How To Wash LEGOs

How to Wash LEGOs | Cleaning LEGO Bricks

LEGOS are some of the lowest-maintenance toys around. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect them altogether.

(If you do, they have a neat way of biting you in the foot.)

LEGO pieces are simple to wash — all you need is some warm water and a mild detergent.

Here’s how to wash LEGO pieces quickly and easily (whether you have a dozen grimy bricks or thousands):

How to Clean LEGO Bricks: The Official Method

Per LEGO’s official instructions, the best way to wash LEGO bricks is with warm water and a soft rag or sponge. You can also use mild detergent if you really want. But in that case, the pieces should be thoroughly rinsed before drying.

LEGO also warns NOT to use water any hotter than 104℉ — sound advice that you should follow no matter the cleaning method! Excess heat could warp the LEGO bricks, permanently damaging them.

How to Wash LEGOs In Bulk

Person cleaning LEGOs

While LEGO’s official cleaning guidelines might work for small batches of bricks, that method isn’t very practical if you need to wash hundreds or even thousands at a time.

To wash LEGO in bulk, the most popular method is to fill a large sink, tub, or bucket with warm water (again, no hotter than 104℉). 

Add a small amount of mild laundry or dish detergent before placing the LEGOs in the water. Vinegar can also be used as a gentle disinfectant.

Let the LEGO bricks soak for up to 10 minutes, agitating the mixture as needed to loosen dirt and buildup.

Rinse the pieces with clean water and then lay them out to dry on a towel overnight.

How to Clean LEGOs With Stickers

LEGOs with stickers in black background

LEGOs are extremely durable, so washing bricks either one by one or in bulk doesn’t need to be a delicate process. But there is one exception… LEGOs with stickers.

Many LEGO bricks (particularly those from special series or build kits) feature decorative stickers. These stickers may become damaged if exposed to excess moisture or overly roughed up.

To prevent potential damage, be sure to remove any stickered bricks before washing your LEGO collection in a basin or tub. Set these pieces aside to be wiped clean with a slightly damp rag. Dry each LEGO immediately so the sticker does not absorb any moisture.

Related post: STEM LEGO: What Is It? And What is Available in 2022?

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean LEGO pieces?

Even a small collection of LEGOS can be a chore to wash, so don’t stress yourself out by adding this task to your weekly cleaning regimen!

How often you clean your or your children’s LEGO collection is ultimately up to you. As long as bricks are individually washed when exposed to spills or dirt, you can go a few months or longer between bulk cleanings.

Of course, LEGOs that are used in semi-public play areas (think a daycare or school) should be cleaned more frequently. In the same vein, it doesn’t hurt to wash LEGOs before/after playdates or a virus passing through the home.

Can you clean LEGOs in a dishwasher or washing machine?

Yes, it’s possible to wash LEGOs in one of these appliances. But it’s typically not recommended.

While the LEGOs themselves are unlikely to be damaged by a dishwasher or washing machine, there’s always the risk of a small piece getting lodged somewhere in the appliance and breaking it.

If you are set on using an appliance to wash your LEGOs in bulk, place the bricks into a mesh bag. Consider using a zip tie or similar closure to keep the bag from accidentally opening during the process.

Again, proceed at your own risk!

How do you remove pen or paint stains from LEGOs?

There are two simple methods for removing ink stains from LEGO bricks: Melamine foam or isopropyl alcohol.

Using melamine foam (the Magic Erasers are made of) is a quick and effective way to scrub away stubborn marks and stains for individual LEGOs. However, since melamine works like ultra-fine sandpaper, it can leave tiny scuffs in the LEGOs and dull their surfaces.

While melamine foam is a fine solution for children’s LEGOs, more serious collectors prefer to use isopropyl alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol can be gently applied with a cotton swab to dissolve and wipe away offending stains. Care should be taken not to apply too much as it could damage the LEGOs’ finish.