Rag Sources for Finishers

Finishers discuss where to get the right kind of rags (soft, absorbent, and free from lint or contamination). June 30, 2007

Rent-a-Rag… I have already given the boss my reasons for not wanting to use the small grey and/or red rags that the auto mechanics usually use. What do you think of them?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
I'm not familiar with the grey or red rags. Are they terry rags that leave lint and fiber behind? By "rent-a-rag," are you referring to a company that picks up used rags, washes them and returns them?

I have had to use yellow ones and colored ones. In addition to the fibers, the yellow rags caused fisheyes while the colored rags barely absorbed the stain I was trying to wipe. In pursuit of attempting to save a buck, I have had many different kinds of wiping materials pushed at me by various bosses. White t-shirt material ganzie rags are the only ones I have found suitable for staining.

From contributor R:
I used to use the rent-a-rag. We got them before the mechanics got them. This made sure that there was no oil or contamination. They were full of lint, so we had to flood the piece with sealer to hide the lint. I found the best was the t shirts and I think they are a little cheaper in the long haul.

From contributor P:
The best thing I've found is the cheap, open weave cheesecloth. A big roll costs maybe twenty bucks and lasts a good long time. It does a real good job of holding material and will wipe a surface without streaking.

From contributor M:
Call your local penny pincher location. They usually will sell a garbage bag full of old t-shirt's for $10. They are usually ripped or stained so they can't resell them. All you have to do is rip them up and start wiping stain.

From the original questioner:
I'm not a real fan of these type rags either, but just maybe they beat ragging on the boss to switch over...

From contributor J:
I use a company called CCP Industries and they have quite the assortment of wiping materials. Check them out at ccpind.com

From contributor D:
I like disposable cellulose wipes. Cheap, absorbent, clean, no lint. Wypall L40s are my favorites. Search the net for best pricing. There are many competing products and outlets.

From contributor T:
So, what about Bounty paper towels? Works for me.

From contributor O:
I love using old diapers where I can't leave lint behind. Ok, ok. I know that sounds horrible. I use old, well used, really well cleaned cloth diapers. Contact your local diaper service (yes, they do still exist) and see about getting some from them. By the time they can't be used for the diaper service, they've had nearly all the lint washed right out, and because of the nature of the originally intended contact surface, they use very few if any contaminants (fabric softener, scents, etc.) to screw up your finish. They're also dirt cheap and there's a chance they can be delivered as well.