Articles - Tools: Wheel Cleaning
This is a brief description of how I clean the wheels on my cars and engines. The photo below shows my basic set up. I have one section of track set aside for this purpose. I take a sheet of paper towel and pour a teaspoon full of "Goo Gone" down the center of one side of the paper towel. For cars I simply run the car back and forth with a little pressure on the car to make sure the wheels stay on the track while it runs over the paper towel. I move the paper towel over about a half inch after several trips over the paper. I keep doing this until there is little or no residue coming off of the wheels. I then throw away the paper towel and grab a new, clean, dry one. I again run the car back and forth over the clean paper to finish cleaning the wheels and to also remove any Goo Gone from the wheels.

I do the same basic thing with engines. I place one truck on a paper towel with Goo Gone on it. I turn up the throttle to get the wheels moving, but not too fast. The other truck remains on the track to get the power. I hold the engine in place and make sure the truck that is to be cleaned remains on the track on the paper towel. I move the paper towel over every so often to get a clean, but soaked piece of paper towel. The results are shown in the photo below. I have had times where the wheels are so dirty that the other truck won't provide enough contact to make the wheels spin. I just flip the engine over and keep working on the other truck until I can get one to run steadily. When the wheels are clean, I finish the cleaning process using a new, clean, dry sheet of paper towel. I clean my wheels when I see the need for it, and before and after I take equipment to a show. It is generally a good idea to clean the track after cleaning all the wheels so as to avoid contaminating the wheels again.
Wheel Cleaning