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Old 05-29-2020, 06:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Track cleaning

Would anyone have any suggestions on how to clean a lot of track that has been outside and not used for a long time? Thanks
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Use a drywall sander with a Scotch Brite pad.
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Jody,
Do you mean cleaning the complete track - ties and rail so that you can re-use or sell, or just the rail so that you can start running?
What is the rail made of? Brass, Steel, Aluminum?
Regards,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just want to clean lgb brass rails so I can start running trains again. Thank you
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard somewhere to use a swifter sweeper
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK my 2 cents: use a drywall sanding pole/pad with a fine grit pad - could be Scotch Brite or could be the screen like material you use on joint compound. Be gentle, you don't want to deeply scratch the top of the rail, that could trap dirt and make cleaning more frequent

Swifter pads are very good, but not to remove the dark old tarnish, but after the tarnish is been sanded off, to clean the inevitable black deposits from running your trains. Some use wet swifter, I use dry ones with iso propyl alcohol, at least when you could get IPA. I will use the pad to remove black guck, then drywall pad to polish it up.

Jerry
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Swiffer (not swifter) is a degreaser, and works well on my stainless steel track... it will NOT remove oxidation, so not good for this application, brass track.



You need either a mild abrasive, or a chemical cleaner like CLR, which is normally a mixture of acids.


Once the track has had oxidation removed, a Swiffer is a great and safe degreaser. I tried alcohol, but it evaporated too quickly, too much of a pain. The wet swiffer pads will do 850 feet, a couple of times, I know.


Greg



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Old 06-04-2020, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I will reply with my results.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This page might answer some questions and give you some more ideas:


https://elmassian.com/index.php/larg...track-cleaning


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Old 06-05-2020, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you use an acid (e.g., vinegar), it will clean the track, but the zinc will be sacrificed and the track turns pink as the copper is exposed.

This then leaves the copper in an unprotected state and if the vinigar is not completely removed (and even if it is), the track will have a tendancy toward copper oxidation leaving a nice turquoise "salt" residue that does not conduct well.

OTOH, if you want to solder jumpers between track sections, the acid will give you a nice, temporarily clean, spot to solder.
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