Water is the enemy of toy trains. But we have tools to fight back. In fact, they might already be in your train box, and if they’re not, they should be. You can prevent rust and mold with silica gel.
Science to the rescue
What I have here is a locomotive that sat in a damp basement. And as a result, we have a little mold formation. Actually we have a lot of mold formation on the box.
You might expect the contents of the box to be a total loss. It might be rusty or mildewed, but it’s not. I’ll show you why.
So what’s the miracle that saved these locomotives?
Science. Chemistry. Silica gel.
Many of us, when we open up a locomotive box, throw out the silica gel packs. Don’t do it. Silica gel is a desiccant. That means is any dampness that gets around your locomotive or into the box is absorbed by those little packets. That’s why these locomotives didn’t rust.
How to get more
If you’ve already thrown out your silica gel packs, never fear. You can buy it on its own in a jar, or you can frequently find it in other products that need protection from moisture like shoes and electronics.
You can buy it in bulk at craft stores where they sell it for drying flowers. It can also be ordered in quantity through Amazon.com. It’s easy to make your own packages to put in containers where trains, track, and other items are stored.
So remember, the next time you get a locomotive, don’t throw away the silica gel packets. They can prevent rust and mold effectively and are cheap insurance for your expensive toy trains.