AlanRail posted:

here is why none of these work well enough.  THERE IS TOO MUCH SURFACE OVER THE LENGTH OF THE RAILS AND NOT ENOUGH "clean" SURFACE ON THE CLEANING PART(S) OF THE CLEANERS.

As soon as the cleaning parts are saturated with crud they stop cleaning and you are just spreading the crud along the remaining length of the rails. What is needed is a way to vacuum or remove the crud as it builds up on the cleaning parts.  Until that is invented, your hand, a clean rag and some cleaning solution and your elbow is the only way to really clean the track rails.

Agreed 110%.  Along with a rag and some cleaning solution, here's probably my best track cleaning car.  Notice it has no wheels or couplers.  

218

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

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A comment regarding acetone.  It is an excellent cleaner, but can do damage.  To illustrate, I left a quart can of it on the deck of my cabin cruiser.  (stupid!)  When I came back a few days later, the can had tipped & leaked, doing unrepairable damage to the deck.   Consdier you may have [plastic parts in switches and in switch motors, so it could be risky for them.

I cam a across a review of the CMX car.  It is attached

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Allan Miller posted:
Fredstrains posted:

How about 3 Fingers on a cleaning rag saturated with GOO GONE ? !

Sure, if you can conveniently reach all areas of the track. That's possible on some layouts, of course, but on many it is not really easy to do without damaging scenery, structures, etc.

Just kidding, however I m fortunate to reach all my Track from the edge of the Layout!!  On my last Layout (which was much bigger), I had good luck with the “Northeast Trains” Track Cleaner Cars!  Using 2 in Tandem!  The first one with Pads wet with Goo Gone, and the 2nd one with Dry Pads!  Worked very well!

Fredstrsins

I recall an article done by resident OGR tech guru Jim Barrett, where he modified a Lionel track cleaning car to use a Scotchbrite pad in place of the foam one.  Can't tell you all the details but maybe Allan A can point you in the right direction

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

Dennis LaGrua posted:

I recall an article done by resident OGR tech guru Jim Barrett, where he modified a Lionel track cleaning car to use a Scotchbrite pad in place of the foam one.  Can't tell you all the details but maybe Allan A can point you in the right direction

I made mine by photocopying a foam pad and using that as a template for cutting out the thin Scotchbrite pad - the one without the sponge.  Works a bit better than the original.  

For those who use CRC products, whuch are generally very good, I would point out that if you go to their website and check the Product Data Sheet for the item you plan to use, some are not plastic safe.  Brakleen and Lectra-Clean 3000 are not.  QD electrical cleaner appears to be. 

To directly answer the subject title,,,,,,,,,,yes there IS a "cleaner" that actually works.

1) take a short piece of 1"X2" pine, about 4" long.

2) Wrap a soft cotton rag TIGHTLY around the piece of wood.

3) Moisten the cotton with denatured alcohol.

4) Apply physical effort to CLEAN YOUR TRACK!

For what it's worth, there was no place on our layout that I couldn't easily reach, plus the layout was constructed so that I could actually climb up on it and walk around on the tracks, without damaging any scenery.

RJR posted:

For those who use CRC products, whuch are generally very good, I would point out that if you go to their website and check the Product Data Sheet for the item you plan to use, some are not plastic safe.  Brakleen and Lectra-Clean 3000 are not.  QD electrical cleaner appears to be. 

brake cleaner will clean up track like nobody’s business, that stuff can’t be good for you though. i definitely wouldn’t use it around certain plastics, or paints for that matter. 

 I’ve used CRC Brakleen for years. Make sure you use the one in the red can. It probably would harm plastic. I have Gargraves and have never had an issue. Best thing is. It is non Flammable. The version in the green can is. I use it on a rag. Wrapped around a piece of wooden block. Or in a CMX track cleaning car.

I've been using it for years on my NE Trains car, but it evaporates very fast.  QD elecyronic cleaner doesn't seem as effective.  There is a QD Contact cleaner and a QD electronic cleaner.  I don't know what is the difference

Russell posted:

I made 2 cleaning cars from old plastic Gondolas, Drill 2 holes in the middle of the car spaced inside the wheels.  Drill the same holes in 2 thin wood plates a bit wider than the tracks. Push carriage bolts through the wood then put a good spring on the bolt, then push thru the bottom of the car and add a nut inside the car. Add car tire balance weights in the car, use enough to overcome the springs below and keep the wheels on the track.  Glue or otherwise secure a kitchen dishwashing sponge with the scrubby back facing the track to each wood pad.  Mount a magnet just above the track to one end of one car to catch metal bits falling on the track.  In front of a train or engine, Run them once a week all over the layout.  This setup worked great on my old layout and I expect it will also work on the new one in progress.

 

Here's mine, I modified a pair of gondola's just like Russell described above.   I wet the first scotchbrite pad with denatured alcohol, the second one with goo gone and it's followed up with the Lionel track cleaning car thats dry to mop things up.  It works great provided I keep up with it by running it around the track a few times every other week or so....

Paul

 RJR, I just buy it in the aerosol can. My track doesn’t need cleaning very often. I spray it into a plastic bottle with one of those flip open spouts. Easy then  to dribble it on a rag. Or with a funnel. Fill up the cleaning car.

I use 2 centerline cars, both with goo gone. I put round fishing line weights in the tube. It rolls good that way.

Then I walk around the layout and manually scrub with a scotch bright pad, or a rag, while the cars are going around the track. 

I’ve found that the best way to keep the track clean is by judiciously oiling engines and cars. A little goes a long way. 

I e-mailed CRC and got the following reply:

Hello,

 02130 and 03130 are the same item just different sku, marketed to different types of industry- 05103 while not exactly similar chemistry wise is a comparable alternative sold to our automotive industry.

 

My e-mail was as follows:

 Can you please tell me what is the difference among these 3 products:

#05103 QD Electronic Cleaner

#02130 QD Contact Cleaner

#03130 QD Contact Cleaner

Thank you

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Here's link to the CRC catalog, where you can see what affects plastic, etc:

https://www.crcindustries.com/.../industrial-catalog/

 

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