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

To: Randall <>,
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] What to do with oily rags?
From: Steven Trovato <>
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2009 17:33:10 -0500
Detergent is just liquid Tide.  I do put them in a 5 gal pail with 
some Lestoil to soak until I have enough to wash.  I think maybe the 
difference is that these rags are dirty, but not soaked through and 
through with grease.  It's not like they're dripping with grease and 
oil.  As for the local hazardous waste program, I think they hire 
some outside company to run it.  I don't think they're likely to do 
more than they are required to do, if it costs more money.  Where I 
live (no sewers) everything that comes out in the washer ends up back 
in the ground too.

At 04:27 PM 2/4/2009, Randall wrote:
> > Anyway, as for me, I just wash them in my home
> > washing machine.  I have never had a problem with any carryover into
> > the next load,
>Hmm, what brand of detergent do you use?  I pretty much always get some
>portion of black crud plated onto the inside of the drum ... what I've been
>looking for is a solution that prevents that.
>Have not tried Lestoil, but I will (if the new wife lets me experiment with
>"her" machine <G>).
> > If your local hazardous waste program takes your rags, it would be
> > interesting to know what they do with them.
>I'd guess they burn them, with a suitable stack scrubber to hopefully keep
>most of the heavy metals out of the air.  The stuff that gets scrubbed out
>probably does wind up back in the ground (which after all is where it came
>from), hopefully such that it won't leak into drinking water in the future.
>But since the EPA doesn't classify oily rags as hazardous waste (even when
>the oil is used), perhaps they do just dump them in the landfill anyway.
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