From the DCC4Everyone list
However, I also have approached cleaning rails differently and it works very well:
Most people have used "Bright Boys" on their track at one time or another. These leave fine scratches that accumulates dirt. The material in them is a crude form of cratex, a hard, rubberized material with abrasive in it. The Bright Boys use a coarse abrasive and also harden over time.
I decided to look into cratex material further, so I went straight to the Cratex Manufacturing Co., Inc., at:
When I received the stick, I cut most of it into smaller sections, roughly resembling the size of a typical Bright Boy. I used a radial saw with a very old blade. Be SURE to use an old one because when you're done, the blade will be unusable and unsharpenable!
This stuff is FAR superior to anything like a Bright Boy! It gives a very fine polish to the rails, much like using a liquid or gel metal polish applied with a rag but without the mess. It also does not wear down appreciably which is far different than a Bright Boy. If you want to clean a block after use, run it under warm water with a detergent powder applied to it. Rub the powder in with your fingers and then rinse. I use Boraxo powdered hand cleaner for this.
Here's further info on the Cratex Co.:
Cratex Manufacturing Co., Inc.328 Encinitas Blvd., Ste. 200 Encinitas, CA 92024-3723 USA
Phone numbers: (800) 800-4077 and (760) 942-2877
Fax numbers: (800) 788-0463 and (760) 942-4513
Mark Mathu Whitefish Bay, Wis.