Does cotton/polyester work well as a rag.

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Two friends are arguing about rags. One says they have to be all cotton to work well, and the other says 30 or 60 or 80% cotton and the rest polyester will work well too.
Who is right?
They need to start collecting rags for a big cleaning job they have coming up.
I'll let you guess who is the husband and who the wife.
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?

IMO, 100% cotton works best, but some of the blends are OK. The more cotton the better. Depends on the use also. Cotton absorbs liquid better, for but some polishing/wiping applications, soft surface is more important than absorption. Pure polyester sucks.
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On 2/13/2011 9:12 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The supply houses sell boxes of recycled surgical or terrycloth towels that of course have been washed and disinfected. They're very affordable and of good quality. I wash them again when I'm done using them unless there is something really icky on them. :-)
TDD
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On 2/13/2011 11:06 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Watch the HF flyers. I've had good luck with the Indian-origin white terry towel bundles they sell. Much better than simple rags for cleaning- absorb a lot more, and have some scrubbing capability. I think, with coupon, I paid about 4 bucks for a bundle of 20? or so. Unless the cleaning agents you are using are so nasty that the rags need to be disposable, they launder without disintegrating pretty well. And they are well-hemmed, so you don't get loose threads contaminating the work, like you do with cut up old towels and similar.
--
aem sends...

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On 2/13/2011 10:21 PM, aemeijers wrote:

The only thing that worries me about the towels imported from India, is that there may be some kind of weird bug or critter hiding in them that hitched an international ride. Besides, Indian critters talk funny. :-)
TDD
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On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 22:06:37 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Thanks. I'll let them know.

It's okay for some people but my friends, and I, aren't buying rags.
Nor do I buy clothes to work around the house in. That's what old clothes are for, and older clothes are for rags.
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On 2/14/2011 12:28 AM, mm wrote:

You could wear older clothes and just wipe your hands on what you are wearing then roll around on the floor to clean up your mess. :-)
TDD
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I think that weave/construction plays a role as well. old 100% cotton t-shirts still make lousy rags for all but the lightest jobs.
nate
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Check auto parts stores. They sell mechanics rags and they work very well...WW
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WW wrote the following:

If you see them in Sam's Club, do not buy the red dyed ones. The color bleeds on your hands and anything else.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 2/13/2011 9:50 PM, mm wrote:

If what you are wiping is water based, the more cotton the better. Moisture regain or amount of water fiber can hold is about 15% for cotton versus less than 1% for polyester.
If you are going to reuse the rags, some polyester in the blend will increase durability of the fabric.
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Just my opinion, more than 10% poly just does not seem to work well as a rag. 100% cotton is the best.
Colbyt
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Depends on how the polyester is combined with the cotton. If the polyester forms the core of the cotton fiber its probably just as good as cotton. You find this in underwear and sports shirts. If it say polyester /cotton blend but still feels like cotton it probably OK.
Jimmie
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On 2/14/2011 9:19 AM, JIMMIE wrote:

Little technical, but cotton is denser than polyester and in the spinning process tends to migrate to the exterior of the yarn. Probably makes no difference on moisture uptake though.
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2011 12:13:10 -0500, Frank

How does this related to cotton-covered polyester, which is much of the thread for sale on spools for home use?
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2011 06:19:40 -0800 (PST), JIMMIE

Yesh, I think that's what prompted the question, some blend that felt like cotton.
Thanks for all the good answers. I've forwarded to my friends.

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mm wrote:

Neither. Microfiber beats anything else hands down regardless of the source material for the microfiber.
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

Used a lot rags in the in the Navy when I was a boilerman. All cotton, and one of the more expensive "consumables" 80 pound bales, cost a bit over a hundred bucks a bale. I've had big rag containers for years. Sometime I have to fight with the wife to get my 30 gallon rag wastebasket filled. She wants to keep old clothes or give them to Goodwill. It was easier when the kids were running around here. They'd tear clothes up so they were only good for rags. ALL rags can serve a purpose. Even polyester will soak up a lot of oil from the garage floor. Weave is important too. Some all-cotton jeans are almost worthless. To answer your question, cotton-polyester blends work well. 30% polyester works on 30% of jobs. 60% polyester works on 60% of jobs. 100% cotton with the right weave works on 100% of jobs. Use that as your measure. Best rags are all-cotton T-shirts. 100%, A+, 5 Star. They'll clean the garage floor and spit-shine shoes to a mirror.
--Vic
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2011 08:47:30 -0600, Vic Smith

At least neither of you want to throw them in the trash. YOu'd be surprised how many good clothes I've fount when I was looking to VCRs and TVs.
(The most expensive thing I ever found was an electric wheel chair, controlled by a joystick, worth 1000 dollars a man in the business told me in the condition I found it (which was good. It ran fine, battery still charged, but a little of the foam rubber needed refurbishing. Not only did it run fine, the only way I could get it home was to sit in it and let it take me the block to my house. I kept tripping when I tried to walk next to it and push the joystick. )
I gave it to the MDS or something, Musculary Dystropy or Multiple Sclerosis.
I think I'd see the guy who owned it, sitting in it on nice days, often with another guy in a wheel chairs. It's a normal apartment building. I don't know if they lived on their own or not, but I figure the guy who used this chair died, and the maintenance man from the apartment didn't even consider calling the MDS or Goodwill, and he just threw it away.)

Good, I talked to my male friend and he said he only plays to do clean up 30% of the dirt.

In sequence?

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On 2/13/2011 9:50 PM, mm wrote:

100% cotton. The local Goodwill store throws out any clothing that is dirty (it wouldn't pay for them to wash it). I stop in now and then and ask for some cleaning rags. If they ask I specify 100% cotton, if not I just throw out the polyester blends in the trash. Some days they have a big pile going to the trash and I can pick through it myself. I take them home and wash them before I use them. I normally get 1 or 2 trash bags full so I'm good for a little while.
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