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View Full Version : Used rags? New rags for lube and other maintenance jobs?



GovernorSilver
09-26-2016, 09:42 AM
I have enough old t-shirts and underwear lying around to use as rags for lubing my bike chain, cleaning disc brake rotors, etc. But apparently everyone throws them away after use, to avoid damage to home washing machines, home drainage, etc.

What do you do when you run out of old clothes?

Tim Kelley
09-26-2016, 09:50 AM
Always be doing running races and participate in Bike to Work Day every year. Then you have a never ending supply!

huskerdont
09-26-2016, 09:53 AM
And don't forget old socks. They're perfect for a quick chain wipedown after lubing. Use once and toss.

jabberwocky
09-26-2016, 10:00 AM
I get cotton shop towels off Amazon (for example, https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Auto-Shop-Wash-Towels/dp/B00P1N8QU2/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1474901954&sr=8-10). They aren't expensive and a towel can be used for a while before it really needs to be tossed (I don't try to wash them).

I like my old tshirts.

Emm
09-26-2016, 10:15 AM
They sell large packages of microfiber cloths for super cheap at places like home depot and lowes. You can get them for around $10 for 20, and they currently have a package of 48 for $22 (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Zwipes-Microfiber-Cleaning-Cloth-48-Pack-948/205051900) (they're also on amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Zwipes-Microfiber-Cleaning-36-Pack-Assorted/dp/B00ANZHG4U?th=1)). They do great for cleaning bikes, dusting around the house, cleaning eye glasses, and all sorts of stuff--I bought them at first for wiping down wood walls after sanding them before painting the interior of our house, but came to love them when I found a million other uses for the bundle of them I have left over.

But yes, you do need to dispose of them if they get bike grease or paint on them.

GovernorSilver
09-26-2016, 12:28 PM
Thanks everyone!

I only have one Bike To Work shirt, and it's way too nice to use up on bike maintenance right now. ;)

KLizotte
09-26-2016, 12:53 PM
I once sent out a broadcast msg to my co-workers asking for old t-shirts. baby clothes, and towels. I got a freebie pile that way.

Vicegrip
09-26-2016, 02:06 PM
I have enough old t-shirts and underwear lying around to use as rags for lubing my bike chain, cleaning disc brake rotors, etc. But apparently everyone throws them away after use, to avoid damage to home washing machines, home drainage, etc.

What do you do when you run out of old clothes?I go from first use being wiping off the paint and the like and move progressively to dirtier work until the rag is so bad it can be refined into gas.

If you want to clean rags you can get some water based degreaser and a 5 gallon bucket. Automotive parts stores are a good place to look. look for a degreaser that warns that it "Not safe on aluminum" This means they are using a degreasing agent that converts the oils into soaps. It is a kind of a cool chemical judo. As the oils are converted they then in turn help out converting the rest. Use real warm water and mix the degreaser and water per the directions. Toss in all the gunky rags and stir well. Drain off and refill with real warm water for each rinse. The drained off water is not the same as dumping oils down the drain. The newer water based degreasing solvents work well.

I never ever use a water based solvent to clean a chain. The water drys and leaves oil denaturing chemicals behind waiting to mess up the new oil.

mstone
09-27-2016, 06:50 AM
You can buy a bag of rags at the hardware store for a couple of bucks. (Literally industrial scraps.) Cheaper to get those and toss them when used than trying to clean a greasy rag.