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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Soon after I got back into slots again I read a suggestion that wiping plastic track with a cloth moistened with WD40 was/is a good way of removing accumulated dust. So I tried it a few times but gave it up because I thought it was the WD40 that had caused the rails to become sticky over time.

Then I read that cheap baby wipes are a good idea, so I dismantled the track, wiped each piece, cleaned the rails with a rubber and blew the debris off with airbrush propellent. At this point, all my cars got new braids before going back on the track. I only wiped the track infrequently, but after only about 4 months the rails are dirty/sticky again and I'm looking at having to go through the cleaning process again on 100+ pieces of track.


I suppose that I could get some of this wonderful Inox stuff I've read about to wipe on the rails to keep them cleaner longer (once I've cleaned them yet again), but I'd have to get it shipped from Australia which is hassle, not to mention potentially expensive. I'll have to replace the braids on 40-odd cars again as well.

What methods do others use for removing dust from plastic track? Is it the stuff I've been using that's causing the sticky rails, or am I missing something else? When it first happened, I thought it could be thrown-off toothpaste I'd used to mesh gears, but I stopped doing that before I last cleaned the track.

Any advice/thoughts gratefully read.

TIA
 

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I usually wipe the track down with a damp cloth, wipe the rails over with WD40 to remove any excess grime, this is the most time consuming part as I usually keep on wiping them down until no more of the black stuff (carbon build up I think) is left. I usually finish off with some Inox on a rag applied with the one finger over both the rails. I have read here on the forum that Inox is available in the UK but can't remember the distributors name. I don't clean the rails as much as I usually just give the track a wipe over with a damp cloth to remove any dust and will then apply some Inox to the braids and give that a run around the track. I'm quite slack really as I will usually set a car or 2 on the digital APB to just run a few laps and clean the braids every now and again until I'm happy that the braids aren't picking up any more carp from the rails. Works for me and I'm sure others all have different ways of keeping their rails clean. Best thing I ever did was get hold of a spray can of Inox MX3, read about here on the forum and found out that it was an Aussie product, had a can half an hour later, about time I could actually go round the corner and get something I needed for the track instead of getting it shipped in from the UK.

Matt
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
for dusting plastic track i used one of those magic dusters made by pledge. It keeps the dust in the pad and refills can be purchased as well from all the major supermarkets.

If you want to try inox just pm as i have a spare bottle wich you can have cheap plus the postage.

Easy way and the best way i have found to apply it is to buy a needle oiler wich can be got hold of by visiting a model rail road shop, they use them for oiling there loco's.

With inox less is more.hth.
 

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hoover it with the brushes down, damp cloth over the track and then use inox for the rails. iddiscounts have reduced the inox but it still a dear way of buying it. i make my own, £14 for 2 pints of it, pm me if your interested its dead simple. john
 

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QUOTE (stoner @ 6 Jun 2012, 08:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i make my own

Intrigued! Is it identical? Does it have the same properties?
 

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1)Vaccuum track
2)Wipe track with Armorall cleaner or WD40, use one rag for cleaning, another to wipe residue off.
3)Wipe rails with isopropyl alcohol
You won't need to replace braids, wipe with isopropyl alcohol.
That's it, once fortnightly. Takes around ten minutes for a 100 ft track 2 lane.
Inox only needed if theres underlying issues, but cheap and postage isnt dear.

Rick
 

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Quite a few ways to clean your rails Stu, as long as you keep off abrasives then you`ll be okay.
If you use WD40 then you must go over the track several times with a clean cloth.
Those new microfibre cloths are excellent for lifting muck out of the plastic.

My Scaley track has been down for 26 years now. I clean the rails after every use (always best to do this) & hoover the whole layout every couple of weeks. I`ve always cleaned the rails the old fashioned way. Wipe with an oily rag, then wipe over with a clean dry cloth- I`ve never had a problem. There`s no power taps whatsoever on my layout. Lay it right , keep it clean & it won`t let you down.

I use the same method on my Jouef layout.

Cheers,
Kev.

 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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I wipe mine over with a microfibre cloth if the track hasn't been used for a little while. If I've been working on scenery I'll give the track a vacuum with the cobweb brush attachment. Every 3 months or so I clean the rails with methylated spirits and then wipe them over with Inox MX3. The MX3 is not a cleaner it's a protective treatment, a conditioner if you like.

I've only recently (in the last 2 weeks) painted my plastic track. So, I'll probably delete the methylated spirits out of the care routine.

Embs
 

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Ian
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If the braids were running on a perfectly smooth and clean surface they wouldn't wear out or should I say they would last a lot longer, the weakest link with any plastic track is the "Joints". This is what wears out the braids, this is what gives you continuity problems.

I have tried "all" the lubricants oils etc but the result is always going to be the same in the end, these methods are only temporary. I would never recommend WD40 it eventually congeals and leaves a horrible sticky mess on your rails.

I've spoken to Scalextric and their recommendation for cleaning tracks is a simple wipe over with a warm damp cloth.

As far as I'm concerned there is only one solution:

"copper tape"

your continuity problems will be solved, your braid will last much longer, the track will run much quieter, as far as I'm concerned even for semi permanent tracks this is the answer. All your cleaning woes gone, just a light dust every now and then, the more you use it the cleaner it stays.
 

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Copper tape is good but this month I'm moving house so all my track has to he binned. But I fix get 6 years use I guess.
 

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Greg Gaub
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QUOTE (injectorman @ 6 Jun 2012, 02:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's it, once fortnightly. Takes around ten minutes for a 100 ft track 2 lane.
Inox only needed if theres underlying issues, but cheap and postage isnt dear.

I disagree, but you knew that. ;-)
I haven't had to touch the rails of my track for months. I can't remember the month of the last time I wiped the track down in order to clean the rails.
Oh sure, there's some dust on the track surface, but I get that off with some car running and cleaning the tires.
Before INOX, I was cleaning the track every week or so, just like you. While it may have only taken 10 minutes, I'm glad to not be doing that every time I want to run cars without conductivity problems.
I don't run cars every day, either.
The fact that so many people, not just me, recommend INOX to treat the rails should mean something. I'm surprised there's an Aussie left who hasn't tried it.
It's nice that Scalextric recommend a damp cloth and all, but I'd rather have a track I don't have to clean, pretty much at all.

Stuart, get the INOX from Ade and give it a try. I'll buy it off you for double what you pay plus shipping if you don't like the results.

Oh, and for the braids, are they really badly worn and frayed, or are you replacing them because of dirt/grime buildup? I've found when braids are in good condition but just dirty, that cleaning them using an old toothbrush and some lighter fluid or alcohol works great. They look and work good as new.
 

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Greg Gaub
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50 years ago, there was no INOX MX3. It's still "oil", but lanolin based. What kind of "oil" do you use, Kev?
I appreciate the history lesson, of course, but I'm of the opinion that it's possible for things to improve over a 50 year time span. IMHO, INOX MX3 is one of those things.
Why not give it a try? It's still oil. You wouldn't be going against the historical record of track maintenance in that service sheet, so you wouldn't be breaking the authenticity of your layout... unless authenticity requires 50 year old oils?
 

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What`s there to improve on? Both my tracks work perfect without the use of Inox, power taps, soldering of joints or copper taping. I have no power loss anywhere. So I`ll continue doing what I`m doing to care for my layouts.
I may use an old method of track maintenance, but it`s one that`s never let me down over the years.

Cheers
Kev.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
castrol gtx eh Kev or perhaps a dose of Duckhams Hypergrade.
 

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Ian
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QUOTE (injectorman @ 6 Jun 2012, 13:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Copper tape is good but this month I'm moving house so all my track has to he binned. But I fix get 6 years use I guess.

Rick why

I have changed my layout several times, perhaps I use a different copper tape to you, but it peals off, clean the rails with some mentholated spirits to remove the adhesive then it's all ready to start all over again
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you everyone for the input here.
Plenty for me to think about.
 
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