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Safe storage of gunky rags ??(5 posts)

Safe storage of gunky rags ??Turtle Boy
Mar 14, 2003 11:55 PM
Ok -- I'm going to start doing some of my own maintenance such as cleaning - lubing chain, adjusting brakes, etc.

What is a safe way to store oily rags (until trash day) without burning the house down. I assume a small metal trash can with a metal lid stored outside.

Any comments

Signed - I don't want to burn down my house
The best place to store themthe bull
Mar 15, 2003 4:24 AM
is in a metal container with a lid in a area that does not get to hot.
Most greases used in bike maintainace are not that flamable.
Slicone spray
tri-flow
pedros syn-grease
pedros ice wax
pledge (yes pledge)
pb blaster
purple degreaser

If you dont have allot of space to keep an unsightly container around
you could by "rags" from wal-mart and throw them away after using them.
Also Pig mat co. has these really nice heavy duty disposable rags.
call 1-800-hot-hogs.
good luck in the "shop". working on your own bike is very rewarding.
If in doubt, throw them out.Spoke Wrench
Mar 15, 2003 6:38 AM
I used to work in fire safety, so I'm pretty conscious of fire hazards.

One thing that doesn't get mentioned very often is there is hazard of working when your basement. Flammable vapors tend to be heavier than air and collect near the floor with no way to get out. If the accumulation gets too concentrated, when your water heater kicks on, it'll blow up the whole house. I hate it when that happens.
Spoke Wrench EXPOSED!!!Akirasho
Mar 15, 2003 12:49 PM
... the only person I know of who could come up with that witty If in doubt, throw them out banter is old JC himself...

Seriously... even trying to launder some oily rags can be hazardous... after washing, enough volatiles might remain... and ignite in a dryer!

I keep a metal trash can in my basement for such.

Be the bike.
Spontaneous combustion of oily rags ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2003 11:32 AM
... is a problem pretty much limited to furniture-finishing oils like tung oil and linseed oil. These vegatable oils oxidize spontaneously and produce considerable heat. When piled up, they hold heat but allow air in, and then they can ignite spontaneously.

There are two safe ways to handle these: keep them in an airtight can if you have a lot of them, or hang them up flat to the air if you have only a few. If exposed to the air (hung up to dry) they'll get rid of heat easily.

Automotive oils can burn, but are unlikely to spontaneously combust. You can store them in a paint can if they worry you (empty clean cans are available from any paint store).