About twice a year I clean my Sterling bars with liberal amounts of WD40. I spray the heck out of it, run the arms back and forth while using paper towels to clean it.
Takes about 20 minutes of spraying and wiping.
I tried using silicone lube and it didn't work worth a hoot for me. We travel a lot and I disconnect almost every night while traveling so my bars get a lot of use.
Have done this for 10 years so I don't think the WD40 has ruined anything.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS