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Need To Clean My Rails Again

2842 Views 38 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  stoner
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.

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Nah , olive oil Bigbird! Seriously , I`ve got an old rag slightly moistened with 3 in 1. I wipe the rails then wipe over with a clean cloth.
When the main track goes into winter hibernation I spray it with WD40 for added protection. Works well, but come Spring you`re on a while getting it all off.
I`m sure Inox works, send me a bottle FOC & I`ll review it...


PS. You`re always welcome down ours Stu.
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Kev a bottle is on it's way to you foc for all the datsun parts you sent me last year.
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Then I`d have to go out & start getting things like one of those mobile phone jobbies.......leave me alone in the 19th Century!!!!

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Awesome job, Ade! I seriously considered sending him some, but secretly hoped someone closer would pick up that gauntlet.
Though, maybe Kev is just a glutton for punishment, and switching to INOX will deprive him of the pleasure of all that cleaning work? ;-)
I`ve just been on the Jouef track upstairs, cleaned it, then sat for 20 minutes admiring the job as the evening Sun shone on it...magnificent sadness or what?

& of course with old Jouef track you have the added bonus of polishing up the metal track clips-heaven!

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There's no question that your vintage layouts are second to none in both completeness and condition, Kev.
I know you don't need my congratulations, but you have them.
Thanks MrF.
It`s a nice hobby because there`s so many different aspects to it.
& before you ask, Jouef track clips clean up beautifully with lighter fluid!
QUOTE (loosesalute @ 6 Jun 2012, 22:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You`re always welcome down ours Stu.
Thanks Kev. Same applies from this direction. Trouble is tying me down to "sociable" hours. Retirement can't come too soon, but Wor Lass keeps wanting more major work doing on the house and it has to be funded somehow.
Currently, she's wanting to get a downstairs toilet and utility room installed. When that's done, the kitchen...... Then the bathroom......
I'm going to be working for another 10 years at this rate.
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Are both your Jouef track and the "other layout" analogue tracks? That may explain the differences in experiences, since Mr. F. is using a digital layout (know for continuity problems not seen on analogue tracks).

Just a thought....

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That's a good point, but I never meant to imply that what he does is not effective, or that INOX would make the track PERFORM better (though it might be marginally better). In this case, I only want him to try it in order to cut down the work he has to put into his track to keep it in such great condition. Instead of once every week or two, it would be once every few months.
Errrrr....make that every day MrF...


PS Good point re digital Sealevel. Mine are both analogue & I`ve never used digital before.
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I've been looking at Pleby's stuff, but their website hasn't been updated since early last year.
It's showing all items out of stock.

Anyone know what the deal is with them? Have they gone squit?
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I thought plebys was for tarnished/rusty track? I would not do anything to risk the nickel plating on the rail until it's already too late.
rico rocket, only just picked up on the thread again. but the way i make mine is pure lanolin and mineral oil and hot water to dunk the jar of mixture in while you mix it it, helps to soften the lanolin and hold it in suspension in the oil. the pure lanolin is a nipple cream in a tube called lansinoh. its enough for 5 pints of oil, the cheapest mineral motor oil you can buy. i used mx3 inox on one rail and mine on the other after a year of running there was no difference between the lanes, no corrosion and great electrical contact. so you pay your money and take your choice. a few guys have pmd me about it and they all raved about it after mixing it and trying it. i doudt its the exact same formula as inox but close enough with the main ingrediants john
Without hijacking the thread too much.........

I recently painted the borders/infield to my permie track. I used two inch packing tape to mask the section - my first mistake. Then the weather went good so no attic time, plenty of beach time so the tape has been on for 3 weeks - my second mistake.
My final mistake was not putting the blind back on the velux skylight - this window gets serious amounts of direct sunlight from noon to dusk.

Result - sticky mess on rails and track. Any suggestions for shifting it will earn you immense kudos in my little world.

Have tried IPA (not India Pale Ale) via toothbrush and rag, but it's very slow and not lifting the "tack" very well.

(Dear god, have you seen the spelling suggestions iPads come up with? What a heap of poo that predictive text engine is! Apologies if you read my original post.)
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I'd use Prepsol, but I've been told it's not readily available over there Snurf. It's a solvent that is used to prep vehicles prior to vinyl graphics application, also used to remove tar from car duco. You could also try one of the citrus based cleaners, but you will need to clean a second time with isoprop afterwards to remove any oil residue from the cleaner.

Thanks Embs, off to the cleaning cupboard for a nose. Annoyingly, I've got a really good acetic acid (pear drops smell) based label remover in my desk at work - and I'm on leave for another week. Grrrrr.
QUOTE (snurfen @ 8 Jun 2012, 18:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm on leave for another week. Grrrrr.
First time I've ever heard someone complain about being on leave.
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