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What track cleaning fluid do you use ?

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What track cleaning fluid do you use ?
Posted by mobilman44 on Thursday, January 22, 2015 7:49 AM

Hi!

I took the Centerline track cleaning car out of retirement (ok, I forgot I had it) and wet the roller with Goo Gone and IMO, it did a really nice job.  I even wrote Centerline and they said Goo Gone or alcohol was their recommendation.

My problem is the smell...... Goo Gone definitely works, but the odor is a bit much.  So obviously my question is, what fluid do you use with your fluid based track cleaning cars?

 

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by dstarr on Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:00 AM

I use Goo Gone.  It has a little bit of citrus fruit smell but I don't find it objectionable.  In the past I have used alcohol, and mineral spirits (both of which smell worse than Goo Gone).  Goo gone is more effective.  Mineral spirits is sold as both paint thinner and charcoal lighter fluid.

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Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:20 AM

Because alcohol is one the best solvents, I use 90% isopropyl acholhol (rubbing alcohol).  Since it is not petroleum based, it does not leave a residue on the tracks.

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Posted by G Paine on Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:45 AM
Be careful with 90% alcohol; it is also a good paint stripper. Your track weathering could also be removed.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:52 AM

 On my home layout - don't even have a track cleaning car, haven't needed one.

On the club layout, with the CMX and Centerline cars, they use acetone in the CMX and a dry wipe in the Centerline to clean up the loose goo. Yes, acetone will eat plastic ties and surely strip paint - however, with the CMX car it can be set to jsut barely keep the pad damp, so there is no liquid running all over the track to cause problems. Even after long periods of disuse, with the modules stored in their trailers, it only takes a couple of passes with the cleaning train to get things going. Acetone is a strong solvent. It also helps that we are a modular group and so are set up in large open spaces (inddors, but large and open) so there is no issue with the odor. In your house it may be a different story. I'd probably use the 90% isopropyl. Then again, unlike the Centerlien car where you have to saturate the pad, with the barely dampened CMX applicator pad, there isn't much of the fluid to evaporate and cause an odor.

                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:49 AM

I use two CMX cars, two Centerlines, one pair for each of the mains and sidings.....but I push it around the layout, Centerline first, then CMX filled with Lacquer thinner...Randy's correct, when the drip rate is correct, You do not smell it and will not damage anything. CMX recommends Lacquer thinner. My layout sits idle for long periods and track is not really dirty, but dusty, so it does'nt take much.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:58 AM

CMX and lacquer thinner for me, too.  And I agree with the low drip rate setting.  That's the key to keeping the smell down.

I tried alcohol at first, but lacquer thinner does a better job.  It's also a better lubricant, and it's easier to pull the CMX around with lacquer thinner than with alcohol.

I find I can go 3 or 4 months without cleaning.  I try to pick a nice day when I can open the windows.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by wickman on Thursday, January 22, 2015 10:39 AM

I use isopropyl alchohol in my cmx  cleaner.

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:37 PM

90% isopropyl in my CMX, centerline dry behind, and a couple of dry slider pad cars mixed in.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by bogp40 on Thursday, January 22, 2015 3:19 PM

MisterBeasley

CMX and lacquer thinner for me, too.  And I agree with the low drip rate setting.  That's the key to keeping the smell down.

I tried alcohol at first, but lacquer thinner does a better job.  It's also a better lubricant, and it's easier to pull the CMX around with lacquer thinner than with alcohol.

I find I can go 3 or 4 months without cleaning.  I try to pick a nice day when I can open the windows.

 

The laquer thinner as you use is our practice at the club. Someone mentioned "pushing" rather than "drag" behind your train. We have had problems if pushed or placed midtrain. If the solvent still remains "wet" as other rolling stock wheels run over it immediatly, you can have the crud off those wheels deposited on the rails. All wheels should be clean, however, especially on a club layout where all sorts of equipment can be used that will have rather "gunked' up wheel treads messing up your intentions.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by GP-9_Man11786 on Thursday, January 22, 2015 3:37 PM

I've used denatured alcohol on an Aztec Trains "predator" with great success. 

Modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad in N Scale.

www.prr-nscale.blogspot.com 

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Posted by NP2626 on Thursday, January 22, 2015 5:09 PM

I don't use a liquid on the tracks, I have some cars with the Masonite pads on them and use Goo Gone on a paper towel to clean the wheels on locomotives.

NP 2626 "Northern Pacific, really terrific"

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association:  http://www.nprha.org/

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Posted by CandOsteam on Thursday, January 22, 2015 8:42 PM

mobilman44

Hi!

I took the Centerline track cleaning car out of retirement (ok, I forgot I had it) and wet the roller with Goo Gone and IMO, it did a really nice job.  I even wrote Centerline and they said Goo Gone or alcohol was their recommendation.

My problem is the smell...... Goo Gone definitely works, but the odor is a bit much.  So obviously my question is, what fluid do you use with your fluid based track cleaning cars?

 

 

 

 

I run DCC with sound so clean track is important for top performance.  I am also very sensitive to organics, so I do not use strong solvents like lacquer thinner, acetone, etc in my CMX unit.  Occassionally, I'll use 90% alcohol with good results, but not lately (see below).

My favorite is to use track cleaning fluid ACT-6006 made by Aero-Car Hobby Lubricants applied by hand.  Not much is needed--I put a few drops on the pad in the spreading tool I made shown.  The pad is just a folded brown napkin I get free from my favorite bake shop that is friction fit into place.  This tool is more controllable than using the rag/finger combo.

My homemade tool is especially useful for spot cleaning sidings/problem spots, etc.

The CMX is great, but I hardly use it anymore because of how well ACT-6006 works for me.

Joel

 

Modeling the C&O New River Subdivision circa 1949 for the fun of it!

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Posted by barrok on Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:39 PM

I use denatured alcohol.  It evaporates quickly and leaves no residue.  I found isopropyl aclohol leaves a residue which shows up later.  We used to use isopropyl at the club I belong to, but we discovered we had to clean the track several times during open houses.  With denatured alcohol, we only clean the track before the open house and sometimes once again near the end. To each his own, I suppose.

 

Chuck

Modeling the Motor City
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Posted by zstripe on Friday, January 23, 2015 12:00 AM

Thought I would clarify about pushing the cleaning cars. A lot of my trackage are industries that serve more than one, pulling it into those won't work in cleaning all the track, it takes two engines to push or pull it and I do not run anything else with them. I do not run them with other rolling stock, also don't have anyone else's rolling stock on my layout and don't belong to a club, so my wheels which are mostly plastic are not dirty. If the drip rate is set correctly, by the time the second engine hits the clean area, it is already dry. Layout size now, changed from larger to 8 1/2 x 32 x 6 1/2, does not take long at all, with two trains running.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, January 23, 2015 3:55 AM

 I use 90% isopropyl alcohol with a 12-16 guage shotgun cleaning patch and bright boy as needed-maybe once or twice a month.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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