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What do y'all use for rags in your shop?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Downeaster, Oct 22, 2021.

  1. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    I've been using old tee shirts and other cotton waste since roughly forever, but there is a finite supply of such things around here.

    I've been filling in with paper towels which work well, but that they're pretty much good for one wipe and get tossed. That gets spendy pretty quick.

    I bought a bundle of the red hanky-sized rags and they work well too, but again, spendy and washing them in Momma's machine is a non-starter.

    Thinking maybe a roll of the blue paper towel-type stuff? Seems like you could get a bit more use out of them and/or they may be cheaper in bulk than Bounty's Finest.

    What say you?
     
    Boog and Adamc like this.
  2. teamWicked

    teamWicked XS650 Addict Top Contributor

    Old socks and Ts. Thrift shops sell bags of rags cheap. A custodian friend dumps end rolls of paper towels from bathroom dispensers on me. That brown paper towel works nice even if I only get end of the roll..
     
    gggGary and Adamc like this.
  3. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    22,078
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    Like you, I use mostly paper towels for cleaning. Rags get used for polishing mostly. Yes, the Bounty brand is expensive. I buy the Sparkle brand. They go on sale a lot and also have $1 to $2 off coupons many times. I download the coupons right from their website usually .....

    https://www.sparkletowels.com/save/paper-towel-coupons
     
    Adamc likes this.
  4. halfmile

    halfmile XS Builder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    1,540
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    I use the blue cotton Hospital towels. When the edge gets frayed or it gets torn they discard them. Helps to know a couple of maintenance guys over at the hospital.:thumbsup:
     
    homer, arcticXS, gggGary and 2 others like this.
  5. mick71b

    mick71b There are none so blind as those who will not see. XS650.com Supporter

    Cotton "rags" from my Mom's throw-away pile has kept me supplied since forever. She saves them for her "motorcycle nut" son. :bike:
     
    gggGary and Mailman like this.
  6. rsor

    rsor Wanna do this again!

    Don't most families have a fairly good supply or worn out cotton and denim clothing for rags? Works around here.
     
    gggGary and teamWicked like this.
  7. teamWicked

    teamWicked XS650 Addict Top Contributor

    There are rags good for washing windows that are kept hidden. All the rest are fair game.
     
    gggGary likes this.
  8. MrBultaco

    MrBultaco Senor Bulto, the ORIGINAL MrBultaco Top Contributor

  9. JRay77

    JRay77 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    Steal them from work. Lol
     
    mrtwowheel and teamWicked like this.
  10. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    That only "works" for those who still work! One of the downsides to being retired!
     
    JRay77, mrtwowheel and 59Tebo like this.
  11. freakchopper

    freakchopper XS650 Enthusiast

    The metal fabricating shops that I work with literally buy bundle bags of old cut up t shirts for $50 a bag. These are heavy bags loaded with old t shirts that have been quartered into pieces.... so ... you are right on with the t shirts. I use them too... but... I actually prefer blue paper shop towels in a roll.
     
    gggGary likes this.
  12. gggGary

    gggGary On the road of life I'm a speed bump. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yeah, paper towel, blue shop paper towel for special occasions. Worn out bath towels. Rag bag from Vinny's, "too dirty to wash" micro fiber polishing towels gradually head down range; windshield, tank, side covers, chrome, wheels, engine cases, at the end they're wiping grease off the chain. Greasy paper towels go in the wood burner in winter. ​
     
    lakeview and Adamc like this.
  13. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    100pk of red shop rags is $15 at Sam's club, lasts me a few years. (Thats 15cents a rag) I'll wash em a few times then pitch em. I also always have a roll of these hanging up in the garage also from Sam's.
     
    MrBultaco and gggGary like this.
  14. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I use what I call "Church socks". Cuz they are holely in the toes and heels. (drum rinshot with cymbol). The odd T-shirt and a roll of blue paper shop towels.
     
  15. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Old cotton T--shirts, towels and bedsheets cut in suitable pieces. And other cotton clothing as well. Plus a big roll of paper towels
     
    azman857 likes this.
  16. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Asked Mrs to put all discarded cloths in a basket in the garage. Make a start with scissors and rip 'em up. Sheets and duvet covers are great for general cotton rags, denim for heavyweight rags, T-shirts are great for wiping painted parts, corduroy sometimes shows up and I use that for polishing paintwork. Wool gets passed back in the house, I think it ends up stuffing cushions.

    A clean cotton rag usually starts with wiping parts I'm working on, then as it gets greasy it gets used for wiping oily areas or wiping up messes and ends up cleaning the chain with paraffin, uhm, kerosene to Americans before going in the bin.

    Bought a couple large rolls of blue tear-off paper towels in Halfords and sometimes use one to wipe me hands.

    A large bed sheet must make about forty rags? The basket is quite full so not expecting to run out any time soon.
     
    Adamc and arcticXS like this.
  17. JesseeS

    JesseeS XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Usually paper towels but they last about 2 seconds. Prefer the blue paper towel like shop rags. Don't use cotton rags as I have no means to wash them. I keep the used paper towel rags and such as fire starters so they get double use.
     
  18. Boog

    Boog Traveling Stroyteller Top Contributor

    Rolling the clock back a few years, the US Navy bought bundles of torn up clothing and we used these scraps for rags.
    Today, I use the blue paper stuff like these here which cost around $19 at Costco:
    [​IMG]
    I also buy these at about the same price:
    [​IMG]
    I use the cloth for cleaning and they bleach out white afterwards nicely.
     
  19. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    I use old clothing too. Favourite is a torn up flannel sheet. I have industrial paper towels like the blue ones on a roll but like actual fabric better. My local industrial supplier sells bags of recycled clothing. Iirc they are about 25 lb bags and cost about $35, but such a bag would last me way more than a year working on bikes, car, boat motors, lawnmowers etc. Best to buy cotton fabric only and not sweatshirt fleece material, which sometimes is less absorbent.
     
    Boog likes this.
  20. Boog

    Boog Traveling Stroyteller Top Contributor

    I need to add a disclaimer: I use these in the basement patio and in front of the house as I have no shop which clearly the title of the thread was asking about. I apologize if I have misled anyone as to my use of these products. Please return to your daily chores in peace...
     
    Jim, RustiePyles and Raymond like this.

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