How do you clean your RC?

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WoodiE

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I have seen a couple threads and even get emails asking this question, how do you clean your RC? So I thought I'd share how I clean all of my RC's, plus others can share their methods as well.

How to clean your RC



How I have always cleaned my RC's have been to use a 50/50 mixture of water and Simple Green in a spray bottle.

Spray the RC down and let sit for a minute or two then either wipe down with clean cloth or air blast dry with an air compressor. Spray again on any stubborn spots and use an old toothbrush on any hard to reach areas.

Optionally, you can use WD40 on the RC after it's been cleaned to give it more of a shine if you prefer.

How to clean your RC bearings



When cleaning bearings I will remove the bearings from the RC and place inside an RPM Bearing Blaster then spray brake cleaner into the bearings to clean them followed by a light application of very light oil, such as this 3 in 1 oil.

If you really want to get serious about cleaning, pick up a Ultrasonic cleaner like this one which you'll be able to easily fit all of your bearings as well as many other RC parts. The ultrasonic cleaner will do magic in getting pretty much anything clean. But remember, if cleaning bearings with the ultrasonic cleaner to oil them afterwords.

That's it, now you should have an RC that's clean and ready to go get dirty again. What methods do you guys use?
 
I have seen a couple threads and even get emails asking this question, how do you clean your RC? So I thought I'd share how I clean all of my RC's, plus others can share their methods as well.

How to clean your RC



How I have always cleaned my RC's have been to use a 50/50 mixture of water and Simple Green in a spray bottle.

Spray the RC down and let sit for a minute or two then either wipe down with clean cloth or air blast dry with an air compressor. Spray again on any stubborn spots and use an old toothbrush on any hard to reach areas.

Optionally, you can use WD40 on the RC after it's been cleaned to give it more of a shine if you prefer.

How to clean your RC bearings



When cleaning bearings I will remove the bearings from the RC and place inside an RPM Bearing Blaster then spray brake cleaner into the bearings to clean them followed by a light application of very light oil, such as this 3 in 1 oil.

If you really want to get serious about cleaning, pick up a Ultrasonic cleaner like this one which you'll be able to easily fit all of your bearings as well as many other RC parts. The ultrasonic cleaner will do magic in getting pretty much anything clean. But remember, if cleaning bearings with the ultrasonic cleaner to oil them afterwords.

That's it, now you should have an RC that's clean and ready to go get dirty again. What methods do you guys use?


I'm a fan of Simple Green myself. It's great stuff!!! I use it on everything in my shed and garage, not just RC.
 
I do something very similar to WoodiE - and have been doing so for as long I've been into R/C (16+ yrs)

1. Spray R/C down with a 50/50 mix of simple green and water - use a small brush to scrub or let sit if needed
2. Rinse down with light stream of water (or in the shower during winter)
3. Air blast dry with compressed air
4. Silicone lube all bearing and friction surfaces
5. WD40 on a paint brush to 'clean' up plastic if needed
 
For me a simple wash down under running water if it is really muddy (like today's run. Grass and mud everywhere! :p), wait until dry and then get the compressor out. Nothing better then compressed air for getting rid of sand, dust and what else, imho.
Pay attention that you don't aim straight into the ESC.
A little oil on the bearings (I use Scorpion's), some WD40 for shine and ready to go.

I do this after every run. A little TLC does wonders for your car.
 
I run mine under warm water after removing wheels and an old paintbrush to get into the hard to reach areas.
Rinse, then dry with compressed air. Last I spray critical areas with WD40.
I have also used an old hair dryer to make sure all moisture is gone.
 
!!!Public Service Announcement regarding WD-40!!!

This post is not directed an any one person. Across the interwebs, I see people misusing WD-40 in a way that pretty much GUARANTEES failure of the bearings / chains / metal parts in question.

short version -
WD40 is NOT a lube. It is for Water Displacement - hence the name WD-40. After you use WD-40 on any metal part, you MUST follow up with a proper lubricating oil.

