I've read of the dangers of combustible/flammable (whichever) rags that you
need to carefully dispose of. If I am using a water based stain and poly,
what kind of care do I need to take with the used rags? I don't have the
metal tin of mineral spirits available. But I also don't want to risk
setting the house on fire.
For all your rags, whether old t-shirts, used cloth diapers, or Bounty
paper towels, just spread them out to air dry.
The problem is primarily spontaneous combustion, caused by slow oxidation
and heat buildup. Just because I've never heard of there being a problem
with water-borne finishes, doesn't mean there couldn't be one.
I hang mine over the edge of the garbage can till really dry, then pitch
Since they're not solvent laden, the risk of spontaneous combustion is about
nil, but that does not negate Patriarch's suggestion to hang them to dry.
If for no other reason, it's a good practice to develop that will ensure
that you won't just ball up rags used for some other stain out of habit, and
risk spontaneous combustion. I hang all of my rags over whatever is handy.
If it's a rag I don't want to re-use, and it's got something spontaneously
combustible on it, I spontaneously combustible it with my aim-n-flame to
avoid future surprises.
Grown up version of playing with matches, I guess. :)
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
While I am working a project I often store oil or stain rags outside, but
not directly exposed to the weather. This is especially true when I have a
rag nicely soaked with oil or poly. I slip them into a ziplock sandwich bag
and squeeze out the air before sealing. Then put the sandwich bag inside of
an old tupperware container that sits on a threshold slab outside of the
shop. This keeps them air-starved but 'ripe' for a day or so.
Just leave them open to dry. You didn't say if the poly is water based
or not. If not, you could spread them outside, weighted down to dry to
avoid the smell.
It's only if they're bunched up that the heat will built up.
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