Have you acquired a box of Lego pieces or a second-hand Lego set at a yard sale for a surprisingly low price but can’t get beyond the unpleasant odor from the box? Have you been out of touch with Lego building for a long time and then pulled out the old cardboard box to study the pieces or complete sets, only to be confronted with a greasy and dusty stack of pieces? Even if you enjoy admiring your Lego creations while looking at full sets on display at home, chances are that many of them have been sitting on the shelf for months or years without being touched by a wiper and brush.
Playing with your favorite Lego set or frequently assembling and disassembling Lego pieces will seem normal until you examine them attentively and discover layers of dust, oily stains, bad odors, or even observe the pieces losing color. Knowing how to clean Lego sets and stray pieces on a regular basis can help you store them for years to come. If you acquire old Lego sets at a yard sale or on the internet, they must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any odors and bacteria that may have accumulated in the dust.
Hand-washing Lego Bricks: A Step-by-Step Guide
Although time-consuming, this method is the safest for cleaning sensitive colors and antique Lego pieces, which can be destroyed if harsh chemicals are used. Furthermore, if your Lego parts are free of dust and filth, cleaning them will be the simplest method to avoid accidental harm —
- Wipe electrical or fragile parts like light bricks, streetlamps, and light kit accessories using alcohol wipes. Set aside the printed or stickerered Lego pieces, as well as multi-part Lego units such as turntables that are difficult to separate, and scrub them with dry wipes or towels. Dust can be removed from tight corners with a toothbrush or soft-bristle brush if necessary.
- Now, as much as feasible, disassemble the pieces in multi-piece units that are not water sensitive. Dip the units in lukewarm water (not more than 40 degrees Celsius) with a little bleach-free mild detergent or soap, gently shaking them from time to time. Keeping 200-300 pieces or units in each container should suffice.
- If you wish to sanitize them or get rid of the scent, add 1/4 to 12 cup vinegar to the water. Keep the bricks submerged for around 10-15 minutes – if the water becomes too murky, replace with the same but new solution and soak for an hour or overnight, as needed.
- Scratch-prone items, such as windshields, should be rubbed with fingers. Scrub the parts and crevices with a toothbrush or toothpick if there is any remaining filth. To remove loosened filth and soap, place the bricks in a colander or strainer and rinse them under cool water.
- Place the wet pieces right-side up on a dry towel to drain the water from the underside and turn on the fan. Hair dryers are not recommended since they can damage the bricks.
Lego Bricks in the Washing Machine
Now that you know how to dust Legos and are debating whether to rapidly wash the pieces in the washing machine, here’s some advice: if the pieces are old, there may be tumbling or deformity concerns due to heat. Separate the printed, stickerered, and electrical pieces, as well as the moving parts and clear plastic pieces, to clean them with alcohol wipes or a dry towel. Now, simply follow the procedures outlined below —
- If a laundry bag or pillowcase is not available, place the units or pieces in it. Tumbling will be prevented by the mesh or cloth covering. Make sure the mouth is closed with a rubber band or a zipper.
- Set the washing machine to the coldest setting and the gentlest wash. To avoid itching, use a light washing detergent powder or liquid wash.
- Place the pieces on a dry towel, just as you would for hand washing, and make sure the space is sufficiently ventilated to allow for speedy drying. Excessive heat should be avoided. The pieces will dry entirely in 1-2 days, depending on the humidity level.
To Restore Discolored Lego Pieces, Clean Them
Excessive sun exposure causes discoloration, which must be reversed before the accumulated filth and dust can be removed. To clean the components, use one of the two methods listed above. Now go through the steps –
- Place the Lego parts (excluding printed, stickered, and electrical parts) in a large transparent glass or plastic container. Place the container where it will get enough sunlight.
- In this phase, hydrogen peroxide will be utilized, and because it reacts with UV light, only a location with sunlight or a UV lamp will be useful. Any drug store should have a 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide that will suffice to cover the bricks. To avoid skin contact, use rubber gloves, a mask, and goggles while using it, and keep children away from it because exposure to the chemical can be dangerous.
- If any light item floats to the surface, weigh it down with something substantial. Stir the bricks every hour to remove bubbles, and when there are no bubbles in the solution, the hydrogen peroxide has completely dissolved, and it’s time to drain the liquid and start over with a new solution.
- This procedure will assist in reversing the yellowing of white Lego or the orangeing of red bricks. Keep the bricks for 4-6 hours, depending on the strength of the sunshine and the age of the hydrogen peroxide. Once done, drain them in a strainer and thoroughly rinse them before allowing them to air dry.
Cleaning Lego Pieces With Stickers –To avoid damaging the sticker, wipe the pieces with stickers by hand. However, you can remove irritating grime by dipping and wringing bar towels in lukewarm water before gently rubbing over the stickered areas. Allow time for them to dry before packaging.
If you have hard water, you should clean your bricks.
Simply rinse the Lego bricks in a jet-dry and water solution at a rate of six tablespoons per gallon. Place the bricks on the towel individually so that the jet dryer can eliminate surface tension and water rivulets can drop down into the towel. Instead of creating a pool, this will aid in efficient soaking of the water.
