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Old 08-13-2019, 01:22 PM
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Default Nitro Cleaner

Hey Fellas,

Question, what do you clean your onroad nitro cars with? I use the Nitro Cleaner amain sells but was looking for something I can pick up at the hardware store.
Currently I'm using electrical cleaner spray. Any suggestions would be awesome!

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sinisterRC View Post
Hey Fellas,

Question, what do you clean your onroad nitro cars with? I use the Nitro Cleaner amain sells but was looking for something I can pick up at the hardware store.
Currently I'm using electrical cleaner spray. Any suggestions would be awesome!

Thanks!
As Iím just getting back into the hobby myself, I wouldnít mind seeing the answer to this too... I can tell you that Simple Green is popular among Nitro buggy racers (a new foam version apparently makes cleaning even easier), so I canít imagine why it wouldnít work on road cars just as well - but, Iíll wait to see if others chime in.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:00 PM
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Brake cleaner works well. Some people just put some methanol in a spray bottle.

I had for years access to a foam cleaner, which works very well but also WD40 is a nice cleaner and makes platics shiny.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:30 PM
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I use Nitro Clean by TA Emerald, works great and fast!!
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:39 AM
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Denatured Alcohol. You can pick up gallons at the hardware store in the paint section. It cuts nitro and oil residue and doesn't attack plastics. I keep some in a spray bottle and clean the entire car with it.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Vessell View Post
Denatured Alcohol. You can pick up gallons at the hardware store in the paint section. It cuts nitro and oil residue and doesn't attack plastics. I keep some in a spray bottle and clean the entire car with it.
Thanks! Just picked some up and a spray bottle.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Roelof View Post
Brake cleaner works well. Some people just put some methanol in a spray bottle.

I had for years access to a foam cleaner, which works very well but also WD40 is a nice cleaner and makes platics shiny.
Brake cleaner good on plastics and electronics?
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sinisterRC View Post
Brake cleaner good on plastics and electronics?
No.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:32 AM
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No issues with brake cleaner. Yes, black plastics can get a light gray color but if you treat it with WD40 wit will get nice shiny black again.

With electronics no problem.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by the rc guy View Post
No.
That's what I figured, I use the nitro cleaner amain sales after I get off the track and blow compressed air through, comes out good as new. Only issue is ordering the cleaner. The denatured alcohol is good on all plastics and electronics and is a lot cheaper.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sinisterRC View Post
That's what I figured, I use the nitro cleaner amain sales after I get off the track and blow compressed air through, comes out good as new. Only issue is ordering the cleaner. The denatured alcohol is good on all plastics and electronics and is a lot cheaper.
Denatured alcohol is the most used item for NITRO RC racing....cleaning sure.

But if you are looking for something to spray and clean things like body, go to auto supply store and pick up this....

CRC Brakleen Non-Chlorinated Brake Parts Cleaner 14oz

make sure you are getting the NON CHLORINATED, which is the GREEN color bottle, not the RED colored one............I used that to replace motor spray that I used on electric and nitro racing, 1/3 the price of the RC motor spray.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:33 PM
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If you live in California, get all of the denatured alcohol you can. California has banned the sale of denatured alcohol indefinitely!!
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Vessell View Post
Denatured Alcohol. You can pick up gallons at the hardware store in the paint section. It cuts nitro and oil residue and doesn't attack plastics. I keep some in a spray bottle and clean the entire car with it.
I second that, works great, cheap and won't hurt anything
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gwilli2001us View Post
If you live in California, get all of the denatured alcohol you can. California has banned the sale of denatured alcohol indefinitely!!
Good info Glen no wonder I dont see it anymore at walmart !!
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:20 PM
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Dude, don't make things complicated. Dawn dish soap and a toothbrush. Rinse, scrub, rinse again. (the first rinse is to get everything wet so the soap will lather-up properly; dish soap is really concentrated and the toothbrush can't hold enough water by itself.) I've been maintaining my RC cars, nitro and electric, this way for years. I have never had any electronics fail from being rinsed in the sink, though my Futaba gyros will temporarily malfunction until they dry-out, because the circuit boards in my gyros don't have waterproof coatings like my receivers do. (someday I should open them up and coat the circuit boards with nail polish to take care of that issue.) Occasionally if I have a really tight spot or a really dirty spot, I'll pre-treat it with 409 before scrubbing with dish soap, because 409 is basically diluted oven-cleaner (you'll notice they both smell like lye) and it eats through grease particularly well. Simple Green probably works well too, but I haven't used that stuff for any purpose since I was a little kid, so I can't say for sure if it's as safe on aluminum and plastic as 409 and dish soap are.

