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Re: [Shop-talk] What to do with oily rags?

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Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] What to do with oily rags?
From: "Karl Vacek" <>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 15:42:26 -0600
I've found the same thing with the red rags you buy today.  I won't use one 
for solvent wiping anything, or for washing anything either.  Kinda limits 
their usefulness.

But in the 60's and 70's we used rental rags in the printing business, and 
they were bright orange.  We sent them back in a 55-gallon barrel, all 
glopped up with ink and solvents - real mean stuff, none of today's 
OSHA-approved materials  ;-)

The rags came back pretty and orange again, and only very occasionally was 
there any hint of a stain.  They'fade a bit over many cycles, but the color 
was very durable considering.  Eventually they stopped the orange color and 
sent white rags, which became a dirty gray after one cycle.  Maybe that was 
about the time that OSHA began, and so many solvents and pigments became 

I've always wondered what in the world they used to clean those rags...


> BTW, I find that those red rags must have the least colorfast dye on the 
> planet.  Put one white rag in there and it will come out almost as red as 
> the red ones.
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