Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA (SF Bay Area)
    My Bikes
    2000 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Do I need to bother washing my greasy bike rags?

    This may be a dumb question, but I haven't seen it addressed anywhere online thus far. I have quite a few greasy rags from cleaning and lubing my chain...should I be throwing them in the washer with the laundry, or do most folks just let them sit and not worry about it? Or...should I soak them in a bucket of degreaser and then hang them outside to dry?

    Just wondering if I need to worry about cleaning my dirty bike rags. Kinda OCD, I know...

  2. #2
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Burlington Iowa
    My Bikes
    Vaterland and Ragazzi
    Posts
    18,940
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamadiddle View Post
    This may be a dumb question, but I haven't seen it addressed anywhere online thus far. I have quite a few greasy rags from cleaning and lubing my chain...should I be throwing them in the washer with the laundry, or do most folks just let them sit and not worry about it? Or...should I soak them in a bucket of degreaser and then hang them outside to dry?

    Just wondering if I need to worry about cleaning my dirty bike rags. Kinda OCD, I know...
    Do the math.

    Cost of a bucket of degreaser vs the cost of a rag;
    Cost of rag vs. cost of buying replacement clothes for the ones you spoil in your washer with greasy rags; possible cost of new washer and/or divorce if a spouse's clothes are involved.

    Do these rags have sentimental value?

  3. #3
    The Haberdasher BroadSTPhilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    My Bikes
    Panasonic AL-7000
    Posts
    1,019
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wash but not with any thing else and make sure they don't leave any grease in the washer when you're done. Don't waste 'em.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    pancake theoretical physics is a good new direction for this thread.

  4. #4
    kila kila kila
    Guest
    I have a 5-gal bucket that serves as my greasy rag bin. When it reaches a certain point, I fill it up with hot water and add some regular laundry detergent. Agitate with a 2x2 until I'm satisfied. The waste water gets dumped down the drain and I rinse 2-3 times, depending on how impatient I am. After ringing out as much as I can, these get tossed in the drier. Gets the rags clean enough to wipe more grease. The really soiled rags get throw in the bin.

  5. #5
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    2,393
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A thrift store close to me always has Bags-of-rags for $1. These are cloths that do not sell or are damaged. They tear them once and pack in a bag. I just use up the rags and toss in the trash.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=57360&dateline=1197386754[/SIGPIC]
    It's easier to pick a Yankee tourist than a bail of cotton.

  6. #6
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,509
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been washing greasy rags in my front loader for years. No ill effect the washer or the rags.
    They get washed on hot with normal detergent and a splash of oxy clean. Never had anything else come out of the washer with grease or damage clothing in any way.
    One Less Car
    Conservation begins with you.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA (SF Bay Area)
    My Bikes
    2000 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Found this: http://ask.metafilter.com/64215/Best...lean-oily-rags

    Seems to have some good ideas. Think I'll just go with spraying them with Simple Green then washing them on hot with regular detergent. Definitely separately from clothes, though.

  8. #8
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,551
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just buy a 5-10# bag of rags at a carparts store and throw them out when there is more grease transferring from the rags than to it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member FlyingAnchor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Humboldt County Ca
    My Bikes
    All Recumbent, Strada and TT Tour
    Posts
    301
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wouldn't wash oily/greasy rags in the washing machine and then dry them in a dryer. Simply put, they could cause a fire. Usually it takes a good amount of this to cause a fire but I am not sure what the threshhold is.

    As a retired Firefighter we were always told not to wash oily rags in a machine then dry them. I had to respond to a Convict camp where they washed up their oily firefighting clothes and set their laundromat on fire, total loss.

    If you do wash your oily rags this way you could literally be playing with fire. I am sure there are many people here that have done it and are willing to poo poo the thought and say it is ok BUT, don't do it.

    Handwashing and drying is fine as mentioned above but not the machine wash and dry.

    If you are still in doubt, call your local fire house/chief and ask them.

    Steven
    Dragging Anchor

  10. #10
    tired donnamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Breezer Uptown 8, U frame
    Posts
    5,660
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by littlewaywelt View Post
    I've been washing greasy rags in my front loader for years. No ill effect the washer or the rags.
    They get washed on hot with normal detergent and a splash of oxy clean. Never had anything else come out of the washer with grease or damage clothing in any way.
    This is what I do. Then I air dry them.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingAnchor View Post
    I wouldn't wash oily/greasy rags in the washing machine and then dry them in a dryer. Simply put, they could cause a fire. Usually it takes a good amount of this to cause a fire but I am not sure what the threshhold is.
    So would machine wash (front loader) and air dry also be risky, Steven?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou View Post
    A thrift store close to me always has Bags-of-rags for $1. These are cloths that do not sell or are damaged. They tear them once and pack in a bag. I just use up the rags and toss in the trash.
    +1. C'ept here, they don't even charge the whole dollar.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by littlewaywelt View Post
    I've been washing greasy rags in my front loader for years. No ill effect the washer or the rags.
    They get washed on hot with normal detergent and a splash of oxy clean. Never had anything else come out of the washer with grease or damage clothing in any way.
    Do you wear all black clothes?

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,379
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Do the math.

    Cost of a bucket of degreaser vs the cost of a rag;
    Cost of rag vs. cost of buying replacement clothes for the ones you spoil in your washer with greasy rags; possible cost of new washer and/or divorce if a spouse's clothes are involved.

    Do these rags have sentimental value?
    I'm with ILTB on this one... I tried washing some shop rags once, and the greasy deposit on the inside of the washer drum took two more washings... plus the fumes were so strong there was no way I was going to throw them in the dryer.

    Toss 'em. Rags are cheap.

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    East Jabip
    My Bikes
    Jamis Commuter 3.0
    Posts
    943
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use an old hand towel that has never been washed and blue disposable shop towels for cleaning the chain and other messy jobs around the house...
    “Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand." -Jim Burlant

    Jamis Commuter 3.0
    Raleigh R500
    Trek 800
    Dahon Boardwalk

  15. #15
    Noob
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
    My Bikes
    Road: 2006 Specialized Roubaix Pro, MTB: 2014 Trek Fuel EX8 29er
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I simply use old socks (that I've stock piled over the years) and toss them out when I've finished lubing the chain. I think I probably have another year or two of cleanings before I'm concerned about having more rags.

  16. #16
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,130
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What about throwing greasy rags into the dishwasher?

  17. #17
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,509
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by unkchunk View Post
    Do you wear all black clothes?
    hahaha.
    I just make sure all our rags are washed separately. We use rags rather than paper towels, so once a week or every other week they all get washed.
    One Less Car
    Conservation begins with you.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •