Spontaneous Combustion

In many of the gardening related publications, that no doubt many of us subscribe to, over the past few months, (same time every year), under “things to do”, there have been articles about keeping our tools clean for the coming season. And so we should.

What is often advised is the use of Linseed Oil to maintain wooden handled tools. Fine, I hear you say but what is not always mentioned are the dangers of spontaneous combustion of the cloths/rags that are used.

I am by no means an expert in these sorts of things but I do take care and dry my cloths/rags out with plenty of air circulation around before tidying up. Just throwing them into a corner all covered in oil or jammed in a pot or whatever can result in a fire quite quickly.

Maybe there are more technically aware folk here who can elaborate further.

«1

Posts

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,915

    the linseed oil oxidises in air, this is an exothermic reaction (it gives out heat) if the cloth is spread out the heat dissipates easily,

    however if the cloth is scrunched into a ball, or shoved in a draw the heat builds up until the flashpoint of the oil is reached (something like 80 degrees Celsius.) This causes the oil on the rag to burst into flames, which catches the rag itself on fire and anything flammable in the area (like a wooden bench etc.)

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,635

    Absolutely - basic good practice in artists' studios as well of course image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,387

    Oooh - didn't know that - thanks for the heads up image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,635

    Also if you use a linseed-based polish for floors or furniture!

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,387

    I sometimes use ESP as a primer before painting woodwork (sanding irritates my chest) - similar warnings to take care with those rags as well.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • There have been several warnings about Linseed oil and spontaneous combustion going back a few years.

    It's not something the average person thinks about so a good idea to highlight every so oftenimage

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,155

    image Zoomer goes off to find that linseed soaked rag she put with her cleaning materials in the kitchen cupboard after polishing the dinning room table... 

  • B3B3 Posts: 11,440

    Read somewhere about batteries and wire wool too.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,155

    image

  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    My dad used to regularly oil his cricket bats with linseed oil.. Never had a case of spontanious combustion as he used a cotton wool ball.... Too tiny I guess....

    I used to treat the benches in the science labs at school with several coats of linseed oil every school holiday and I always used a brush which was cleaned out after...  So you can still safely use it on your woodwork... Just be safe and inventive..

Sign In or Register to comment.