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Discussion Starter #1
FWIW, a good friend who is still in G just bought a track cleaning loco from PIKO. It runs on 6 triple A batteries for 2 hours and has rotating brushes to clean the tracks.
 

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I built a couple track cleaning cars that did a reasonable job. I took a 50' boxcar and drilled two holes in the bottom on the center line. Then took a piece of Masonite (hard board) and cut it to fit between the trucks and about as wide as the ties. I put two nails through the Masonite with the heads recessed. The nails go into the holes I put into the boxcar. I beveled the leading and trailing edge of the board. I think I put a few washers on the nails to increase the weight on the board. The board just slides along the rails, the rough side down to 'scrub' the rails. The nails allow it to 'float' on the rails, but allow the boxcar to move it down the rails. Once the board wears out it is easy to replace. It is not abrasive enough to hurt the rails.
 

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So a quick, related question. I know that after years of disuse my wheels/connector need cleaning (I've got power to the track, but the loco isn't running) and I've seen a lot of suggestions for "Use a cleaner available at your local hobby store". Problem is, I don't have a local store sadly. Any suggestions on a decent cleaner to use? Seems like its just the contact points on my loco that need cleaning. Wheels turn fairly easy when turned by hand, etc. just not running when connected to the track.
 

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I started a thread on tinscale about cleaning parts and a response said their goto was simple green and water.

I had to look up simple green, I've never used it. Its a de-greaser and available at walmart. Is Biodegradable and could probably fill the bill for track cleaner.

I don't have a local hobby store either.
 

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I started a thread on tinscale about cleaning parts and a response said their goto was simple green and water.

I had to look up simple green, I've never used it. Its a de-greaser and available at walmart. Is Biodegradable and could probably fill the bill for track cleaner.

I don't have a local hobby store either.
Thanks for the quick reply! I actually have some Simple Green already, so will definitely try that!
 

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Gargs, I would shy away from using Simple Green. Another forum member, Lee Willis had serious problems when he used it to clean his track. Although he used it on .0 gauge Fastrack, where the Simple Green deteriorated the rails on his track. Quite expensive having to replace his track. Two fairly common methods are to use Scotchbrite pads, of various grit, and wiping down the rails with either lacquer thinner, or regular 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, that you buy in a drug store. The degreasers like Simple Green or Castrol Super Clean, often leave a thin film, after using it, which you use the other two, mentioned to clean off the film. It’s your choice, but I would be cautious with the Simple Green.
 

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Gargs, I would shy away from using Simple Green. Another forum member, Lee Willis had serious problems when he used it to clean his track. Although he used it on .0 gauge Fastrack, where the Simple Green deteriorated the rails on his track. Quite expensive having to replace his track. Two fairly common methods are to use Scotchbrite pads, of various grit, and wiping down the rails with either lacquer thinner, or regular 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, that you buy in a drug store. The degreasers like Simple Green or Castrol Super Clean, often leave a thin film, after using it, which you use the other two, mentioned to clean off the film. It’s your choice, but I would be cautious with the Simple Green.
Hey thanks for the heads up! Will the Scotchbrite pads work on the locomotive as well? Looking to clean off the "ski" and wheels there too.
 

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It should with no problem. You will probably have to cut small squares, to do it by hand. A little time consuming, but it will work. I am strictly 0 gauge, more toward Tinplate, and I usually use a Dremel rotary tool and brass or stainless steel wire wheels, but that’s my method. Whichever works the easiest.
 

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The qualifying statement in the cleaning post with simple green is "mixed with water."

The dilution of a concentrated product is essential to achieve optimum results.

Unfortunately human nature is such that "...if one is good; two will be better." This is not always the case.

I couldn't find the original willis post, but I do vaguely remember it. I don't know what dilution was used or exactly what part of the fast track failed (I suspect the plastic). Without that information I would be hesitant to discard the product as there are several posts that mention stripping paint with it successfully and it is biodegradable so it should rinse clean readily.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I used to use scotchbrite pads underneath a swiffer pole sometimes with alcohol on the pad. I cleaned the wheels by turning the loco upside down and running the wires from a small starter set powerpack to the wheels to turn them and used a Q tip soaked in alcohol on them as they turned.
 

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I purchased the Clean Machine after reading this post. I am an O person but I have put in so much time and effort in our club G, I thought I would buy something. I bought it on Thursday from Trainworld and received it on Saturday.
The cleaning pads are actually the sanding screens that you use on a dustless sanding pad. 20190527_140045_1558981005215.jpg 20190527_140033_1558981023234.jpg 20190527_140001_1558981054531.jpg
 

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That looks like a really nice track cleaner. I think it would probably hit either my catenary masts or get hung on the wire.

There is another that Wunderland in Hamburg uses as well as many other Euro railroaders that is in the same price without threat of catenary damage. I just can't find the darn thing on the internet right now.
 

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That's not it. This one is electric and has a scrubber and vacuum. IIRC, it too is yellow and is about the length of a full scale passenger car.
 
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