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What method do you use to clean your track? I've read that for Marklin track some users claim wiping it down with Goo Gone is best while people prefer track cleaning cars and some folks use both methods.
If you use a track cleaning car, which brand/one do you like best?
Also, does anyone use a wheel cleaner to clean their locomotive's wheels? How important is it to clean a steam engine's wheels? Btw, I have Marklin set 81846.

Added information - The set and track I'm refering to is Z scale.

Last edited by ogaugeguy
Original Post

Wheels are just as important as track on cleanliness.

CRC electrical contact cleaner on a rag works very well and contains a surface treatment to stop rust/corrosion.  Plastic safe I think. Physically, Ive never seen any damaged and I've emptied dozens of cans at work. But it may discolor "something" slightly; so test your track plastic on the underside so you aren't out for my blood   (CRC was suggested by OGRF's own Allan Arnold; Thanks. I always had a can, but never thought àbout track)

Weight can improve a connection. Pressure reduces resistance a LOT.

Never "Goof Off"... Goo Gone and Goof Off are often confused. Goof Off is basically Xylene and will take paint off a brick and melt some plastics.  Goo Gone is citrus based. Though a good cleaner, I have concerns with citrus products left on metal long term, even if it's citrus oil vs citrus acid. (I don't know for sure, but it just seems kinda risky until I LEARN more) (not to mention I know it creeps into some layered products and causes laminent separation over time) 

Alcohol also strips oils from metal. We want a trace of oil to stop rust/corrosion.    So say you use naptha, alcohol, etc.. Re-oil railz with a rag and something light like Wahl hair clipper oil, which is more about conditioning metal than lubing. (like cleaning a gun).  Wipe dry; enough oil remains there to protect things. It may effect traction slightly for a short while. It should clear up with some laps, but you can wipe again too

Don't forget the allergy pills... sneezes are bad hurricanes in Z scale.

(couldn't help myself... I"ll mod small gauge, but I don't want to run it much. I'm too "Skeered" of hurricanes )

I clean all scales by hand. I might use a car if my layout was huge, but I trust my hands.

Going against the grain, I do NOT clean my standard gauge track and have had NO problems even when I ran my P-2 Blue Comet with DCS. Currently running tradional BAL locos with no issues.

Smaller the scale, the cleaner you need to be really.... plus, look at that weight statement I made

I didn't clean my carpet layout O for decades. But on a bench layout, it is more needed. It just picks up more crap for some reason unkown

(clean the wheel/axle wipers / plungers regularly too. And gently at that)

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