Lego Pieces That Have Been Infected –
The best disinfection is a vinegar solution, but if the odor persists, mix bleach and water in a 1:20 ratio and soak the pieces in the solution for a whole day. At regular intervals, swirl the pieces in the solution.
Removing Smoke Or Urine Smell From Lego Pieces –Prepare a thick paste with baking soda and water, similar to poutine consistency, and lather it properly on the Lego pieces while wearing gloves. You should make the paste according to the number of bricks so that all of the pieces are thoroughly covered, and you can also put the paste in a 3-4l bin and dip the pieces in it to cover the surface.
Take the bin outside, preferably somewhere without grass or plants you don’t want to damage (concrete floor or weed jungle, for example), and spritz the pieces with 100 percent white vinegar. Foam will form around the pieces, and the odor will fade with time. Re-mix it, set it aside, and spray it again – this time for a few hours.
After that, fill a bucket halfway with vinegar and half with water. Using a colander, submerge the foam-covered bricks in a pail of water to thoroughly rinse them. After that, let it dry in the sun.
When it comes to cleaning Lego bricks, there are a few things you should avoid.
The general rule is to avoid using anything that is hazardous to a baby’s skin, therefore avoid undiluted bleach, chemical cleaner for the bathroom, floor, or sink, and undiluted cleaning acid. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- While isopropyl alcohol is primarily used to clean up Legos, many people confuse it with nail polish thinner or remover, believing the two to be interchangeable. The nail polish remover spirit takes longer to evaporate than alcohol and frequently damages the color on the bricks.
- Because hard and saline water leave residue when dried in the air, air drying without first validating the water quality of the tap water can result in mineral deposits on the pieces.
- Leave no dust between the studs of the pieces because once it settles, you won’t be able to remove it without using a wet rug, a swifter duster, or a kitchen scrubber with soft bristles.
- If you wish to wash Lego bricks in the dishwasher, avoid using powdered detergent because the detergent particles will act like little sandblasters and destroy the pieces. The same is true for clothes washers, where brightening detergents are a no-no when it comes to Lego bricks.
- Make sure your child isn’t eliminating dirt with a magic eraser, as these erasers are constructed of expanded melamine foam, similar to sand paper, and rubbing with a 2500 grit rubber will cause the bricks to wear out.
- Chrome Lego pieces should not be washed in soapy water. Dip such pieces in water only if necessary and pat dry with microfiber clothing. Only do this if the chrome plates aren’t peeling.
Follow These Additional Suggestions
Even if you light up Lego creations, you’ll need to clean the light kit as well as the Lego pieces because dust can gather among the sophisticated lighting attachments. Before washing the Lego pieces, make sure to uninstall the light kit and disconnect it from the main power source; otherwise, the lights may be damaged or electrical problems may arise. Apart from that, here are some pointers to consider:
- Rinse with a large stick or spoon while washing in the sink or bin with lukewarm water, light detergent, or soft cleaning solutions.
- Add up to 10 clean glasses to the dishwasher and start the rinse cycle with one or two cups of white vinegar instead of detergent, then load the bag of Lego pieces. Instead of heating the pieces when they’re done, let them air dry.
- Use a strong rinse cycle in the washing machine with non-bleaching light and liquid fabric cleanser. After that, air dry, or better yet, dry in the sun for a few hours to help erase yellowing.
- If you live in a clod-damaged area, separate the pieces ahead of time and spread the washing out over 5-6 days, as the fragments will need 2-3 days to properly dry.
- Get a lidded bin with a capacity of roughly 4-5L and dump the Lego pieces inside with some microfiber towels to speed up the drying process. Close the lid and give it a good shake.
- When eliminating any permanent ink markings on the Lego pieces, don’t use too much alcohol and keep a tissue handy to wipe away any excess alcohol. Because the sensitive colors in the pieces do not dissolve quickly, too much alcohol can harm them.
Lego Sets with Light Kits –How To Get Rid Of Them
You can accent Lego sets with lights from the handmade Briksmax or Lightailing light kits to make them seem magnificent without overshadowing them. The kits come in a hardcover box that may be sanitized by spraying it with disinfectant and exposing it to the sun for a day. When you open the box, you’ll see plastic bags with LEDs and peripherals inside. Before using, clean the packets and contents with sanitizing liquid and test them thoroughly to ensure that they are functional. Premium LEDs with connecting cables are transmitted between stubs, and if the stubs become dirty, the wires become dirty as well. Clean the sets before putting up the lights, expansion boards, Adhesive Squares, cords, USB power cord, and battery pack with new AA cells that were purchased separately. Once installed, clean any filth with a disinfectant sprayed from a distance or wipes.
The installation method is explained in detail in the instruction manuals, and the kits are backed by a two-year manufacturing warranty. While cleaning the Lego bricks, make sure to clean the lighting accessories as well, but without exposing them to water. If you’re using an alcohol-based disinfectant, wait until it’s totally dry before switching on the main power.
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Zephyr Lee, a writer with a deep passion for science and a talent for explaining complex ideas in an accessible and engaging way. I believe that writing is not just about expressing oneself, but about educating and enlightening others. I strive to create stories that are both informative and engaging, that educate readers and inspire them to think differently about the world around them. I believe that writing has the power to change the way we see the world, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition.