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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Nest.

In this Badge Bit, you will set up a Rag System.

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are you must set up the following rag system, where there was none before:
- Dirty rag basket (with labels)
    - Must be a breathable basket so rags don’t rot
- Clean rag storage

To document this BB, post pictures or a 2-minute video depicting the following:
- Before: Whatever you used to do with rags that wasn't this system
- Breathable Dirty Rag Basket with Labels
- Clean Rag Storage - complete with clean rags
COMMENTS:
 
master steward
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We have a bag of left-over PUL (diaper cloth fabric). It's where we put our rags, towels, napkin and other very dirty things. It gets washed every 2 or 3 days. Before this, dirty rags just went with the rest of our laundry. We also didn't have nearly as many filthy rags, etc, before I made this bag (I made the bag when I had our baby, as babies generate a need for lots of rags and lots of cleaning)

We store our clean rags in an old laundry detergent box under our kitchen sink. The cleaning towels go to the right of it (most of those are in the wash right now)
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[Thumbnail for 20190822_134351.jpg]
box for small rags on the left, larger cleaning towels go on the right
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

I certify this BB is complete.

 
pollinator
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About using rags ...
I use rags made out of old towels for many years. Most of all for cleaning kitchen and fridge (see photos in threads for those BBs). Now I made new rags from a T-shirt. They go with those other rags.

The pile on the right, those are the rags made out of an old towel and those made out of a T-shirt

This another way I use rags:

This is the system of 'pee rags'. To use after peeing, to wipe off droplets. Clean pee-rags are in the seagreen plastic hanging container, used ones are in the basket on the floor


After washing (in the washing machine) they dry like this

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I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
gardener
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This is a great idea and I love it.  In the spirit of learning I have a question about the purpose of breathable containers.

Must be a breathable basket so rags don’t rot



Just to get right to the point, this squicks me out.:)  Kitchen rags have grease and tiny bits of food on them. They are gross and unsanitary. Keeping them in an open-ish container is an invitation to ants, fruit flies, maybe even roaches.  If you happen to live in a yurt its another scent that might attract raccoons or bears. Also, a breathable basket would be both harder to clean and need to be cleaned more often. I opted for stainless steel in my rag system because it keeps out pests, is easy to sanitize, and the amino acid sulfoxides from allums, fish, etc bind to the stainless steel to prevent odor.  Also, mold cannot grow on stainless steel.

So, that's my take. What's yours? Have I overlooked something that makes the breathable basket superior?
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Rob, I can tell you you are right about the smell. With that basket of used 'pee-rags' my toilet never is without smell, even when it is clean.
Mold doesn't grow on the stainless steel, but what about the cotton rags themselves?
 
Nicole Alderman
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Rob Lineberger wrote:This is a great idea and I love it.  In the spirit of learning I have a question about the purpose of breathable containers.

Must be a breathable basket so rags don’t rot



Just to get right to the point, this squicks me out.:)  Kitchen rags have grease and tiny bits of food on them. They are gross and unsanitary. Keeping them in an open-ish container is an invitation to ants, fruit flies, maybe even roaches.  If you happen to live in a yurt its another scent that might attract raccoons or bears. Also, a breathable basket would be both harder to clean and need to be cleaned more often. I opted for stainless steel in my rag system because it keeps out pests, is easy to sanitize, and the amino acid sulfoxides from allums, fish, etc bind to the stainless steel to prevent odor.  Also, mold cannot grow on stainless steel.

So, that's my take. What's yours? Have I overlooked something that makes the breathable basket superior?



I have my rags in a washable, semi-breathable bag made from diaper-cover cloth (PUL) that I already had lying around. I wash rags/towels/napkins every 3 or 4 days (sometimes more frequently--I have messy kids!). So far, I haven't noticed any stink, and I can always just throw the bag in the wash if I need to.

I also use a bag made from the PUL fabric for my washable pads. That one gets thrown in the wash when I wash the pads.
 
Rob Lineberger
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Rob, I can tell you you are right about the smell. With that basket of used 'pee-rags' my toilet never is without smell, even when it is clean.
Mold doesn't grow on the stainless steel, but what about the cotton rags themselves?



Never heard of pee rags but I love the idea! Your rags probably are giving off ammonia fumes.  I suggest that you attach a filter to the lid of the container.  Activated Carbon would be almost useless for ammonia odor but zeolite (a volcanic rock) is perfect for adsorbing ammonia gasses into its own pores. I get mine from aquarium supply stores but I think they are also sold in pet stores for controlling litter box odors. The nice thing about zeolite is you can put it in the sun for a couple days and it will recharge itself.  I bet a pouch of zeolite would do wonders for you.

