What Are Your Shop Towel Practices?

If you’re thinking it’s ok to throw away your shop towels, or wash them yourself – think again.  It’s probably not a good idea for several reasons.

Disposable wipes can be thrown in the trash when they don’t contain a hazardous waste substance.

The selling point is they are disposable and do not need to be laundered.  You use them and then toss them.

If we use them to clean windows or wipe down table tops, etc. we can toss them after using them.


However, we can probably conclude they will most likely contain a hazardous waste because we typically use them

for cleaning blankets, rollers, and other solvent bearing applications.


Once they have been soaked with a hazardous chemical, i.e. roller wash, blanket wash, they must from then on be

treated as a hazardous waste.  This would then need to be included in your hazardous waste stream and be reported to

the company that disposes of your company’s hazardous waste. They will need to make provisions to include them in your

hazardous waste pick-up.

Contact me at the PIA office if you have any questions about your procedures.  Or join me at one of our upcoming OSHA 10 Hour General Industry Outreach classes, being held next week in Syracuse and in Batavia on Nov. 4 & 5.   Click here for details.  

Jerry Banks, Manager of Membership Services
Print & Graphic Communications Association
(716) 691-3211



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