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How to clean your LEGO sets/parts?

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#1 jngunsw

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:35 AM

Hi guys:

I am not sure if this is the right sub-forum for this topic, the admin ppl can move this wherever they see fit...

The title says it all... how do you keep your lego sets clean?

I hv dozens and dozens (in yr cases, i suspect a lot of you hv hundreds and hundreds) of lego set sitting on top of my bookshelves, TV sets, fridge, wardrobes etc etc.... it doesn't usually take long for them to be covered by dust...

Who needs to create snow effects when the city airport or the castles are covered by dust?

The most horrible experience i hv had is to hv an uninvited creature "constructing" spider web all over the two masts of my Black Seas Barracuda (i don't hv monkey jumping across the masts, i had real spider "travel" across them :oo

I used to use wiper to clean the dust off my lego sets.... needless to say it's time-consuming and highly ineffective.... lately i hv been using my turbo hairdryer to blow the dust off the lego sets.... it's a lot faster (suit lazy ppl like me) n the result is a bit better


any genius or expert ideas out there?

thx guys  ;)

#2 Mister Phes

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:43 AM

Someone once suggested to me is to make sure all the pieces are disassembled and then put them in a washing bag.  Ya know, a bag where delicates such as pantyhose, lingere, etc. goes into before being put into a washing machine.  Then put them in the washing machine.

This was before stickers were popular of course.  I've never tried it for myself.   I didn't want to take the risk.

#3 jngunsw

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:57 AM

mister_phes, on Jul 4 2005, 02:43 AM, said:

This was before stickers were popular of course.  I've never tried it for myself.   I didn't want to take the risk.

neither will i risk it... thanks for the suggestion anyway

you are spot on that the extensive use of stickers mks maintenance more difficult... the late Scuderia Ferrari Truck set is an absolute shocker... i hv never seen so many stickers applied to one set before....

a supplementry question for you mister_phes since you specialise in the pirate theme.... is there any way that you can prevent or even reverse the discoloring of the sail?

cheers,
8-|

#4 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:13 AM

I have a (growing) City of with an area of 6x5 roadplates. So, what do I use?

First of all, I use a sheet/blanket to cover my sets when not in use, but...

When I do occassionally clean it (about twice a month), I first use a wiper to clear off the main layer of dust, then I use one of those seperate "static dry sweeping cloth" things for the hard to reach spots (the LEGO studs, in between tight edges, etc.). The brand that I prefer is Swiffer. It does a great job in terms of static cling. Lastly, if that doesn't work, I use a damp paper towel to wipe off deep ground-in dirt/dust. I also highly recommend for you to use a toothpick (or straightened paper clip) along with the static cloth or towel to get down to the nitty-gritty. Of course, this process takes alot of time, but the results are worth it. ;)

And I advise you not to use the hairdryer if it gives off a high amount of hot air, since it might damage and warp the LEGO. (Not good. >-| )

Also, if the LEGO stickers were carefully applied, it won't have any problems with exposure to water. They are mostly waterproof.

HOPE THIS HELPS! *satis*

#5 jngunsw

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 07:50 AM

thanks mr. lego_bildur, obviously you hv put into a lot of effort to keep yr city in good shape  ;)

#6 Mister Phes

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 08:07 AM

jngunsw, on Jul 4 2005, 12:57 PM, said:

a supplementry question for you mister_phes since you specialise in the pirate theme.... is there any way that you can prevent or even reverse the discoloring of the sail?
Them sails can be quite pesky things!

First I'll suggest the obvious...
  • Keep them out of direct sun light as it increases fading - as with most things except solar power panels.
  • Keep them away from moisture and this entices mildew to grow on them turning them an awful brown or yellow colour.

To get rid of mildew I've heard some use bleach, vinegar or lemon juice in conjuction with hot soapy water.  But you'd have to dry the sales immediately.  Some just throw them in the wash.

I don't like to use liquids on sales because they're never a crisp and firm afterwards.  Also washing can frey the edges.  If I don't like the sales I usally don't the set!  Saves a lot of inconvenience.

#7 prateek

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 09:16 PM

I dont  ;)

#8 TheBrickster

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 11:38 PM

I also have a large train/town layout that I'm constantly cleaning.  I use a damp paper-towel to wipe off smooth edges.  For road plates and larger studded roof plates which seem to really show and collect dust, I use the vacuum with a soft brush attachment.  This works very well, esp on the road plates (I usually remove first to prevent smaller items/pieces from getting sucked up.  

For bookshelves with those favorite models, I tried something recently that a friend recommended.  I place a glass of water in the center of the shelf between models.  The water supposedly collects the dust preventing much of it to stick to the models.  I've had a glass next to my Falcon and it seems to be helping.  I'm just amazed at how quick the water evaporates and the water becomed dirty.  I'm sure this doesn't eliminate all dust but it does help.

I never thought of covering with a sheet but this isn't a bad idea.  You just don't always get to see the models without removing the sheet.  I've also thought about a custom build acrylic cover but I'm sure this would be rather costly.

#9 Mister Phes

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 09:33 AM

At times I use a wetted tooth brush and paper towel.  Afterall, its good to swab the decks once in a while!