My stainless cannister (actually an ice bucket from an out-of-business hotel) has almost no detectable smell.  I say "almost" because I also use one for compost and if I have banana peels in there a scent will come out as the banana off-gasses.  But generally speaking, no odor.

The cotton rags will mold if left too long.  So I don't leave them too long.  :)

Nicole Alderman wrote:
I have my rags in a washable, semi-breathable bag made from diaper-cover cloth (PUL) that I already had lying around. I wash rags/towels/napkins every 3 or 4 days (sometimes more frequently--I have messy kids!). So far, I haven't noticed any stink, and I can always just throw the bag in the wash if I need to.

I also use a bag made from the PUL fabric for my washable pads. That one gets thrown in the wash when I wash the pads.



Ahh I remember the cloth diaper days. They were so expensive so we made our own.  I still have flashbacks of hammering those little pastel snaps into the snap anvil through three layers of cotton fleece.  The thrill of anxiety: will it take? Or will it slide off all crooked and I have to start over? *shudder* I'll see if I can rig up a permeable liner that will keep the rags away from the floor and sides of the cannister.  Thanks!
 
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I don't generate very many dirty rags, and used to just toss them in the empty washer to be washed with whatever else made a full load.

I'll try this new system on for size:
IMG_20200818_194031.jpg
Before. Poorly organized and blurry
Before. Poorly organized and blurry
IMG_20200819_084709_1.jpg
Breathable dirty storage
Breathable dirty storage
IMG_20200818_212343.jpg
Labeled clean storage
Labeled clean storage
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
Rob Lineberger
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Hello, I have ragged on the system.  Or something to that effect.

Staff note (Ash Jackson) :

I hereby certify this BB is complete.  Whaaaaaa!

 
gardener
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So I did a thing.  
My old not a system for my rags was just shoving the clean rags into a cabinet above my kitchen and throwing the old ones under the broken washer machine.
So I took some small mesh laundry bags and hung them up with a label.  one for clean, one for dirty. I did this a couple weeks ago...other than having to fix the clip a couple times it works.  I may improve upon it in the future.
191-1-.jpg
clean rags thrown into cluttered cabinet
clean rags thrown into cluttered cabinet
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dirty rags getting stinky on the floor underneath the broken washer
dirty rags getting stinky on the floor underneath the broken washer
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Making labels...
Making labels...
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New clean rag bag
New clean rag bag
221.jpg
New dirty rag bag with plenty of airflow
New dirty rag bag with plenty of airflow
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete--and you now have the Nest air badge!

 
pollinator
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Before setting this up all the cloths were thrown in one basket and the dirty one went straight into the washing machine.
IMG_20201024_105008.jpg
Set up
Set up
IMG_20201024_105015.jpg
Clean cloths
Clean cloths
IMG_20201024_105041.jpg
Dirty cloths
Dirty cloths
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I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete! And, you are now the proud owner of the Nest Air Badge!

 
pollinator
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Here is the clean rag basket and the dirty hamper which also gets towels.

Rags are not put into the hamper wet. Rags used for cleaning are rinsed and hung in bathtub or basement sink to dry before going in the hamper. If only damp, they may be draped on edge of hamper to dry instead.
20201101_101038.jpg
Rag system
Rag system
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as an edge case BB.
BBV price: 0
Note: Please show a more permanent type of label.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as not complete.
BBV price: 1
Note: Needed a more permanent label

 
author & steward
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Looking through the ideas in this thread got me to thinking about how I use rags and what would be the best way for me to organize them. Prior to this, all rags went into a cloth tote, but I really need two separate containers for rags: one for cleaning, and one for milking. I need super clean rags for udder washing and drying. This BB got me to thinking about a better way to keep them separate.

Here's my old system.

I used to toss all clean rags into one box.

New system. I'm much happier with this!

Notice that I left the cleaning rags in the spot where we're used to grabbing them, but moved the rags I want kept cleanest to a new location.

The other thing I've changed is my dirty rag handling. My problem isn't so much rot, but that the heat and humidity here will turn any pile of damp cloth into a sour-smelling mildewy mess. I always hang my wet or damp rags (everywhere) to dry them before putting them in the dirty clothes hamper. This basket works much better!

I can hang damp rags on the basket rim to dry and then toss them in.

