Towels for removing stain

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Forum topic by mathom7 posted 06-09-2010 06:25 AM 3859 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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69 posts in 2911 days

06-09-2010 06:25 AM

Trying to stain more instead of paint and I have a quick question. I’ve been using shop towels to remove stain after applying. I’ve just been tossing them after use, and it seems I go through a few for even small surfaces. It’s starting to get a little annoying and costly.

What do you all use for stain removal? Do you wash and reuse your shop towels?

17 replies so far

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117091 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 06-09-2010 07:19 AM

Depending on the type of stain your using some can spontaneously combustion on rags or paper towels causing a fire if not disposed of properly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lew's profile


12061 posts in 3755 days

#2 posted 06-09-2010 01:22 PM

Old T-shirts or similar type cloth.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3200 days

#3 posted 06-09-2010 02:00 PM

Never ever through your shop towels in the family washing machine. First, if your married and you ruin some thing of her clothing because of a chemical reaction, you will pay dearly. Second, that is considered polluting, like pouring old drain oil in the storm sewer. Third, residuals can linger in the tub of the washer and dtain cloths down the road.
Leave your shop rags out in the sun to dry, then store them in a metal covered metal can. Linseed oil and others can spontaneously ignite, as a1Jim stated earlier. I buy white cloth rags by the box. They are made out of the soft tee shirt cotton fabric. Use them, dry them, and toss them away. Compared to shop rags, they are cheap.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View mathom7's profile


69 posts in 2911 days

#4 posted 06-10-2010 01:08 AM

Thanks for the info Union, where do you normally by your rags? About how much do they run?

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4077 days

#5 posted 06-10-2010 01:14 AM

Usually I use a cotton rag. I get them from my ML Campbell distributer, couldn’t tell you what they cost right now – If you need to know I can find out.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#6 posted 06-10-2010 01:36 AM

Mathom, I use paper shop towels and leave them outside overnight to avoid the problem of spontaneous combustion, as Jim mentions.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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1880 posts in 3561 days

#7 posted 06-10-2010 04:13 AM

Sawdust works well also

-- Joe

View terry603's profile


320 posts in 2913 days

#8 posted 06-10-2010 04:36 AM

in my area you can contact goodwill stores office and they will sell you all the clean rags you need for a decent price. i would think all the other areas would also. i am in maine

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3042 days

#9 posted 06-10-2010 05:59 AM

I have a store near by that sells lint free rags for like 5 bucs for a lot of rags but not all the time. I would just look around at different stores til you find a good deal. I do use a lot of old shits, just about whatever I can find not owned by the wife.

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18271 posts in 3676 days

#10 posted 06-10-2010 07:21 AM

You have to watch the bargin store rags. Lots of times they will be polyester :-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3074 days

#11 posted 06-10-2010 03:03 PM

If you are using cloth rags you need to be a little concerned about lint. I use Scott Shop Towels. They are blue and they are marketed primarily for industrial use. They have great absorbance and generate no lint. I’m able to buy them at Sam’s Club.

I keep a lidded metal pail in my finishing room that is half full of water and I toss all my used towels in it. Of course, I have to clean it out regularly.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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51457 posts in 3480 days

#12 posted 06-10-2010 03:12 PM

I use old clean t-shirts.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Jahness's profile


70 posts in 2764 days

#13 posted 03-22-2011 07:44 AM

I use the cheapest rags and old socks, t-shirts, whatever and toss them in a bucket filled with water when done.

-- John

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3893 days

#14 posted 03-22-2011 08:33 AM


twice the bang for your buck. Never wash them in your own machine and get caught, should you have a partner. lol

cotton, lint free, anything else sucks

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3448 days

#15 posted 03-22-2011 09:30 AM

I’m not the professional stainer most of these guys are, but like you I am try to stain more and more. This is what I have been using. They have work great as far as I can tell cheap, 200 for under $10… up keep….lint free I saw Charles Neil using paper towels on a video.

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

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