Comparing Disposable, Reusable, and Rented Shop Towels

The equipment you use in your shop include the shop towels and rags, and while these might seem like “throwaway” items that don’t matter much, the truth is that everyone from the environmental manager to the accounting clerk is interested in getting the best rags for the lowest prices.

For the accounting office, the idea of saving money up front is tempting, but the shop owner who might be liable if someone gets injured or the rags are improperly disposed with hazardous chemicals on them is likely more interested in quality over price. It’s important to consider all options to find out which will work for your shop.

Rented Shop Towels

Shop towels are used in millions of facilities nationwide for everything from cleaning up spills to wiping a worker’s sweat away. Rented shop towels are fairly convenient, arriving each week along with rugs and uniforms, then soiled ones are taken away for cleaning. Unfortunately it’s difficult to customize the towels for your specific needs—when you utilize these services, you often get the same towels to clean fluid out of your machinery as the auto mechanic is getting to wipe up grease. They may also present a hazard, since they are laundered in large batches with towels and residue from many different industries mixed together.

Purchasing Shop Rags/Towels

You can get a little more control over the type of shop rags you get when you purchase them from a place like The Ragman Company. These vendors offer a wide variety of towels and rags with different features, such as high absorption or lint-free cleaning, to meet a variety of needs. One downside is that you will have to launder them on your own, which might be difficult for some shops.

Disposable Towels or Wipes

Yet another option is to purchase disposable towels or rags that are designed for single or limited use, then throw them away when you are finished. These range from basic bathroom hand towels to engineered microfiber cloths, and are essentially custom ordered for the task you need. The down side to this type of rag is that they cannot be reused, so every time you use a towel you will throw it away. This can lead to significant waste streams from your facility, which might not be very environmentally friendly. If you use hazardous solvents or other liquids, you may not be able to legally dispose of them through traditional waste channels, thus increasing your costs.

Before you decide on one type of rag for your facility, consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. If you need high quality towels and rags for purchase, or you want to look at disposable options available, check out the selection at The Ragman Company.