How to Clean Your Train Tracks and Model Trains

There are multiple ways of cleaning the tracks to get the best possible results when it comes to maintaining your train tracks or train sets for a longer-lasting life. Trains rely on the electric current (the centerline of the train tracks), and when dirt starts to build up, this can cause your engines to top or hesitate. If you’ve noticed some signs that your trains are not running as smoothly, this could be the nudge you need to get cleaning. Here are some quick, easy cleaning tips to get your trains back on track. 


To smooth out the rails, gleaming is a multipurpose process. Not many enjoy doing as it’s very so-involved, but if done properly, it will give you those shiny rails. Use sandpaper or track eraser to rid of the current layer and grime off (forward and backward motion only). Use a flat washer to rub metal on metal against the tracks for fine polishing. 


One of the most popular substances used on train tracks for decades, white vinegar is versatile, safe, and can remove any harmful chemicals found on your tracks. Apply vinegar to a cloth and wipe down until the rust or grime has gone. Try adding salt to scrub off dirt quickly or add lemon to disinfect your rails and remove anything sticky. 

How to clean your model trains?

Once you’ve cleaned and polished up the rail tracks, it’s time to clean or double-check to see if your trains need some cleaning also. 


Modeled trains contain so many delicate details it can be worrying to know where to begin. But it’s doable. First, set a towel as a base and lie the train to the side to avoid scratching, parts, or paint. Use Q Tips to remove dust gently, working from top to bottom. Another alternative way is using canned air for tight spaces.


For tougher work such as grime, especially on the wheels, we recommend using lighter fluid on a Q tip and clean off the surface of the driving wheels and the inside of the wheels. This method should work in most of the modeled trains, but for safety reasons, it is best to see the manual book for a proper solution.

There you have it, quick and straightforward methods to help clean your track and trains. If you are looking for specific products to get the best out of your cleaning, we recommend checking out these links.

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