Have you picked up a large tub of used LEGO at a garage sale? Did you find that some pieces were in need of some serious cleaning? Well, the good news is that LEGO is quite easy to clean and bring back to its original shine!
WASHING: in most cases you can just wash the dirt right off with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Make sure the water is not too hot (no more than 104 Fahrenheit or 40 Celsius) as this can damage plastic. If the water hurts your hand, it is too hot! This is the safest way to clean LEGO, and it is not difficult to do.
WARNING! Do not wash electric LEGO parts in water!
SOAKING: if pieces are very dirty, you can first soak them in the soapy solution overnight (or even longer) to loosen up the dirt and grime stuck to them. Then later use an old toothbrush to gently clean the little nooks between the studs, and crevices on the bottom where dirt can still hide.
RINSING: make sure you rinse off all LEGO pieces well so there is no residue left on the bricks from the cleaning solutions you used. Using a colander can really help in the process!
USING BLEACH: if you want to disinfect dirty LEGO parts you can ad a LITTLE bleach into the water solution. 1TBSP/gallon of water is safe and shouldn’t damage your LEGO bricks. Make sure you rinse them well!
USING ALCOHOL: for extremely dirty LEGO bricks you can use a bit of rubbing alcohol to wipe off grime. Keep the exposure to the alcohol brief (as longer exposure can fade the plastic), and make sure you rinse the pieces off fully when you’re done.
USING A DISHWASHER OR WASHING MACHINE: if you have lots of second-hand LEGO to clean, you may consider using a dishwasher or washing machine. Place you LEGO in a mesh-bag used for laundry delicates, and use the gentlest setting (otherwise you can seriously damage parts). If you are using a dishwasher, only use the top rack! Make sure the water is not too hot!
WARNING! Do not use a clothes dryer or your dishwasher’s dry setting for LEGO as the heat can seriously warp them!
WARNING! Do not place electric LEGO parts, parts with batteries, or LEGO tires in the washing machine or dishwasher!
DRYING: Once your LEGO is clean spread them out well on a towel. Placing parts on their sides also helps so they don’t hold water. You may use an electric cooling fan to speed up the drying time. It may take a day or two for all your LEGO to fully dry.
You may also like to read these sections for further ideas:
- Cleaning Dusty LEGO
- Protecting LEGO from Sun/Light Damage
- Protecting Your LEGO Investment
- LEGO Storage Solutions
- LEGO Sorting Solutions
Let your LEGO shine!