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I'm getting a tired of the pink Cintas-style shop rags we use. They don't soak up much at all and are really rough/gritty. I'm always scared a tech is going to use one to wipe down a car and cover that vehicle with scratches.

 

My friend in town runs a salvaged textiles warehouse. He buys unpurchased t-shirts and cotton clothes from Goodwill and Salvation Army by the semi-load. Then, at his warehouse they cut them into rag sized pieces and sell them dirt cheap in huge bundles. I'm thinking of over moving over to using this system and washing the rags myself.

 

Have any of you guys done anything similar? Any EPA issues you've run into with doing your own in-house laundry of sorts?

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  • 3 months later...

Agreed, Jeff. The blue shop rags are great. Nothing beats bulk cotton, though. I'm going to buy a bale from him cheap and just throw them away as we use them. We'll see how long they last. Could be competitive with Cintas or the blue rags.

 

Also, thanks for the heads up on the washer. Foregoing that route for now on the shop rags...

Edited by Wes Daniel
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http://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Clark-Wypall-Disposable-Wiper-Length/dp/B0040ZOFTI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384828540&sr=8-1&keywords=wypall+x80

 

Wypall X80: I love these things!!! You can get a little dispenser/roll holder for them too. I don't think I'll ever go back to shop rags after using these

 

Those look pretty nice! How long does a box usually last yall?

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Since I'm a one man shop right now, and not exactly super busy, I'll reference my dealership days. A roll would last 3 guys roughly a month.

 

It depends a lot on how frugal you and your guys are. If you use a clean one to wipe some mustard from your mouth after eating, then trash it, they obviously will go quick. One towel will usually make a few oil changes for me (wipe off the drain plug, brake clean any oil dripping from the filter and wipe, wipe off hands). If your smart with them, they will last a while. They are pretty strong too for a paper towel! If it helps any, guys at the dealership would replace a roll 'early' so they could take what was left of the old roll home with them.

 

Not many products get my endorsement, but these things are great! I would bet money that whoever gives them a try, will have nothing but good things to say about them. They work great for cleaning glass, seats, engines... no streaks, doesn't leave fuzz behind

 

Ok, I'll stop raving about them now. Try a roll!

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  • 3 months later...

I get those red Cintas rags myself. I use them mainly for heavy, thick grease stuff, but for the occasional drip on a car I use white hospital terry cloth towels.

 

I've got a customer who will drop off a bag or two of white hospital towels. They are "out of service" towels that have been washed, folded and set for pickup by anybody who wants them.

 

Some hotels do this too. There's also a few sources at some dry cleaners. (They wash this stuff for a lot of the hotels who don't have their own laundry service.)

 

Just a thought... look into it when ya got a chance.

 

I've got these towels everywhere, and .... if they get nasty... I toss them.

 

 

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I use the wypall x 80 as well. I have used them for about ten years and would not want to use anything else. I keep one in my pocket for general use, then when it gets fairly dirty I set it aside to use when I have a spill on the floor or wipe some major oil or grease off a part and then throw it out.

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Be careful cleaning your own rags. Chemicals and solvents in these things have been known to cause flash fires when drying. There was a shop in the area that burnt to the ground several years back. You can use a household washing machine and get them "kinda clean" but don't put them in a dryer. Recipe for disaster.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
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      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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