Aug 24, 2018
Has anyone used these track cleaners? Any reviews?
yes, they work and will collect dust on the rail. If they are dirty you can wash them .
I have read positive reports amongst the various forums. I don't use them myself.
They pick up loose stuff like dust.......probably not much help on their own, at least nothing I can prove. No "my trains run 100% better after I used them" promises. I run a couple of cars of them on the rear of my cleaning train so they can pick up what's left after my other cars do most of the work. They always come back dirty, so they're doing their job.
I tried them about a year ago and now have one on every caboose to be sure I have one running any time a train is running. I had long suspected that most of my problems were dust and the first experiments proved that out for me. This is in an air conditioned home with two adults that I would consider to be better than average in that department. They do get black crud built up over time so I keep a few spares to swap out and then wash out the ones I had removed. Dish soap in the sink.
My accidental test car is an overly bright Kato lit caboose that was a serious "blinker", at least around switches. But with the dust monkeys installed and if I haven't run trains for a few weeks, I get a few blinks for the first couple of laps then after those few laps, NO blinking. After a year or so I might find some crud on the wheels but even that seems to be greatly diminished. I'll guess that the black crud that appears on the monkeys is crud that would have been transferred to wheels. Also, I've found that the ever present black found when rubbing a rag on the track is still there but NO pickup problems absent the dust. I suspect that the black is oxide from the nickel silver but it doesn't cause trouble with power pick-up. Once a few laps are completed the dust is cleared and no more blinking.
They are relatively cheap so it won't cost a lot to try them for yourself. In case you couldn't tell, I highly recommend them.
Added note: The Kato caboose with electric pickup accomplished with split, insulated axles, will not accept a dust monkey due to the oversized diameter of the insulator. That train has a dust monkey on the car just ahead.
I spray them with CRC Electrical Grade QD Contact Cleaner I bought at Home Depot and then run them around. That cleans the track. Periodically, I spray one with CRC Electrical Grade 2-26 Plastic Safe Precision Lubricant "Improves Electrical Contact [on the label]" It has made a world of difference and it's really easy to do.
Am I missing something here? What track cleaners are we talking about?
I Googled em because I hadnt heard of them either. There is a video about them. They look interesting. Just waiting for more reviews before I get some to see if it helps on THERR.
I'm glad you could google them but what track cleaners are we talking about? I don't see any listed. I can google all day and come up with all kinds of track cleaners but none specific to the original posting.
If it's Goof Off, it's not something I'd recommend as it leaves a residual that attracts dirt. The positive/negative Ion thing at work.
The best track cleaner is something you can use to wipe off the oils, dust and other things floating around in our hobby environments. To do that without leaving a detergent or oily residual.
As I look at original posting I'm not picking up on a link, list or anything else to indicate what cleaners we are talking about. Was it removed? If so why?
Hahahha my friend. They are called
"Woodland Scenics Dust monkeys"
They clip on an axle and wipe dust off the tracks as the train goes round and round.
I'm thinking if you clip them on the rear axle of the front truck of a boxcar and push the boscar around wth a locomotive...the dust monkey...if they do in fact work...would pick up the dust BEFORE the locomotive wheels ran thru it. Just a thought.
They are used dry. Think of them as a feather duster or modern day Swiffer duster.
Or you can use them wet with electric contact cleaner as I mentioned above.
I use a little alcohol and it cleans the soot and light dirt with each pass. I like them. Adds another layer to the cleaning protocol.