I have a close friend/relative that is an estate sale owner and he has a rather large collection of Lionel items from the 50's that had the original boxes eaten by termites, while having their breakfast lunch and dinner, they pooped on everything that was inside of the boxes.  Can the poop be cleaned off of the rolling stock?  If so what with.   Your help is greatly appreciated.

JEM

sptrainnut

TCA 12-67009

 

Original Post

it can possibly be cleaned but I would guess the fecal coly would stain the finish  permently. maybe try dawn dish soap with warm water and then immediately dry in a heated area .with most of water dried off as best you can then let the train dry in oven after it was shut off and just warm but not hot! I wouldn't be surprised that mice got into the boxes and left mouse fecal coly and also urinated on everything and the will RUST the trains if they were made form metal !

 

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

Sounds to me like it is mice or rat droppings. Termite droppings are dry pellets that resemble sand and don't usually stick to anything. Mice and rats love all things cardboard and paper and will make an absolute mess. Their droppings and urine will stick to everything and can carry pathogens..

1. Remove everything from the boxes and let it air out for a few days. this will allow things to dry out and will help with the odor. Latex gloves are a must! Wash your hands thoroughly after handling. 

2. Use a shop vac and try to remove all the loose debris. Use a soft 1" wide paint brush to get in to all the "nooks and crannies". Again,Latex gloves are a must! Wash your hands thoroughly after handling.  

3. Carefully disassemble and clean everything using normal methods as discussed here in the forum before.

I have had excellent results removing mice/rat droppings with dawn in warm soapy water gently a soft toothbrush. Just be careful around rubber stamped lettering and decals on the older trains.

Hope this helps!

Ricky

 

This IS the world's greatest hobby!  Formerly "Boomer" on the OGR forum 2001-2018.

Alan Mancus posted:

it can possibly be cleaned but I would guess the fecal coly would stain the finish  permently. maybe try dawn dish soap with warm water and then immediately dry in a heated area .with most of water dried off as best you can then let the train dry in oven after it was shut off and just warm but not hot! I wouldn't be surprised that mice got into the boxes and left mouse fecal coly and also urinated on everything and the will RUST the trains if they were made form metal !

 

Great supper time reading!......🤢.........🤮........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

I agree with wearing a dust mask and being careful about stuff coming out of the vacuum (if it is nice weather where you live, doing  this outside would not be a bad thing.....). In terms of cleaning the units, while things like lysol or clorox cleanup might cause damage (I myself would try clorox cleanup on a non visible place and see if there is a reaction, but that is me), you might want to try washing it using anti bacterial soap (I think Dawn and the other dish soaps have versions like that). Another option might be using sanitizers like purel, I have used them on laptop keyboards and the like and they aren't harsh, so that might work to help kill any diseases that might be there (again, I would test it on a non visible place, to make sure it doesn't seem to cause a reaction). Dish soap alone likely won't kill that much of any pathogens there. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Where there's termites, there will be other critters.  Mice etc.  The mouse droppings and urine should be dealt with carefully.  Even if you don't see the urine, it's there.  This coming from a carpenter that did renovations and restorations his entire career.  But hey, when you're young, you are invincible.....LOL

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Cockroaches are relatives of termites, and love paper (and some wood), and make a mess all over everything when they find a stash. Their droppings are dark and small. They dry hard, but stain like crazy before they get that way. (Makes you want to just burn it all. Ew.)

Here's some good information: https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/index.html

Bottom line: There is a always some degree of risk regarding exposure to rodent droppings. 

I would weigh the pros and cons of purchasing the trains. If it's low to medium end,common postwar,I would likely pass.

Me? I worry more about dealing with venomous spiders! I am a recovering Arachnophobiac in a 12 step program. 

Ricky

This IS the world's greatest hobby!  Formerly "Boomer" on the OGR forum 2001-2018.

Ricky Tanner posted:

I would weigh the pros and cons.....

How much time and effort to get what in return - what's your or whoever's time worth dependent on just what each item is.


Not captains of industry, not makers of things, keep your vulgar monies! We are a justice sandwich, no toppings necessary. Living rooms of America, do you catch my drift? Do you dig?

"Now to see what the guy wants for all of his stuff."

There's the big unknown that could be quite entertaining. We've all seen folks who think every old Lionel is worth BIG money. They look at the price guides, see the first category of "Mint" without even considering the actual condition of what they have. Not saying that is the case here, but we have all seen situations like that.

From what I'm reading here, this sounds like far more trouble than it's worth. Even by the TCA standards, junk condition is probably being overly generous. I wouldn't touch the stuff without cleaning it with bleach, as recommended in the link Ricky posted above. And by using bleach, you'll probably ruin some lettering and/or paint, leaving you candidates for repainting. Never mind anything metal, that likely could be rusted. 

And the real tragedy here, would be if the owner of this stuff decided to sell this stuff on an auction site, saying only  "it's dirty... can be cleaned up." That would be an understatement. There are plenty of trains for sale out there without giving yourself an unnecessary health/sickness risk.

But this all sight-unseen speculation just going by description. Still, it doesn't sound very encouraging.

 

I agree with everything said so far about the clean up and protecting yourself.

One thing I do want to point out is be careful around any decals. Some of these are very brittle and can easily disintegrate in a cleaning operation! If possible, I would avoid messing with them. Rubber stamping, paint, metal, and unpainted plastic surfaces should be fine.

 

Chris

LVHR

I watch American Pickers. Those guys crawl through barns to find stuff. I hear them say things like "There are piles of raccoon poop up here.; I put my hands in something squishy." And, they don't wear gloves! They are almost never sick if you look at the number of shows they have produced. Maybe it's all 'TV magic', or maybe we are blowing this rodent poop stuff out of proportion. Just don't eat it!

