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How To Clean Lego: The Ultimate Guide For Parents

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Little boy crouching on the floor playing with his Lego, smiling up at the camera.

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Lego is a fantastic way to encourage imaginative play, with hours of fun at your little one's fingertips.

As they grow, you'll find yourself with hundreds - if not thousands - of Lego pieces to keep the kids entertained.  But with sticky fingers, pet hair and unwanted household germs, removing dust and grime can be challenging, especially when you're pressed for time.

So we've come up with some easy methods to ensure your Legos are clean, and your kids stay happy and healthy during playtime.

If your kids love Lego as much as we think they do, interruptions to play might not go down well with the little ones, but they can get stuck in too. There are a number of ways to wash Lego without too much fuss, whether you're cleaning a mound of bricks, individual Lego figurines or entire sets that have already been assembled.

Before you start, separate out any electrical pieces, as well as bricks with stickers and printed patterns, as these can't be washed.  Also be sure to remove the Lego clear bricks from the rest and wash separately, as these are more vulnerable to scratching during the cleaning process. You could even sort the rest of the pieces into colours - this is a fun challenge for kids and makes for more organised play once they're clean.

Top Tip: Don't use your washing machine or dishwasher when washing Lego. The cycle may damage the bricks and even your appliances. While a Lego washing machine is a great little addition to your child's collection, you don't want stray pieces stuck in your actual washing machine!

Red, yellow, black and grey Lego pieces lying on the carpet.

How To Wash Lego By Hand

Hand washing is the best method to sanitise Lego bricks when they've spent hours on the floor, and it's the safest way to ensure they're ready for the next exciting building session or play date.  

Place the Lego bricks into the sink, a container, or a large resealable plastic bag. If you've decided to wash them in bulk, you could even use your Lego storage containers (as long as they're plastic), which will sanitise the container at the same time!

Fill the container with lukewarm water. Mild detergent or washing liquid makes for a great Lego cleaner, so there's no need for harsh chemicals - don't use bleach, as this will damage the Lego.  Simply add a small amount to the water and leave to soak for at least twenty minutes, stirring occasionally with your hands to ensure each brick is fully submerged. Very dirty Lego might need a longer soak; if you notice the water becoming especially dirty, just rinse and repeat the process as many times as you like.  Wipe down the electrical parts with an alcohol wipe. Those with stickers or printed patterns can be wiped with a damp cloth or antibacterial wipe.

Once they've had time to soak, rinse the Lego in a colander to remove any remaining soap - make sure they're thoroughly rinsed so they're safe to play with! To dry the pieces, lay them out on a towel and leave to air dry, flipping them occasionally so water doesn't get trapped in the bottom section. Don't use a hairdryer, and avoid putting them out in the sun, as exposure to heat can cause damage.  

Top Tip: For extra flair when drying, you could use a salad spinner to get rid of any excess water before you lay them on the towel - just be careful your little ones don't spin too vigorously, to avoid scratching!

Close up of a parent and child's hands building a Lego house on the floor.

How To Solve Discolouration

Over time, some of the pieces might become discoloured, particularly the white bricks if they've been exposed to sunlight. Discolouration doesn't necessarily mean dirt, but you might wish to restore the original quality so your kids get the most out of playtime.  If you do choose to rid discolouration from your Lego collection, this part of the process involves chemicals, so make sure your little Lego washer keeps a safe distance!

To clean white Lego bricks, simply cover them in 3% hydrogen peroxide - it's usually available as a disinfectant in most pharmacies. Place the bricks in a plastic container and completely submerge in hydrogen peroxide. Stir occasionally, until the colour has been restored. As with other washing methods, rinse thoroughly and leave to dry.

Top Tip: Make sure to wear rubber gloves when handling chemicals.

Boy smiling as he sits on the floor and plays with his Lego.

How To Clean Lego Sets

When considering how to clean Lego models, you'll be pleased to know it doesn't have to involve the huge task of demolishing what you and your little ones spent hours creating!  All you'll need is a toothbrush and a hoover.

Wipe any flat surfaces with a clean, dry cloth. To remove dust from textured surfaces, use a toothbrush to get into the crevices and grooves, and a thin hoover nozzle to catch the dust as you go. If the model is dirty, wipe down the surfaces with an antibacterial wipe once you've removed the dust, and then clear any residue with a clean, dry cloth.

Top Tip: You could wash Lego sets using the same method as the bricks, but be careful not to damage the integrity of your lovingly-crafted models!

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Kidadl Team

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The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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