Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workshop Wednesday-Greasy Shop Rags

  At work we are fortunate enough to be supplied with a lot of rags. These are more like hand or small bath towels and work great for dealing with grease. I'm always trying to be efficient so when I see a guy grab a fresh rag and clean off a grease gun I get pissed off. What a waste. Ya, I know its just a rag but why be wasteful? I like to use the rags in stages until they are used up.
 Stage one of a shop rag is to use it as a napkin. These things are 2 feet by 3 feet ultra soft cotton/polyester blend. I feel like a king using this towel as a napkin. I also eat some pretty sloppy food on occasion and a towel this size almost isn't enough.
 The next stage is to use them to wipe my dirty hands. Hey, all that grease from my face thats now in the towel really loosens up the grunge on my hands. These rags are usually found on my desk or toolbox. That means I've claimed that rag as my own...go find your own rag.
 Stage three rags will be found laying around open projects. They get dirty with oil and such from engines. They continue to be stage three rags until there is a need for a stage four rag. Stage three rags are only used as napkins in desperate situations.
 Stage four. Grease. When using a grease gun, the rag you look for is a used up stage three rag. NOT a napkin or hand rag.
 Stage five is the end of the line for a shop rag. When there is a spill to be cleaned up then a stage four rag is used to soak up the mess. Maybe after everything is soaked up some floor dry can be used but its not usually needed. Stage five rags are also used to wipe down batteries.

I bet you didn't think there would be a test. What stage rag is this?

 Now don't start thinkin I'm nuts. I'm not anal about this. In my mind its just the normal life cycle of a shop rag. Kinda like jeans.

 When my oldest work jeans are worn out, I replace them with my casual jeans. These are clean, unstained pants worn outside of the work place. Now the casual jeans are replaced with the church/fine dining/funeral jeans. I then go out and buy a new pair of jeans to replace those. This sounds stupid as shit but I know a lot of you out there do the same thing.

Nuff said.


  1. I see plenty of unclaimed real estate on that rag so if i had to wipe some crap off my face that towel is fair game. on your scale i think it falls into stage 1

  2. Buzz. Wrong. Dude, the only way I could get a napkin that dirty is if I licked the inside of the bbq grill. Now I'm not saying I wouldn't use it as a napkin in a pinch, but this one has clearly moved on to stage 2. Thanks for playing, try again next time.

  3. That’s true; in any garage or shop, rags are very important, as they help to maintain the cleanliness of your hands and the place itself. It’s difficult to clean up because of the stain, that’s why a lot of people chose to dispose of it after use. So it’s a must to use it practically. It would be a shame to use a new rag for oil spills, and have to throw them out already after one use.

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company