Re: Super Clean Degreaser to remove lettering

Nelson Moyer

I have to give credit where it’s due. Jerry Hamsmith told me about Super Clean. He uses it to strip paint from Accurail hoppers as the first step in kitbashing them into CB&Q HK-10s. I’ve tried it once. I soaked the car for a couple of hours and the lettering came off when I gently brushed the sides with a soft toothbrush, but the paint remained intact. Since I wanted to strip the paint as well, I soaked it overnight and brushed it again. Nothing happened. After two days of soaking, the paint started to soften a little, and I was able to remove most of it, but not all. Finally after four days of soaking and brushing, I was able to completely remove all of the paint. I had tried soaking in 91% isopropanol for days, but that didn’t touch either the lettering or the paint.



Cotton swabs are mildly abrasive when you rub the car, so that’s probably why you saw color in the swab. Try soaking for 1-2 hr. and gently brushing, and the lettering should come off easily, leaving the base color untouched. Of course, that only applied when you want to remove all of the lettering. You’ll have to experiment with selective letter removal, Maybe cutting a patch of paper towel to cover the lettering you want to remove and keeping it wet longer before scraping would work better than rubbing with a swab. I’ve cut ends off toothpicks at an angle to make a chisel for scraping small lettering.


I’ve heard about ghost white toner, but never tried it. Do you need a dedicated laser printer, or can you switch back and forth between black and white toner in the same printer?


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of A&Y Dave in MD
Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2019 10:36 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Super Clean Degreaser to remove lettering



I went to the Dollar Store today and picked up a bottle of this stuff.  Poured a small amount into a cup leftover from Nyquil.  Dipped a cotton swab in the solution to wet the tip without drenching it. Applied the damp tip to the number on a Kadee boxcar (one of the new Southern ones I got yesterday).  Less than two minutes of scrubbing showed the numbering was coming off.  Within five minutes the number was gone.  The paint color could be seen on the swab, so it would remove the paint if you aren't careful.  I used the dry end of the cotton swab to wipe the area clean after the numeral was off.  I'm going to let it dry.  I probably should have washed it with water to ensure no further loosening of the paint.  But with the minimal amount of cleaner on the swab it seemed to evaporate fairly quickly.

It is much harder to remove the numeral on the end, but only because the size is so small and the contours of the end make it difficult to rub a swab.  I'll experiment with a toothpick and/or a microbrush later, once the sides are dried and sealed.

So Super Clean degreaser works on Accurail and Kadee lettering!  And at $1 for a 20 oz. bottle, I have a lifetime supply.  Nice!

I'll use my Ghost White Toner to print the new numerals.  The Kadee car apparently only came in one number so far.  I ordered two cars, hoping for two numbers.  This thread was timed well!   The car is a '48 build, so this will be for the FCSME 1955 era layout instead of my '34 era home layout. The car was well done and even though I have a ton of '55 era cars these were too good to pass up for this "y'all road" modeler.   Maybe I'll use the degreaser to remove the packing year and replace that for '53 or so.  

Thanks Nelson!

Dave Bott

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