The easiest way to properly clean Legos
As we get nearer and nearer to flu season, it’s never been so important to keep our children healthy. An important part of building a robust immune system is exposure to germs. But, it’s also important to consider that kids may already have a compromised immune system during times of the year when the weather is bad or when many other children they come into regular contact with are already sick.
When kids touch dirty toys and then bring those hands up to their mouths (as kids always do), there is a potential for them to get fairly ill. By properly sanitizing toys, particularly those that are shared with other children, or brought to daycare or school, we can help our kids avoid getting too sick.
But how do you clean Legos properly so that they don’t get damaged or melt? It’s a lot easier than you might think.
How to quickly and easily sanitize Legos
Option one: clean Legos with elbow grease
If the Legos are not very dirty (just a little bit of dust, no exposure to a germy environment), it’s perfectly okay to use a dab of dish soap and scrub them by hand under some warm running water. This will keep them relatively clean while avoiding damage to any of the pieces, but may miss some spots and likely won’t kill the microbes hiding in the nooks and crannies.
To really get into the crevices, you can scrub the pieces with a clean toothbrush, or use a toothpick to pick out the grime. Soaking the Legos in a one half vinegar, one half water solution is great for removing odors that linger on the bricks.
Option two: clean Legos in the dishwasher
Can you put Legos in the dishwasher? The answer is… Sort of. Officially, Lego does not recommend putting your Lego pieces into the dishwasher, as there is a risk they could melt in high heat. However, if you put them in a washing bag like this one, this risk is mostly mitigated. It’s certainly the fastest and easiest method, although try it at your own risk (and if your dishwasher has temperature controls, all the better).
Option three: clean Legos in the washing machine
Alternatively, you can use the same type of washing bag in your washing machine, using cold or warm water wash on the gentle cycle, and adding approximately one half cup of chlorine per load to properly disinfect the bricks.
Never put Lego bricks into the clothes dryer, as this will certainly cause them to warp or melt, which will be irreparable!
Option four: clean Legos in an ultrasonic cleaner
For parts that are REALLY dirty, too thin / fragile for the washer or dishwasher, or if you just don’t want to spend the time scrubbing individual pieces by hand, you can drop them into an inexpensive ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for a couple of minutes and be done with it. This one time investment will pay off dividends over time in saved time and convenience. Ultrasonic cleaners use ordinary tap water (and 42,000 ultrasonic energy waves per second) to restore your Legos to like-new condition with absolutely no harsh chemicals or rigorous scrubbing. They are perfect for safely sanitizing and disinfecting Lego bricks for daycares, schools, or playgroups.
How to fix discoloration of Lego bricks
Over time, heavily used Legos can take on a cloudy or dull coloration, making them look dingy and disappointing. Luckily, this discoloration can be easily reversed, making your Legos look as good as new again!
All you will need is a clear plastic container and 3% hydrogen peroxide, both of which you likely have laying around your house already. Before attempting this method, you will need to properly wash your Legos using one of the suggestions above (although there is no need to dry them before continuing).
Cover the bricks with the standard 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, taking care to avoid contact with your skin. Keep it out of reach of children and pets. Place the entire container in direct sun exposure, so that the hydrogen peroxide is allowed to react to the UV light. When bubbles stop forming, the interaction is complete, and you can rinse the Legos in a drainer under running water.
Pro-tip: because of the extremely high quality of the steel molds used to cast Legos, and the amazing quality assurance that goes into making sure that only the best Lego pieces ever hit the market, you can save a ton of money by buying used Legos. Now that you know how to properly clean Legos so that they are completely germ-free, you can feel 100% comfortable about picking up inexpensive used Legos in bulk on Amazon, eBay, or at your local yard sale!
By following these simple instructions, you should have your Legos completely germ-free and looking like new in no time! These are general guidelines for keeping your Legos clean: Please note that there are thousands of unique Lego pieces that come in different sets and that have been manufactured at different times in Lego’s history, so it’s impossible to guarantee that these methods will work perfectly on every piece. Try them at your own risk and always defer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you have any lingering concerns or doubts.
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