I feel obligated to make a note that I am ordinarily a very anti-plastic person. But a Christmas gift came in this little basket and it's really perfect to meet this need. So there it is, given a purpose and kept out of the landfill.
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Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
gardener
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I thought I already had a rag system . . . i was so wrong!

The bin wasn’t breathable so unless it was emptied daily, which it wasn’t, it would get stinky and rags would grow black stuff.

One day I will weave a basket from my home grown willow. Until that time, I needed a solution which didn’t involve a few clicks on Amazon.

I initially thought I’d drill holes in the container I already use, so took it out to the garage where I spotted a milk crate.

I live in the bit of NJ that received eight inches of rain in one hour when Ida passed through. Hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded. There was so much debris in the neighbourhood, all swept down the hill and dumped in the low lying places. Most was piled up and collected and probably now off to some landfill. I rescued a couple of milk crates as they’re always useful and I didn’t want to see it crushed in a hole somewhere. It was a much better solution than drilling holes.

I gave it a good scrub as it was covered in silt.

Next, I reorganised the cloths / rags on the basement shelves - these are the ones used everywhere except the kitchen. I tidied up a bit and added labels. I’ve included the under sink area in the kitchen. I haven’t added labels because it’s a system that’s been in place for decades and I’m not sure my dearly beloved would like the idea of labels. She’s ok with the basement as that’s my domain. Anyway, I think I’ve done enough for the BB but if I haven’t, then I guess I will have to balance pleasing Otis or my wife . . .
BE1BAD5A-7494-4B56-9B5E-34CE9960E3DA.jpeg
Existing icky non breathable plastic bin
Existing icky non breathable plastic bin
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Yuck!
Yuck!
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Black mould from use of icky plastic bin
Black mould from use of icky plastic bin
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Grubby repurposed milk crate
Grubby repurposed milk crate
A96DE48D-106E-4948-AB5C-ECE66F2A8EC7.jpeg
Making labels from recycled cardboard
Making labels from recycled cardboard
8B0BFE18-5318-45D2-8EDB-86794C43DFAA.jpeg
Kitchen system - swedish cloths instead of kitchen towel and homemade beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm
Kitchen system - swedish cloths instead of kitchen towel and homemade beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm
63FA0FD0-2916-4F4F-80D9-B50194BDE2C1.jpeg
Basement cleaning system
Basement cleaning system
D7ACECA0-74AD-431C-8C3B-6D2C4E6ADD16.jpeg
Milk crate with plenty of ventilation
Milk crate with plenty of ventilation
A05F3CC9-29CF-4922-B0E6-5CE0134AF219.jpeg
Halfway down the basement stairs where cloths are frequently flung.
Halfway down the basement stairs where cloths are frequently flung.
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jordan barton approved this submission.

 
gardener
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I had no rag system before this, so there's no before photo. We suspect I'm reacting to our toilet paper, so I set up a system for toilet cloth for pee. Clean rags are in a basket in the bathroom, along with my peri bottle. Used rags are going in the hamper with dirty underwear, just outside the bathroom door.
PXL_20220101_144814042.PORTRAIT.jpg
Clean toilet ckoths
Clean toilet ckoths
PXL_20220101_145225505.jpg
A place for dirty toilet cloths
A place for dirty toilet cloths
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Someone approved this submission.
Note: I certify this BB complete!

 
gardener
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My husband and I have been using toilet, or what my husband affectionately calls 'butt rags'.

This was the previous system. A cloth bag full or rags made from t shirts and a wire basket for the used ones. A little close to our towels for my liking.



I made new rags from an old bed sheet



New Clean Rags



New Dirty rags



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L. Johnson approved this submission.

 
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I was inspired by the toilet paper alternatives and wanted to try it myself. (so far, so good) I did not have a system before so I just included a picture of my bathroom before, making the rags, and the labeled clean and dirty storage after. I'm so happy with this I'm going to organize kitchen rags the same way next.
IMG_2529.jpg
Bathroom before - note the unused yellow towel at the top that is about to become rags
Bathroom before - note the unused yellow towel at the top that is about to become rags
IMG_2531.jpg
Turning unused towels in rags for toilet paper
Turning unused towels in rags for toilet paper
IMG_2532.jpg
Clean rag storage with a label on recycled cardboard
Clean rag storage with a label on recycled cardboard
IMG_2533.jpg
Dirty rag storage just below, also with a label on recycled cardboard
Dirty rag storage just below, also with a label on recycled cardboard
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Someone approved this submission.
Note: I certify this BB complete! Cute!

 
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