Oily Rag Safety Tip
Most people know that spontaneous combustion can occur when oily rags are left in a bunch or thrown together in a trash can. A friend of mine didn’t realize this and had a small fire in his basement shop. Based on this, I thought it would be a good idea to pass along a tip that is easy to use and can prevent this from occurring to others.
I use oil for finishing and use a simple device that takes away the worry of spontaneous combustion. I drape my rags and brushes on a standard drying rack that is commonly used for drying fine linens and sweaters. By draping the rags on the many available rungs of the rack I prevent them from contacting each other and themselves, thus preventing spontaneous combustion. Drying racks are made of wood or metal and fold up to a compact size. Mine is a wood rack with plastic sleeves on the dry rack to prevent materials sticking to the wood. The ability to have a compact drying rack available instantly makes me use it each and every time. I hang mine on a wall in my shop ready for instant use!
Attached is a picture of my drying rack where I have “put it to use” in my garage shop, a picture of an empty rack, and a picture of the empty rack being folded.
I hope this quick, easy, and cheap method is useful to some of you and that this small effort will prevent disaster from striking… like it did my friend.