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mryork

Greetings from Elizabeth, N.J.

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mryork

Thank you kindly for allowing me to join. I am about to clean a ton of Unitrack that has been sitting undisturbed in a blue storage bin since 2009. I definitely love passenger and commuter trains. Now, I want some light rail.  So, I would like to know what you guys use to clean a whole lot of Unitrack. I got track cleaner erasers. But some folks have told me I could  also use alcohol (or a mixture thereof) and some other stuff, like baby wipes. But I need to know if such alternatives actually work. 
 

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kvp

If the tracks are really dirty, then a very mild and diluted dishwasher bath could help, just rinse with clean water afterwards and dry them with non heated compressed air to avoid rust. For dust, i would suggest simple compressed air or just a good vaccuming. For dirty (used) rail surfaces, i found most track erasers too coarse for japanese tracks. A microfibre cloth could clean the rails really well (some rubbing may be required), just remember to clean the inner side surfaces too where the flanges contact the tracks. Tomix has a motorized track cleaning car with eraser, vacuum and buffer pads. They also have some kind of rail cleaning fluid to go with it, but i never used that.

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chadbag

I've used plain white plastic erasers  for pencils (Mono brand from Japan) to clean track that had been left out and gotten dirty.  They did the job.   The track digs a groove in the eraser which will get the sides of the track as well.  Not claiming it is the best, or most efficient.

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cteno4

Folks have washed old dirty track in dishwashers before on cold cycle with no dry cycle to good effect. Towel dry and you can use a hair dryer on no or very low heat to finish off drying.

 

im a big fan of 70% isopropanol. Pretty mellow on track plastic and paint but effective at getting all sorts of crud off the rails. Best thing is it leaves no residue and is fine on your skin. For really thought stuff the orange oil cleaner works well. Cuts most crap that can get on tracks but will eventually evaporate (takes some time compared to isopropanol). A club member’s giant unitrak layout in his basement with exposed rafters gets filthy fast and if it’s sat a while the grease and schmutz really cake on and using a cleaning wheel car with handiwipes soaked in orange oil cleaner is the only way to get it off.

 

Microfiber cloths are good as little or no lint left behind just don’t use ones the the little fabric/towel loops as they will catch on track joints and especially point blades. I usually use old flannel sheets that have been retired from many washings. They are soft but all the washings have taken out all the loose lint and they are free and I have a pile of rags 2’ high now! When cleaning points it’s best to only rub in the track convergence direction not the divergent direction to be gentle on the blades and not snag the ends.

 

i have always steered clear from abrasives that can scratch track up and erasers as I also worry about residue being left behind with them. Abrasives and erasers can also leave behind grit which can potentially be sucked up into engines.

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

 

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chadbag

Yes the plastic erasers left behind little bits of eraser.   I was doing a table top layout so I was taking it up again, so I could easily get rid of the little bits of eraser left behind with a can of "compressed" air (like you get to get the dust out of your computer) and then remove the track from the table where any left over bits would stay behind and get wiped up.

 

On a permanent layout it is probably not the best due to the little bits left behind.  But if you are just doing track that is not in a layout or on a temporary table top, the little eraser bits are inconsequential in my book as you can blow them away and/or remove the track leaving them behind.

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mryork

Chadbag, 


Good advice. Mine is a table top. I bought two packs of microfiber towels, two large plastic bottles of alcohol and two packs of Q-tips. I am surprised half of the old locomotives actually run. I have never been away from the hobby this long. 


 

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martin67

Hi,

 

I do it almost the same way, two large bottles of alcohol and a Roco track cleaning rubber block. I use the Roco rubber for cleaning the tracks and the two bottles for me to make this work more enjoyable. :cheesy

 

Have a good one,

 

Martin

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