OK. The only reason I know an oil soaked rag can be combustible is because my grandfather told me this while growing up.. So last night I should have known better.. I can see my grandfather shaking his head and giggling in heaven now..
But for those of you who are a little confused as to why the rag almost caught on fire.. here’s a little help:
Rags soaked with linseed oil are considered a fire hazard because they provide a large surface area for oxidation of the oil. The oxidation of linseed oil is an exothermic reaction which accelerates as the temperature of the rags increases. If rate of heat accumulation exceeds the rate of dissipation, this reaction may eventually become sufficiently hot to cause spontaneous combustion of the rags. Linseed oil soaked rags should never be stored, least of all in an enclosed container. Instead, rags should be washed, soaked with water, or incinerated.