Jump to content

Tips on cleaning used Lego

Recommended Posts

A friend/coworker is cleaning out his garage and he gave me a huge box of Lego today. I started going through it and it's an incredible quantity of stuff; Lego, Technic, Bionicle - probably 50,000 pieces. Mostly Lego but also some MegaBlocks and other stuff (which I'm separating out). Some of the Lego stuff is pretty old and it's all pretty dirty. Can anyone give me some idea of how to clean it? Thanks in advance for any suggestions/instructions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let them soak in lukewarm water and detergent for an hour or so then scrub them with a medium bristle scrub brush that should take off most of the funk. You can use a toothbrush if you see any remaining gunk. Then you have to lay them out and let them dry, if they don't dry completely they could accumulate some mold, so make sure they dry good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easier solution....put it all in a mesh laundry bag, tie the top tight, and run it in the washer and then dryer. Piece of cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

put it all in a mesh laundry bag, tie the top tight, and run it in the washer and then dryer

This is what I do, the only thing I add is I wash it with what we call 'dirty towels' outside of the mesh bag. These are used bath towels that we now keep to use for cleaning. I think it helps clean the mesh bag of Legos while helping to protect the Legos from damage as the Legos are generally rubbing against a softer surface than the stainless steel tub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easier solution....put it all in a mesh laundry bag, tie the top tight, and run it in the washer and then dryer. Piece of cake.

I thought about this before, but wasn't so sure that it was safe or okay. Well, if it works for you, good enough for me. Don't know about running through the dryer though. Wouldn't that just bang the crap out of the bricks? Might need to do what Talon said and use some bath towels to give them a 'soft' barrier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought about this before, but wasn't so sure that it was safe or okay. Well, if it works for you, good enough for me. Don't know about running through the dryer though. Wouldn't that just bang the crap out of the bricks? Might need to do what Talon said and use some bath towels to give them a 'soft' barrier.Yes - The large towel method will also dry them quicker, and polish them up a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that someone just washes their LEGO pieces in the wash machine with no bag.....just tosses them in, wonder how that worked out. When I put mine in the wash machine with the mesh bag method they seemed to loose a little bit of color, but then again I used hot water and that tide so that probably was the reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always use the soak/mild detergent method in the sink, but you can do the washing machine method as others have said. I think it has been said to use the "warm" water stage instead of hot to make sure the Lego doesn't lose any integrity, but I believe they are safe up to 140 degrees or something like that. The using of the towels in the washing machine is a good idea too, for the reasons stated above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't put them them into your washer/dryer without bags! Some will get loose and clog your machines! Just dry them by hand, don't be lazy :P I've heard too many horror stories of what I said above occurring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I have a lot of older sets and have also recently purchased some bulk Lego bricks from eBay. As anyone with older sets or bricks knows the white and gray pieces become yellowed over time. My wife did some research and found the following way or getting them back to their original color. We have tried this on many pieces and so far it works great (see the before and after photo). I thought I would share in case anyone is interested. Here is what you do...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done this and it definitely works. Didn't know that the solution was good for that long though. I have put printed pieces in the mixture and not had adverse effects to the colors. Thanks for posting this, many people have old pieces that simply need to be cleaned up and the Oxi-Clean/Peroxide breakthrough has saved many a Lego brick life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This works really well, we use high strength peroxide (10%+) and a bit of glycerin for a thicker mixture that can be painted on large or bulky items. ] Here is a great bit of info http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really useful information. I've recently reclaimed my old Lego collection from my parent's house and many of the older bricks need a facelift. +1 internees to you Legodog :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used high-strength peroxide on some 1980s Town sets two years ago, and I'm sorry to say that while the white bricks looked fine for about 6 months, the yellowing has since returned. I did leave the parts in the summer sun for 2 days; either that wasn't enough time or this fix is a temporary one. I wouldn't feel comfortable selling whitened bricks on the secondary market, since Cinderella's carriage turns back into a pumpkin before too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been planning on going through my 'old' collection of parts and clean them up, but as far as whitening goes I had no real idea. This will certainly save my stockpile of white parts. Thanks, Legodog!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://growgreenmi.com/hydrogen-peroxide-4l-case-of-4 I have a case of this in my closet for when I need to whiten bricks (It was $85 when I bought it...) I also add oxyclean as an oxidizer. ******.B., make sure you dilute the peroxide enough. If you don't, the chemical reaction between the bricks, acid, and oxyclean will cause the mixture to heat up. My tub of bricks I was bleaching started to steam. I'd estimate that it got up to 160F before I noticed and dumped a bunch of baking soda in it to kill the acid. Be careful. 29% H2O2 will cause chemical burns on your hands. Those little cuts all over your hands won't feel too good after being soaked in 29%. I was originally going to write an article for Brickpicker extolling the virtues of this cleaning method and how to do it. But, I noticed that the bricks I cleaned in this manner were hard to stack with untreated bricks. It was as if they had gotten a tiny bit bigger. Also, the colored bricks I tried cleaning this way started to get whiter, rather than cleaner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never even knew this was possible. It's a world of a difference from what the plates looked like prior to using this method to clean them. I'm going to break out some of my old road plates and get to work! Thanks for all the info!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this work with other colours like blues, clears and yellows?

I've some 50yo bricks that could do with brightening up

I have seen that it works on blue and old grey as well as white. Those were the main trouble colors of the old bricks, though, I've only personally tried it on white.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couldn't find a thread on this, so a question.

 

Those who buy a lot on Craigslist or lots on eBay, do you have a preferred method for cleaning dusty Lego? I can imagine a tub with soap and water is the easiest, although drying them seems like a pain. Anyone have a better method?

 

Also, if the color on pieces are faded or sun damaged, guessing there is no going back on that right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...