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Refined Linseed Oil - handling waste

I just received my linseed oil today, and I read the warning label.  The label says that due to risk of spontaneous combustion, linseed oil rags should be disposed of in metal containers, in water.  Now I've watched more video demonstrations of oily rags spontaneously combusting than a person should.

Are you taking any precautions?  I've not seen any mention of this here, presumably because we are only dealing with drops of oil, not whole soaked rags.  Then again, isn't a canvas essentially a linseed-oil soaked rag?


  • PaulB

    There are about a dozen threads on the Forum talking about this 'burning issue'.

    All my waste paper ends up with a few wipes of excess paint/SDM. I don't seem to accumulate any waste with appreciable amounts of oil of any kind.

    A canvas is essentially sealed by primer and gesso from infusion by oil.


  • edited May 2017
    I practice strict precautions with my rags. So far I have accumulated 7 completely contaminated rags hanging on a clothes line in my studio very well ventilated and air circulation, ready for trash. This is my first set of rags. I also have to consider that I have neighbors within a small apartment building, 135 years old, other peoples' lives are in my hands in this. I really, at all cost cannot afford a tragedy. I don't trust storing this anywhere on this property that is out of my sight. It is a little complicated to dispose of these properly where I live and strict bylaws, and I am committed to finally figure something for myself that works. These are rags the size of t-shirts. Heavy penalties for not complying with governing laws. We take managing our waste rather seriously where I live, committed to cleaner environment.
  • Just a random idea, but what about saturating the rags in a non-drying oil such as olive oil? Would that reduce the risk of any combustion through the curing process of linseed oil?
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