Richard Hanger

How to Clean Model Train Tracks

railway club

How to Clean Model Train Tracks

how to clean model train tracks

If you are having trouble maintaining your model train track, you may be wondering how to clean it. While it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions, you can also use household products such as White spirits, Isopropyl alcohol, graphite, or WD-40. Here are some tips to get you started:

Isopropyl Alcohol

Using Isopropyl Alcohol to clean your model train tracks is a good way to prevent tarnish on your track. Model train tracks can absorb dirt and oil from model locomotives, and rubbing alcohol can leave a residue that can attract more dirt. The alcohol in Isopropyl Alcohol will remove these buildups without scouring your track. A bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol will clean a single track for several months.

You can use the solvent in a variety of ways. A cotton swab dipped in the cleaning solution can be used to clean a locomotive’s wheels. For all-wheel pickup locomotives, turn the locomotive upside down and clean both sides of the wheels. You can hold it at an angle of 90 degrees to ensure that the cleaning solution penetrates the tracks completely. After cleaning the wheels, you can store it for later use.

White spirits

White spirit is an inexpensive and effective cleaner for model train tracks. You should use a fan to diffuse the fumes. Also, be sure to open windows. If your layout is large, you may need to use a respirator mask to avoid breathing in the corrosive solution. The fumes are harmful and may cause a headache and nausea. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, or you may damage your model trains.

After cleaning the track with methylated spirits, you should run a train across it to test its cleanliness. A dirty track can cause electrical conductivity degradation, which leads to jerky running, flashing lights, and poor performance. You should also clean your model train wheels regularly to ensure smooth running. You can use a simple white kitchen towel to test whether the tracks are clean or not. You should repeat this process as necessary until the desired level of cleanliness is achieved.


You might have heard the term “Graphite” before. However, what exactly does this substance do? Graphite is an electrically conductive substance, so it can create small sparks when passing current through it. This could result in a short circuit. Graphite can also be an effective lubricant. But, before you apply it to your model train tracks, it is important to understand its properties.

The first step is to clean the track. This can be done by using a graphite pencil from a hobby or artist’s supply shop. This will fill in any minor imperfections that may exist in your model train tracks. Be careful not to apply too much graphite because this may create a layer of lubricant on the rails. You can also purchase track cleaning tools ranging from inexpensive rubbing blocks to dedicated rolling stock.


WD-40 is a common household product, but it’s not the ideal cleaner for model train tracks. This solvent contains oils, which can leave nasty greasy residue on the rails. It will also make your model train lose traction. While WD-40 is excellent for many garage and household purposes, it’s not an ideal track cleaner. To avoid these problems, try using another product instead. Listed below are some advantages and disadvantages of using WD-40 on your train track.

When applied to the rails, WD-40 leaves a gooey substance that attracts dust. WD-40 is also excellent for lubricating bolts. It will keep them from rusting for several months. It also works well on metal wheels, which can become extremely dirty. In addition to its cleaning abilities, WD-40 will prevent your model train track from being damaged by electricity. The presence of electricity will create microscopic pits in the rails and wheels. As a result, black stuff will be coming off your train track.


Kerosene is an excellent cleaner for model train tracks. It has many uses and is safe to use on model railways. It is also inexpensive. Unlike transmission fluid, which can damage common plastics, kerosene can be used safely. The following are some tips for cleaning model train tracks. Make sure you read the label thoroughly. Use only a small amount of kerosene on the track.

To get the best results, use a light oil-based cleaning fluid, such as kerosene. You can also use lamp oil, but be careful about how much you use. You don’t want to overdo it. You don’t want to create a mess on your model train tracks! You can mix a little white vinegar with salt or lemon to get rid of more grime.