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Author Topic: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?  (Read 1572 times)

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Offline Karhedron

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2017, 11:11:00 am »
I can only see Maplin's contact cleaner as an aerosol. Is this how you use it?

One thing I would not do would be spray it directly on the layout. IPA is a solvent and will attack some types of paint. I would suspect contact cleaner contains IPA or something similar.

If you have cleaner in an aerosol (or bottle for that matter), apply it to a bit of scrap card or MDF and use that to rub the rails. The wood fibres in the MDF make it very effective for cleaning residues off the rails without actually scratching the rails themselves the way a track rubber would.

I have sometimes removed a surprising amount of gunk from rails that looked clean using IPA and MDF.
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline Delboy

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2018, 03:04:00 pm »
I have just come across these 2 spray products for track cleaning and maintenance. - CRC QD contact cleaner and CRC 2-26 anti-corrosion and moisture prevention lubricant. Write up suggests they are safe on plastics so I have took a gamble and ordered some. I have managed to source them in the UK at Moto Electrical. The link underneath give a write up on how to use them and also another link to a video of the process. I will report back when I have trid them. Apologies if these are widely known about.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/no-more-track-cleaning
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 03:05:42 pm by Delboy, Reason: Adding the link »
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Offline newportnobby

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2018, 03:20:30 pm »
Thank you for being our guinea pig ;D

Offline Delboy

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2018, 03:22:17 pm »
Thank you for being our guinea pig ;D
if we want to progress the hobby, someone has to.  :worried:
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Offline The Q

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2018, 05:09:40 pm »
There is nothing wrong with using IPA to clean tracks, we use IPA to clean the PCB's in equipment costing £100000's at work and have never had a problem because of the IPA.
I could have written exactly the same thing, I'll stick to using IPA ( that's not India Pale Ale)

Offline Delboy

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2018, 06:56:05 pm »
There is nothing wrong with using IPA to clean tracks, we use IPA to clean the PCB's in equipment costing £100000's at work and have never had a problem because of the IPA.
I could have written exactly the same thing, I'll stick to using IPA ( that's not India Pale Ale)
I will also continue to use IPA especially where track is not accessible (tunnels etc via my track cleaning car) but will try this to see if it minimises the frequency of track cleaning.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 07:01:06 pm by Delboy »
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Offline Merrylee

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2018, 08:02:40 pm »
Thank you for being our guinea pig ;D
if we want to progress the hobby, someone has to.  :worried:
Remember it's all for  'N gauge and Country'......good luck  :claphappy:

Offline Lindi

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2018, 09:14:57 pm »
this statement from the website would make me very cautious

"No problem with metal wheels, but be quick about it when you're cleaning plastic wheelsets.This stuff can craze the plastic."

Offline MalcolmAL

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2018, 10:53:39 pm »
Is this fake news
Yup, reckon so ! As others have already said.

Less than ideal though because I dont seem to be able to get it locally and the cost via ebay is bumped up by the liquids-carriage-charges.

Meths is a candidate, cheap and common,
many anecdotes on another forum and the web from peeps using it for years with no adverse effects. A few  anecdotes about it leaving a deposit (that I doubt) so I am using IPA prep swabs (antiseptics) as a final wipe just-in-case. They are bit too small and insubstantial to do the main cleaning job but good and cheap (less than 2p a go) for the final wipe.

Flat thick corrugated cardboard, instead of a wood block, as a pre scrub on very dirty track seems to pick up a lot of the grime.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:54:53 pm by MalcolmAL »

Offline longbow

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2018, 01:33:40 am »
Most household organic solvents will evaporate without leaving a residue, so any deposits left behind are likely to be dissolved dirt and grime. 

Online Train Waiting

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2018, 08:57:09 am »
Meths is a candidate, cheap and common,
many anecdotes on another forum and the web from peeps using it for years with no adverse effects. A few  anecdotes about it leaving a deposit (that I doubt) so I am using IPA prep swabs (antiseptics) as a final wipe just-in-case. They are bit too small and insubstantial to do the main cleaning job but good and cheap (less than 2p a go) for the final wipe.

Yes, I normally use meths, the smell of which transports my imagination back half-a-century.  I always used it on my 4mm and 7mm layouts in the past.

Now and again I ring the changes by using 'Sticky Stuff Remover', which I get from 'Lakeland'.  Both work well and I have not had any problems.

However, even after 48 years with train sets/model railways/train sets, I am still amazed at the amount of the horrid black stuff that comes off the rails when I clean them - and I clean them often.  This probably says something about how easily amazed I am.  I'm certainly no chemist, but I have often wondered about the chemical composition of the horrid black stuff.

Best wishes.

John
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Offline Merrylee

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2018, 10:52:42 am »
Been reading this topic with a lot of interest.

Over the festive holidays my better half gave me permission to set up my never been used Kato V6 and V1 track sets on the coffee table.
I had A brand new class 60 and class 70 that needed run in.
Off they went as per manufacturers recommended run in process.
Then added some brand new rolling stock and played trains for a time.
I'd say 4 hours running time and I stroked my fingers across the 2 rails.
I was amazed to see 2 parallel dirty black lines on my finger.
I tested other areas of the layout and all was the same.
When looking at the track it doesn't look dull still all bright and brand new looking.
I can only think that it's lubricant leakage from the brand new locos been run in.
Just goes to show how quick dirt can build up.

Ron

Offline Delboy

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2018, 11:55:41 am »
Less than ideal though because I dont seem to be able to get it locally and the cost via ebay is bumped up by the liquids-carriage-charges.
I ordered the 2 products from Moto Electrical in the UK and it was only £6 postage.
I noted the comment on the website about the contact cleaner can craze plastic. I have some plastic wheel sets but am in the throws of swapping them out for steel wheels. I will make a point of trying the products on some plastic wheelsets and report back. Also will try it on some old track using the suggested method (some on sleepers already weathered and some on bare plastic sleepers). I will even spray some directly onto the track (something that should see if that particular plastic is affected).  I will also have to see if, in the long term, it is as good as the write up suggests with regards to the longevity of intervals between track cleans.
We need to remember that IPA is not totally friendly to plastic as it has been known to dull some rolling stock. I am happy to be the "guinea pig" on this one, then everyone will be in a position to decide whether to go down this route.
The product has arrived but, as we are having a kitchen fitted at the moment my railway room is inaccessible. I should be in a position to try these things in the next couple of weeks. Please bear with me on this.
Dennis.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 11:57:42 am by Delboy »
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Online RailGooner

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2018, 01:23:09 pm »
Sounds like a very well thought through testing regime Delboy. Thanks for this. :beers: :beers: :beers:
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Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2018, 01:38:48 pm »
I'd say 4 hours running time and I stroked my fingers across the 2 rails.
I was amazed to see 2 parallel dirty black lines on my finger.
I can only think that it's lubricant leakage from the brand new locos been run in.
No it's not lubricant, it's more a case of carbon from micro-arcing and dust etc.    No matter how much you clean track you'll get this effect after some running.

By the way, running your fingers along the track is a bad idea as this deposits grease and skin secretions.  Use a lint-free cloth (old handkerchief is good) or a piece of card.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

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