This may be akin to putting lipstick on a pig, but anyone ever try having the drivers nickle plated?
There used to be a model RR supplier who did it for $10 an axle.
A lower cost alternative:
I do not clean my loco drivers with a wire wheel in a Dremel or a Kadee brass wire wheel cleaner.
I use a 400 grit polishing wheel in a Dremel to polish the driver tread and remove the dirt collecting scratches
from cleaning by wire. For regular cleaning after that all it takes is a Q-tip dipped in alcohol.