George

George S posted:

I watch American Pickers. Those guys crawl through barns to find stuff. I hear them say things like "There are piles of raccoon poop up here.; I put my hands in something squishy." And, they don't wear gloves! They are almost never sick if you look at the number of shows they have produced. Maybe it's all 'TV magic', or maybe we are blowing this rodent poop stuff out of proportion. Just don't eat it!

George

I enjoy that show but it's all staged - even the "Freestyling". The items Frank and Mike buy are all selected in advance. The president of our local Antique Radio Club was on the show last year and told me all about it. They sent in a team in advance and decided then what would be purchased and the price agreed on in advance. Mike and Frank show up with van loads of the filming and production crew. It's all mostly scripted on the spot and edited for television. That's Hollywood for you! I still chuckle about poor ol' Frank and the $8000 repainted Lionel 408E Brown State set he got burned on. He did mention that Frank and Mike were "Real gentlemen and very professional".

This IS the world's greatest hobby!  Formerly "Boomer" on the OGR forum 2001-2018.

You’re ruining it for me!

Their prices on Marx stuff seem to be on, but they know nothing about Lionel. They valued an ordinary Blue Comet at about $8000, which can be had on eBay between $2000 and $2500. I think they are confused by the pedigree pieces that sell at Stout from known TCA collectors. I saw a green State Set go for over $14,000 at Stout, plus the buyer’s premium. The set was from a well known collector and I’m sure the bidders knew him and the set.

George

 I wonder how well naptha actually disinfects in comparison to my high expectations of it .  (Post-war Lionel's suggested cleaner (not for.some inks)

I'd think the "waste ammonias"  would do the most damage really.

Nothing with bleach, some plastics cloud from chlorine. Maybe Clorox II if anything like that( ???)

For all metal cars, I'd go for boiling water, fast and full, forced air dry (hair drier), and recoat; 100% oil wipe or douse 100% in clean oil, drip overnight on a towel and final wipe to run)

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





You can dunk motors too. I literally dug up a buried Marx CV from a dirt floor garage; washed it it water until the dirt was gone, then dried it, shined the shoes, oiled it, then ran it for.....about 25 years now 😬.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:

You can dunk motors too. I literally dug up a buried Marx CV from a dirt floor garage; washed it it water until the dirt was gone, then dried it, shined the shoes, oiled it, then ran it for.....about 25 years now 😬.

Yep! i’ve given a few old motors a bath here and there. simple electronics like this don’t care much about a little water, just let them dry out good before trying to run them. 

Ricky Tanner posted:
George S posted:

I watch American Pickers. Those guys crawl through barns to find stuff. I hear them say things like "There are piles of raccoon poop up here.; I put my hands in something squishy." And, they don't wear gloves! They are almost never sick if you look at the number of shows they have produced. Maybe it's all 'TV magic', or maybe we are blowing this rodent poop stuff out of proportion. Just don't eat it!

George

I enjoy that show but it's all staged - even the "Freestyling". The items Frank and Mike buy are all selected in advance. The president of our local Antique Radio Club was on the show last year and told me all about it. They sent in a team in advance and decided then what would be purchased and the price agreed on in advance. Mike and Frank show up with van loads of the filming and production crew. It's all mostly scripted on the spot and edited for television. That's Hollywood for you! I still chuckle about poor ol' Frank and the $8000 repainted Lionel 408E Brown State set he got burned on. He did mention that Frank and Mike were "Real gentlemen and very professional".

Not surprised to hear this as I think ALL so called “reality” shows are staged. 

I also agree with Art and would pass on the collection. 

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

Before even discussing a price, ask if you can select one item and try to clean it.  Pick the worst item from the bottom of the box - if it has a motor, so much the better.  See how much work is involved in cleaning it, and make an offer accordingly.  If the seller balks at the idea, remind him that if you don't reach an agreement on price, he gets one of the items cleaned for free.

Based on everything that's been posted so far, my guess is that an offer of five percent of what you think you could sell it for would be very generous.  

Tinplate Art posted:

If you have a compromised immune system for any number of reasons, including old age, poking around in fecal-contaminated objects would not be advised.

That sounds right. I still do gardening and dig around in dirt, but I would probably wear gloves and a mask cleaning that stuff, but I haven't seen it yet either.

George

I’m presently on holiday in Florida, last night I went to the Motorworks Brewery in Bradenton with my two sons and as things turned out, spent an amusing hour or two watching some filming for a reality show (called, I think, “Siesta Key”; being British and too old to care anyway, I’m not really up on these things). 

Staged? Not half...

 

Signalwoman posted:
Adriatic posted:

You can dunk motors too. I literally dug up a buried Marx CV from a dirt floor garage; washed it it water until the dirt was gone, then dried it, shined the shoes, oiled it, then ran it for.....about 25 years now 😬.

Yep! i’ve given a few old motors a bath here and there. simple electronics like this don’t care much about a little water, just let them dry out good before trying to run them. 

Actually, I've ran more than a few "modern" items; from mother boards to power supplies; thru industrial dishwashers..... after shutting off the chlorine sanitizer/soaps 

I was shoving wet electronics into rice before the first cell phones met a lake or toilet. 🙃

A lot of folk have an unwarranted fear of getting metal/electrical stuff wet imo.

"How dry I am"  

Quarnum(?) disinfectant.... I never saw damage, but I never used it on trains.

It ain't cheap for the good stuff.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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