Chemical Cleaning

This is the method I am using to clean my rusty track without removing too much of the protective coating on the rails. If some for a mechanical means (abrasive) is used it can take off the sound plating on the rails as well as the rust. In the past while working on my car I have cleaned rusty nuts and bolts that are hard to replace by leaving them in a cola drink (mentioning no names). The corrosion is etched away leaving sound metal.

Close up of track sections in cola
Track sections in cola

I decided to try this with my Scalextric track sections. Planning ahead I purchased a baby bath at a car boot sale and then I have filled it with 8 litres of cola. I thought this would be enough to fill the bath.

I was wrong, it only covered half the track sections (in this case straights). This however meant one set of rails was in the "etch" and the other was not and would therefore act as a control.

Cola soaked track section
Track sections  after being soaked in cola After only 24 hours I tool some of the track sections out, rinsed them in water with a nail brush and then dried them with a hair drier (to prevent new corrosion). The pictures are not excellent, but the rusty rails are on the left hand side of each piece of track.

Here is a close up of the difference after 24 hours. There was a noticable improvement after waiting over night (10 hours) but I had to go to work so I left them I bit longer. I didn't used to drink cola, will you in the future having see what it will do to steel/rust?

Close up of cola soaked track section
Bottle of brown source.

After the success with the cola, a friend said brown sauce was good for cleaning medals and could be good for cleaning track. I tried it by applying to the metal with a brush and adding more when the previous application dried out. However it just left a sticky mess on top of the still rusty rails. Brown sauce may remove tarnishing from copper and brass, but it does not seem to remove rust from steel/chrome plated steel. Or maybe I should not have used Economy but a brand name.

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