Hang and dry greasy rags before discarding them. When they're dry, store them in a compact, airtight, non-combustible container, such as a paint can. Cover them in water and an oil-degrading detergent. Do not throw them away. Instead, pour the water into your garden when it's time to fertilize.
Raw linseed oil is very toxic if swallowed. Otherwise, follow the instructions below for disposing of other oils.
When rags have been saturated in oil paint, do not pile or ball them into a compact clump, nor should they be thrown out in regular garbage while they are still wet. Allow the rags to dry completely before disposing of them. Spread the rags outside, on the ground or on a metal rack, until totally dry and firm. Then discard in a landfill.
The best way to deal with surplus oil paints is to remove as much air from the container as possible. Most oils will remain fluid for several hours after being removed from the bottle, so if you aren't going to use them immediately, place them in a tightly sealed, non-reactive container such as an old food jar or plastic bin. These can then be used to add character to your next project, or return them to stock for future use.
Oil paints are very toxic if ingested so please take care when handling them and avoid letting children play with them too. They should not be placed in the trash can along with other household waste as this material may eventually make its way into local water sources. Instead, dispose of oil paints according to your state's regulations.
Oily rags should be disposed of in a safe manner.
Place dry rags in a designated oily waste container to be emptied by a private contractor if you use oily rags on a daily or weekly basis. Dry rags should be stored in a compact, airtight, noncombustible (such as metal) container with a tight-fitting cover for less regular users. A excellent example is an old paint can. For extra protection against fire, the lid of the can should be nailed down.
If you dispose of your own oil changes and replacements, here's how to store them: When changing a vehicle oil filter, always remove the old one first; then replace it with a new one. After replacing the filter, add some oil to the engine until it reaches the top of the valve cover or headliner. Then change the oil again. Use recommended amounts for your car, based on its size and type. Do not pour oil into the gas tank or any other part of the engine unless you are very careful not to get any in the intake manifold or elsewhere it could cause damage. If you have any doubts about how to go about changing your vehicle's oil, ask a mechanic before you start so there are no surprises when you're done.
Oil filters become contaminated over time from debris that gets caught in the filter media. This includes particles from brake pads, windshield wiper fluid, and engine wear items such as piston rings. These contaminants limit how often an oil filter needs to be replaced. For example, oil filters typically last between 0 and 75 miles after their first usage.
Soaking combustible greasy rags in water in a metal container with a cover is the simplest and safest way to store and dispose of them. You can leave the rags in the container as long as the lid is closed until you're ready to take them to a disposal site. Make sure you dilute any oil that comes into contact with water.
Oil spills should be soaked up using rags or old towels, according to safe cleaning procedures. If you're going to keep rags, wash them in warm soapy water or use a degreaser. Hang them outside to dry (if feasible). If you're going to hang them indoors, keep them away from heat sources like furnaces and water heaters. The best way to get rid of oil stains on clothes is with a commercial stain-remover product designed for this purpose.
If you don't have access to these kinds of products, try baking soda and vinegar. Mix 1 part baking soda with 3 parts vinegar in a bowl and soak your rags in this mixture for several hours or overnight. Rinse them in cold water and they should come out clean.
You can also use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and hot water with a few drops of food coloring added for color. Soak the rag in this mixture for 30 minutes and it will remove most oils from your clothing.
Finally, if none of these options are available to you, rub the stained area with a little lemon or lime juice then rinse off the residue with water.
These are just some of the many ways you can keep oil rags clean. As long as you follow proper washing protocols, you should be able to use them for many years without any problems.