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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.

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