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Best way to clean Legos?

I picked up a huge bag of Legos at a thrift store, and I would like to clean them all at once. Anyone have tips for the best way to do this? Are they washing machine or dishwasher safe if you put them in a mesh bag or something?

Also, I found a raceway set from 1987 that I had when I was younger and most of the white bricks are yellowed. Are they able to be saved or am I better off replacing those pieces?

If there is already a thread dedicated to this subject, it would be great if someone could direct me to it. I searched any didn't find anything, and couldn't find anything in the FAQ for searching tips.

Thank you!

Comments

  • edited October 2012
    Best way to clean LEGO brick is to leave them in in lukewarm soapwater for an hour before scrubing them one by one with a soft brush in... After that rinse them and dry them with a cold-air-hair-dryer or a cloth (to avoid scale-stains).

    That's the best way... but it takes time! ;-) Other methods might be quicker, but then it lessens the result or scratches the bricks!
  • Here's a thread I remember from a while ago for un-yellowing bricks, havn't tried it myself, but I think most have had some success.
    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/497/un-yellowing-old-bricks/p1
  • I usually just put them in soapy water and scrubbed them with an old toothbrush (old ones are better because the bristles will be softer and more splayed) when I was younger. But then again, when I was younger I lived in Africa, so the dirt was probably worse. :P However, I have noticed some scratches on some of them, so the above methods might be preferable.
  • edited October 2012
    The diswasher, washing machine in a meshbag method is safe for LEGO. Just put it on gentle cycle, and the water should not be too hot. Make sure however that you first separate out elements with sitckers, electric motors, and I also recommend to keep out clear parts like windshields as micro-scratches are a lot more visible on those. You can find more details here: http://thebrickblogger.com/2010/12/cleaning-dirty-lego/

    There is also a method to get scratched-up windshields to their original shine. You can read about it here: http://thebrickblogger.com/2012/04/make-your-clear-lego-shine/

    Hope this helps some! Happy cleaning!...(c:
  • Wow, thank you for all the help! All of those links have me covered. I had read about the retrobright thing a while back and had planned on using it on my NES, but I totally forgot about it.

    That link to restore the scratched up windshields is amazing! I can't wait to try it :)
  • edited October 2012
    Actually for most minor scratched Trans windows or windshields I use Novus Plastic polish no 2 (or Number 3 for heavier scratches, but I have not put that to the test yet), works pretty well without using a floor polish, some minor polishing/rubbing is required, but for minor to moderate scratching it works pretty well.
    It also works on the regular brick pretty well, and according to the makers is non-toxic if I am not mistaken not sure if Future floor polish is the same way (although Id say to wash off any parts that are polished regardless of the polish used).
    For worn looking parts I have found WD-40 of all things richens up the color.. although I dunno if you want to be spraying WD-40 all over bricks (obviously wash off the WD-40 when done)

    As for cleaning parts, soap, soak, toothbrush and patience.. Like @icey117 says it takes time BUT it usually provides the best results especially for grimy parts.

    As for Yellowed parts..
    Either do it the easy way and bricklink the replacement parts, or the more interesting way with retr-o-Brite.. Im still not convinced of that method, but there are others that swear by it.



  • edited October 2012
    I had heard from somewhere that nail polish can help clean the thick stains out. This is a big NO. It literally softens the bricks. If you ever want to get thick stains out, use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It's string enough to remove permanent marker. But still weak enough for the bricks to go unharmed.
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