Introduction: Slot Car Track and Tire Cleaning Tips: Improved Traction

So you love slot car racing? You want to win more races and go faster!!! You want better control of your cars?

But, your cars keeps flying off the track or spinning out on the curves? This is a problem that many beginning slot car racers face.

This Instructable will provide you with some tips on how to keep your track and car tires clean. A clean slot car track and slot car tires will improve traction which will improve the performance of your cars. Especially going into and coming out of curves. Cleanliness improves grip between track and tire! Better grip means better control.

I started slot car racing in my basement about 6 years ago. While there are many variables that factor in on keeping your cars fast and controllable on the track, one of the key factors is keeping your track and car tires DUST FREE!

Dust is the worst enemy of successful slot car driving. And dust is especially present in basements with concrete floors and cinder block walls.

Read on if you are a beginner in slot cars and want to blow the doors off the competition!

Step 1: Cleaning Products

A good set of supplies is necessary to keep your slot car track and slot car tires clean. I do not recommend using any type of cleaning solution on your track or tires. In reality, there really is not need unless you have some type of a beverage spill. Even then, I would only use a damp cloth to clean a spill.

All of these products are designed to remove dust. You will be surprised how much dust and tire residue you will clean the first time you try.

Swiffer products are great to have on hand. You can also purchase off brand clones and cheaper prices. The Swiffer wipes are great for that surface dust off the track. The Swiffer wand is awesome for those hard to reach places.

Canned air is especially important for getting that dust and anything else out of the track slots.

The lint tape roll is key to cleaning the tires off all your cars.

Step 2: Track Slot

If you notice dust and debris on your slot car guides you probably have lots of dust along with guide and tire debris down in the slot.

I recommend the first thing you do is clean out the track slot with canned air! If you have had your track set up for awhile and have never cleaned the slot you will be shocked on how much debris falls down in there. Not only is there dust, but also the natural wear of slot guides and tires in there. Simply use the nozzle of the can and blow that stuff out to the surface of the track.

Step 3: Swiffer Cleaning Wand for Track Surface

Before every track session, I recommend running a wand Swiffer or comparable around the track. This will get all that dust off the track surface that has settled since the last time you were in your race room. The wand really helps to get those hard to reach places if you have a larger slot cartrack setup. With my table being 16x8 feet, the wand comes in very handy.

Note the before and after in the third image. The dirty wand head was used about 6 times before replacing.

Step 4: Swiffer Sheets on Track Surface

Even between races and heats it's a good idea to dust the track. The break down of the tires and dust you are raising milling around the track will settle on the track Again, see the before and after. Most of this dust is invisible to the naked eye when on the track.

Step 5: Cleaning Slot Car Track and Rails

The Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" really is magical. This does a great job of getting any residue that has set into the track surface that the wand head and sheets do not pick up.

In addition to the track surface the Magic Eraser cleans the oxidation off the track rails. You want clean rails to ensure the best electrical contact between rails and slot car brushes/braids. Clean rails means better contact and faster car.

As you can see it has been awhile since using the "Magic Eraser". Gotta do that a little more often.

Step 6: Cleaning Slot Car Tires

The tires we clean after every race. If there is dust on the track. The tires will pick it up.

Step 7: Cleaning Slot Car Tires

Simply use a tape lint roller and roll the tires over the tape. Your focus should be on the rear tires, as those are the tires that you need to grip. The fronts merely skim or slide across the surface.

Step 8: Before and After Slot Car Tires

See the difference between clean and dirty tires? Look at all that gunk on the tape from cleaning tires from five cars.

Step 9: Summary

Following these easy steps could be the difference between a win and loss of your next race. I guarantee you will see positive difference in performance on regular cleaning of your track and tires.

Keep it all clean and enjoy the fun.

Happy Racing!


Have any other tips? Please share!!

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