Longer version -
Here is the problem. WD40 evaporates in a day or three. But first, it does a great job of removing any water, grit, salts, oils, and grease from the part in question. So - if you blast a bearing with WD-40, it will get clean, but soon it will have no lube. Most people, I think, understand that no lube = quick death for bearings.

If you want to clean you RC car with water, and follow up with WD40, that is fine (the WD 40 will get rid of the water that can damage the bearings), but before the next run you MUST re-oil all the bearings that were washed.

this concludes the public service announcement.

Jerry
 
Last edited:
!!!Public Service Announcement regarding WD-40!!!

This post is not directed an any one person. Across the interwebs, I see people misusing WD-40 in a way that pretty much GUARANTEES failure of the bearings / chains / metal parts in question.

short version -
WD40 is NOT a lube. It is for Water Displacement - hence the name WD-40. After you use WD-40 on any metal part, you MUST follow up with a proper lubricating oil.

Longer version -
Here is the problem. WD40 evaporates in a day or three. But first, it does a great job of removing any water, grit, salts, oils, and grease from the part in question. So - if you blast a bearing with WD-40, it will get clean, but soon it will have no lube. Most people, I think, understand that no lube = quick death for bearings.

If you want to clean you RC car with water, and follow up with WD40, that is fine (the WD 40 will get rid of the water that can damage the bearings), but before the next run you MUST re-oil all the bearings what were washed.

this concludes the public service announcement.

Jerry
I agree with you as well and have tried explaining this to people as well. My one friend said that "it says lubricant right on the can so it is the exact same as any other type of oil." I laughed and I agreed to disagree and let him keep using it to ruin everything.
 

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I also am a user of simple green to clean my r/cs, I never cut it though, just use it straight (for r/c cleaning). Let it soak for a few minutes then a small brush to heavily soiled areas, rinse and repeat as needed. Then I use compressed air to dry and also use 3 in 1 for lube. I found that soaking the plastics or tires in WD 40 really helps remove the mud stains that can be stubborn sometimes.
 
I will second the thoughts on WD-40. Good stuff for cleaning, but it is not oil. Rather it removes oil. We would use WD-40 to clean our Skate bearings. I made the mistake of using it as a final lubricant, and the bearings were shot the next day after skating them. Our methods were to Pop the shields off both sides, and only hold the center of the bearing while you spray the WD-40 at an angle into the bearing. This will spin the bearing pretty fast, thus loosening and expelling the dirt and old oil. Afterwards we would let them dry on a towel. And hour or so later, they get re-oiled with Bones Speed Cream or 3-n-1. When you are skating 5 wheel in-line sped skates, you need 20 individual bearings and at over $100 a set for the good stuff, you better make sure you aren't messing them up. But you can really feel a difference in bearings aver a 15 mile skate.
 
I use an air compressor after each run (only dry ones though) and wipe it down with some diluted Simple Green. I don't recommend using compressed air if it gets wet though - pushes water deeper into crevices. If I hose it down, I'll go over it with a heat gun on low/med setting and then follow up with Cow RC Moo Slick on all moving parts.
 
!!!Public Service Announcement regarding WD-40!!!

This post is not directed an any one person. Across the interwebs, I see people misusing WD-40 in a way that pretty much GUARANTEES failure of the bearings / chains / metal parts in question.

short version -
WD40 is NOT a lube. It is for Water Displacement - hence the name WD-40. After you use WD-40 on any metal part, you MUST follow up with a proper lubricating oil.

Longer version -
Here is the problem. WD40 evaporates in a day or three. But first, it does a great job of removing any water, grit, salts, oils, and grease from the part in question. So - if you blast a bearing with WD-40, it will get clean, but soon it will have no lube. Most people, I think, understand that no lube = quick death for bearings.

If you want to clean you RC car with water, and follow up with WD40, that is fine (the WD 40 will get rid of the water that can damage the bearings), but before the next run you MUST re-oil all the bearings what were washed.

this concludes the public service announcement.

Jerry
Like you said, it's for water displacement which is why I use it. I also have been following up with a shot of CLP as in my earlier post and have no failures yet... Of course, I do have more than one vehicle so they get a break in between runs.
 
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