Track Cleaning Solution? The NO-OX test

I came across a very provocative promise in the forums at NScale.org. One of the forum posters was making some fantastic claims about track cleaning. The basic claim being that he doesn't have to clean his track, and hasn't in four years, given the application of a type of gel (he pointedly states it is not a grease) to his rails called "NO-OX-ID “A SPECIAL”" .

This is quite a claim, and cleaning the track is probably (for all of us I'm sure) one of the least interesting aspects of this hobby. If it is true that applying this...gel..can indeed reduce the amount of cleaning that is necessary, then I am all for it!

I found a tube of this stuff on eBay. It was very cheap, and the tube is very large! I certainly have enough to last a lifetime!

Of course, track cleaning is also a highly debated topic! I am willing to try anything that does not harm the locomotives, track, take too much work, or harm my health! Of course, one has to be skeptical of a 'grease that is not a grease' and its promise that it can take away the pain of track cleaning, so I've decided to conduct a test.

The test I have set up is really simple. On my layout I have 4 independent loops (well, 5 actually, counting a very small circle for my son to run loco's in conventional mode), I decided to apply NO-OX to the inner loop on my upper level, but no where else. I expect that since all of the track on the layout will be subject to the same environment, conditions, rolling stock, etc... and the track is all about the same age (and primarily all Unitrack) then this will be a pretty fair test of the NO-OX results.

I applied it following the specific instructions that were posted on the forum. Given the risk of applying a 'grease' (yes, yes, not supposed to call it that but, "looks like a duck....etc...") I was absolutely to the letter of those instructions. I think the most important part is do NOT be tempted to apply too much. Fortunately, I didn't. And when I got to the later part of the process (where your wiping off even the small traces you put on) and running locos that, yes, are slipping pitifully, I am glad I did not over do it.

The NO-OX has now been on the layout for about a month. Let's pick early January 2009 as the 'start' date of this little test. So far, I have not had to do any cleaning on any of the track yet, so nothing to report. I will update this post the first time I find that my track is in a state where it requires cleaning and provide some comparisons.


  1. Looks interesting, sounds like snake oil. Still, that's no reason to rule out testing. Glad to see you putting it to scientific test. Will look forward to your results!

    I use the Tomix/Atlas cleaning car to clean my track. It works well, and hell, you clean your track by running a train. Hardly work at all!

  2. I did have the Tomix track cleaning car, and followed some dubious advise on the internet and attempted to run it under DCC power...NOT a good idea! I am contemplating getting another one as the value of what that car can do is great.

    I agree this "NO-OX" promise seems too good to be true, hopefully I will start to see some evidence of the value (one way or another?) in the next couple of months!

  3. Hi Jerry. I'm the guy that wrote the NO-OX threads on nscale.org and was wondering if you have anything else to report on your experiment. I can also answer any questions you may have. You can contact me thru nscale.org. My user name is gary60s.

  4. Hi Gary! Yes, and thanks for sharing your news about NO-OX! Its still too early for me to have seen a difference in the two sets of tracks (with and without NO-OX) to make any sort of statement. Thanks for your offer to share more information!

  5. Hi Jerry

    Any development in this topic or any evidens that nooxid works? or not!

  6. Actually, I think about posting an update quite frequently, but the results are unclear. The problem is that since I've been doing so much work on my layout, and its in the garage, its not like I can avoid cleaning the track after all. So I'm forced to clean the track and therefore make any good comparison between the NO OX loop and the Non-NO OX track.

    Also, for about the past 8 months, I haven't done much running of trains at all either. Unfortunately, hard to say!

  7. I used a rare cleaner that removed all of my super glue from my Lego creations. Fortunately once they were dry I was able to re-glue them. I'll never make that mistake again.