Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

If You Want Truly Photo-Realistic Plans – You Won’t Find Better!

What To Use To Clean Railroad Track

John asks:

“What product(s) should I use to clean track and wheels?”

4 Responses to What To Use To Clean Railroad Track

  • David Terrysays:

    I use Isopropyl alcohol or shellite or just plain Metho.
    You want something that doesnt leave a residue.
    I then put a few drops of RailZip or light machine oil (sewing machine oil ) on the track and run a loco to spread it. Puts a protective layer on the track and makes it easier to clean next time.

  • Dale Arendssays:

    You’re likely to get 12 different answers from 10 different people. There are opinions on this that span the cleaning material world.

    Many of us use an abrasive Brite-Boy (sp?) on the track. Some use denatured alcohol on a soft cloth. Others use acetone or an acetone-based nail polish remover. If you have a sizable layout, or a layout with a lot of hidden track, I would invest in a track cleaning car. There are several on the market.

    My recommendation would be for you to try a few options and see what works best for you.

  • Irena M Lazarussays:

    I use mineral spirits. Put some on a rag and run. Them along the tracks. Does a very good job. Or use a cleaner rail car that matches your tracks. That’s a lot faster.

  • Morgan Bilbo, PRR fansays:

    I mentioned my using acetone. It’s not the stuff from Ace or H-D, It’s from Dollar Tree and is sold as nail polish remover. Regular nail polish remover has oils etc. in it. What I use does not. I don’t like oil/Wahl clipper or other. I don’t like bright boy. I tend to wipe carefully. Also, use a toothbrush to clean rail joints/joiners/turnout points. etc. I like it. It gets the rail top shiny.
    I had heard about using graphite for rails after cleaning. Graphite is a lubricant, but not oil. So that might be worth trying out too. I agree with others. Try what you like, what sounds logical to you. But please avoid lubricating track with oil. I know for a fact that it reduces pulling power of locos. Of course, if it’s a small layout, that may not matter. Just MHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

Download Your Free Catalog

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

Model Railroad Building House Plans

rail yard buildings

Model Train DCC HELP

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Model Train Help Ebook

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Scenery Techniques Explained



Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Submit Your Article

Would you like to write an article and have it published?

Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

Submit Your Article Here

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.