Glad you found a solution.
My go-to cleaner is Simple Green. It's fairly gentle, but works well on removing oily or greasy grime.
For more "durable" gook such as adhesive or permanent marker, I like De-Solv-It (pretty much pure citrus oil), but you want to be cautious on painted or finished wood surfaces (baked enamel or anodized is OK, but it may soften other finishes). Don't use De-Solv-It on unfinished wood.