Ah Duh Me?
I have done and used all of the above...and yes have two or three of those Altas/Tomix Vacuum Cars as well as the Brass Oil Tank car and then some more as in AZTEC Box Cars.
I have used CRC, No Nox, Bright Boys, Woodland Scenic pads on a stick and even a small industrial type canister vacuum cleaner.
I have even gone as far as to buy Q-tips by the three box on sale at Costco, then wondered over the shelf the sells Iso-Alcohol on the cheap.
Warded off the further introduction of grit to my layout by not purposely adding Ballast directly under the path of the locomotives.
Then further, by completely dismantling several locomotives down to their various components for Accurizng ...Meaning, I took a metal file or modern finger nail sanding rubber strip (99 Cent Store) and gone over every surface of a chassis to a locomotive removing all high spots or blems. Further running toothpaste through the truck gearing further smoothing the operations.
In the end, using the lightest of oils as I move all moving parts with my fingers.
And yes, I have experimented with nearly every oil imaginable or available from Model Railroading sources.
Lowered grades to 1.5% as well as replaced plastic wheels with metal, going as far as to use Body Mounted MTL Couplers at least on Passenger Trains. Traction Tires are banned from my layout.
Did all this help in my Hot Attic or Cold Basement ?
No...plus there is some sort of ASH/Peat Dust which seems to flow down the Central Valley of California....a combination of Forest Fires and Agricultural Dust which can get into near anything.
A Family Room in the center of my House. Windows are not allowed to be opened and the chimney is blocked off as well..with a big sheet of metal over the opening.
So ? Yes, I even moved in order to not allow my layout to become dirty in the first place. I gave up fighting the humidity, temperature changes, dust and tiny critters in my other house basement/attic.
Do I know what I am dong ?
Do I have clues to what I am doing....?
Are my trains running better and better the more effort I put into them ?
I like to think so...
Why did that locomotive just derail ?
Or the Decoder Glitch and go for a reset ?
What happened to the sound ?
Why did that train begin to uncouple itself ?
Yours in the struggle....
But yes, I have seen a general over all improvement to my began again layouts over the past 7 years.
I am about to begin again with perhaps fewer basic design flaws.