5834 posts in 2173 days

#3 posted 01-06-2015 07:50 PM

Throw them on the fire, that way I control when and how they burn.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10669 posts in 4504 days

#4 posted 01-06-2015 08:01 PM

Spread them out flat… and hang them over the edge of a bucket… or piece of wood…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4261 posts in 3013 days

#5 posted 01-06-2015 08:06 PM

My wife gave me an old pop corn tin which I put all my rags in and put the lid on it then when it is dry, then throw them away.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2739 days

#6 posted 01-06-2015 08:13 PM

All good suggestions. I just pitch them outside till they dry up.
The best thing to do is take them out of the shop just after you finish up, don’t wait or you’ll forget.

Good luck to you and stay safe.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3519 days

#7 posted 01-06-2015 08:20 PM

I have a wood floor so if I lay them out to dry I will have oil spots all over.

Guess I could get a lid for the bucket.

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3012 days

#8 posted 01-06-2015 08:30 PM

I do what Russell does – toss them outside, and thrown them away when they’re dry.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View bondogaposis's profile


5492 posts in 2803 days

#9 posted 01-06-2015 08:45 PM

I spread them out around the rim of the trash bucket until they dry, then they go in the bucket.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2899 days

#10 posted 01-06-2015 09:07 PM

A small metal can with a hinged lid in my opinion would be the safest way to discard the rags but who’s got one of those!
until then ,I just put them flat on the concrete floor,they dry pretty quickly.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View ChuckV's profile


3226 posts in 3979 days

#11 posted 01-06-2015 09:11 PM

I toss them into our outdoor fire pit. If anything ever lit, there would be no danger.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3085 days

#12 posted 01-06-2015 09:19 PM

Heck, just do what I did last year…..ball them up on the end of your workbench and forget about them. Mine were sitting next to a plastic bottle.
About 3AM, I woke up to the beautiful fragrance of burning plastic, and my garage was filled with a solid cloud of thick, white smoke.
I used a yard stick to shove the smoldering rags into a 5 gallon bucket of water that I intended put the rags in earlier that day (but forgot). Then dragged the bucket into my front yard, just praying that my neighbors wouldn’t wake up and see a lunatic, in his boxer shorts, carrying a steaming/smoking bucket at 3AM.

View Charlie's profile


1101 posts in 2738 days

#13 posted 01-06-2015 09:19 PM

Half a cinder block with a patio brick as a lid.

OR… half a cinder block with a bag of sand as a “lid”. In the unlikely event the rags spontaneously combust, the plastic bag melts and dumps the sand.

automatic extinguisher.

And yes this works. When I fly RC planes, they’re electric. We use lithium polymer batteries with most of the safety enclosures stripped away to save weight. So basically a foil tea-bag with connectors. They’re fragile and have burned violently when being charged if they’ve sustained some unseen damage. A crash, an exceptionally hard landing, or they just don’t like you today. People have lost garages, cars, etc. So…. when I charge mine I put them in a cinderblock “safe” with a sandbag cover.

OR… you can get your wallet out and by a safety can which makes everything easier, but you STILL gotta empty it. And you REALLY want whatever is on them to dry up. Flip open a saw horse and lay them over that. If they’re not crumpled into a ball, it’s MUCH harder for them to build heat enough to combust. (also tested back in high school)

View dawsonbob's profile


3380 posts in 2208 days

#14 posted 01-06-2015 09:28 PM

Just throw them in the oven to dry, then stuff them in an old sack for future use.

Just kidding, of course. I had a buddy who almost lost his shop/garage from rags combusting. I’ve been very careful ever since to hang them to dry on a piece of dowel or wood scraps.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View ChuckC's profile


843 posts in 3387 days

#15 posted 01-06-2015 09:33 PM

Flush them down the toilet..


I usually just put them outside until they dry and then into the [outside] garbage they go.

Tedstor, you made me laugh..

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