However, when I need to completely degrease something without getting it wet, like if I need to re-grease a ball bearing, or I'm modifying the inside of an engine and I need to be absolutely sure there's no metal dust stuck to oil deposits in some hidden crevice of the engine block, I use CRC Electronics Cleaner spray. That stuff is hexane, so you don't want to breathe too much of it, but it dissolves nitro oil instantly and it drips off and evaporates in seconds. And it doesn't have the awful sickening smell of brake cleaner. It doesn't work so well on brushed motors, because for some reason it can't dissolve brush dust very well, but it certainly wouldn't damage any electronics. It would be a waste of money to use it to clean an entire car though, when dish soap works just as well for everyday dirt-and-oil cleaning jobs.

Originally Posted by Rick Vessell View Post
Denatured Alcohol. You can pick up gallons at the hardware store in the paint section. It cuts nitro and oil residue and doesn't attack plastics. I keep some in a spray bottle and clean the entire car with it.
Alcohol absolutely does attack some plastics -- acetone is chemically very closely related to alcohol, actually, and when you drink alcohol one of the byproducts that your body makes is acetone -- but as far as I know the nylon-based plastics used in RC happen to be resistant to alcohol. ABS plastic used in some old RC kits can be damaged by strong alcohol, though. The only solvent that doesn't affect any plastic is...(drumroll)...water. Obviously water isn't very good at dissolving oil though, which is where the dish soap comes in handy.

Originally Posted by gwilli2001us View Post
If you live in California, get all of the denatured alcohol you can. California has banned the sale of denatured alcohol indefinitely!!
Denatured alcohol is ethanol (the kind you can drink) mixed with something to make you vomit if you try to drink it. For cleaning purposes, rubbing alcohol aka isopropyl alcohol (which you can't drink because it's poisonous) works just as well as denatured alcohol.

By the way, I hope you realize the reason California bans one chemical after another for home use is because big corporations lobby the state government to extend bans on industrial use to also include home use. They're playing the long game and hoping to make California residents demand the repeal of CARB laws, even though the wind patterns in most of California make it much more susceptible to smog than most of the USA, which is why CARB laws exist in the first place. If it weren't for corporate meddling, you'd be able to buy the same chemicals you used to be able to for home use, while big businesses which use thousands or millions of times more chemicals than you ever will would be forced to use chemicals that aren't so bad for the environment.

Originally Posted by Roelof View Post
No issues with brake cleaner. Yes, black plastics can get a light gray color but if you treat it with WD40 wit will get nice shiny black again.
Oh lord. Really? When plastic turns light-grey after you spray brake cleaner on it, that's because the surface layer of the plastic has been damaged by the brake cleaner and the surface is now covered with microscopic cracks. This is the same thing that happens when you leave plastic outside in sunlight for months, except in that case the damage is caused by radiation instead of a chemical solvent. "Treating" damaged plastic with WD40 might make it look better, but that's only because the tiny amount of oil in WD40 soaks into the microscopic cracks in the plastic, reducing the optical-scattering effect of the cracks, so the surface looks smooth again. But WD40 absolutely does not fix damaged plastic. (neither does Armor-All, in case there's anyone here who likes that useless crap.)

Last edited by fyrstormer; 08-18-2019 at 10:48 PM.
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