#10 Ras 74

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:39 PM

I know a member of a othe forum have a air-codition in his LEGO-DOOM
together with some kind of air-moisteriser- thing-machine.
It was calculated anyway to get his"room" (or garage or whatever)
99 % free from dust. A bit expensive maybe, but so is LEGO  ;)
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#11 christopher110

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 03:25 AM

For my last cleanup, I also used wetted tooth brush and paper towel to clean my LEGO sets. After that, I put them all inside my bookshelves.

For those sets that can't fit into my bookshelves, they are covered by plastic book-wrapping paper. I bought it at RM2 (or USD 50cents) for every 1.5 meter square (1mx1.5m).


Posted Image

#12 LegoBMW

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 02:49 AM

For cleaning i use Dust remover in a can. You can buy it at staples and it is compressed gas. It works very well. YOu spray it on the bricks and it gets in the small space. Price is 2 cans for $9.56 US Dollars.

#13 baron

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 10:18 PM

 christopher110, on Jul 13 2005, 03:25 AM, said:

For my last cleanup, I also used wetted tooth brush and paper towel to clean my LEGO sets. After that, I put them all inside my bookshelves.

For those sets that can't fit into my bookshelves, they are covered by plastic book-wrapping paper. I bought it at RM2 (or USD 50cents) for every 1.5 meter square (1mx1.5m).


Posted Image

I used to use a toothbrush too, but I found it leaves a lot of little scratch marks on my legos.  Anyone have any suggestions to get back baseplates that are very covered with dust?  Blowing air on it does absolutely nothing, and cleaning all my dirty sets wth a paper towel would take forever...

#14 5150 Lego

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 11:47 PM

 baron, on Apr 28 2006, 10:18 PM, said:

 christopher110, on Jul 13 2005, 03:25 AM, said:

For my last cleanup, I also used wetted tooth brush and paper towel to clean my LEGO sets. After that, I put them all inside my bookshelves.

For those sets that can't fit into my bookshelves, they are covered by plastic book-wrapping paper. I bought it at RM2 (or USD 50cents) for every 1.5 meter square (1mx1.5m).


Posted Image

I used to use a toothbrush too, but I found it leaves a lot of little scratch marks on my legos.  Anyone have any suggestions to get back baseplates that are very covered with dust?  Blowing air on it does absolutely nothing, and cleaning all my dirty sets wth a paper towel would take forever...


I use a static dust cloth for the main dust, and then a soft tooth brush to get into the crevises. There are differnt stiffness in tooth brushes, so just get a really soft one. Been doing it for years now, and as long as you don't press down to hard, you'll be fine.
Calm down... HAVE SOME DIP!

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#15 Cyclonis

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 11:41 AM

For baseplates, I turn them upside-down and I rub the studded side into some scrap carpet or even the normal carpet in your house. Doing this to the baseplate immediately illiminates all the dust on the baseplate, even between the studs. Then you can get a shoe with a good, and of course, clean soul to it and then drag that in lines along the carpet. It pushes all the dust and hair and fluff in the carpet to one big pile. Then you can get rid of that.

It may sound a little stupid, but it's ALOT easier than trying to get a paper towel and rubbing in all around those little studs.

#16 Zane

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 05:00 PM

That's what I do too, Cyclonis. Only I don't clean it up afterwards.

I'm also using Chris's technique on my Jango Slave 1. I doubt Bionicle would look any good with plastic over them, but that doesn't matter. I could just get a cling-film screen across my shelves....

-Tilius-

#17 Echo

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 05:20 PM

I clean my sets by filling up the bathtub in my bathroom and dunking them in to it. It works pretty good.

#18 It's Friday

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 02:35 AM

Leave them out on a desk or something. Just not high up. At that rate it take a very long time to get dusty.

#19 me like lego lots2

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:28 AM

what do i do to clean minifigs

#20 superpabz

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 09:11 PM

I am cleaning a 7191 UCS X-wing to restore to as near a new condition as possible. The pieces are in decent shape, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on cleaning them? The white pieces are the ones which need most attention. Can anyone recommend a safe cleaning product? On the white pieces has anyone ever tried bleaching? I could replace all the white pieces with new, but I want to keep the cost down as much as possible.

Thanks for any help in advance.

#21 natelite

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 09:19 PM

only known way to de-yellow a white piece is to bleach it. though those who have done so said the part becomes brittle after bleaching. so, i'm not really sure what's the best way of restoring a white piece.

#22 brickbitz

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 09:54 PM

White pieces yellowed with age and sunlight are probably beyond saving.

For general cleaning I've found "Orange Cleaner" type products good at getting rid of ink markings, grime, some stains etc.

What works for me is getting the spray version, putting some on a microfibre cloth , cleaning the pieces up with a good rub and then giving them a rinse. White pieces come up looking almost as good as new, it even cleans the studs if you give it a bit of elbow grease.

I use this technique on job lot parts I obtain from car boots, some of which look like they've been in the garden for a few months. The results are nearly always good where yellowing isn't an issue.

Hope this might be some help.
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#23 Iced

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 10:54 PM

I have heard that a very duluted bleach works the best on white piece's

#24 metalandi

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:33 PM

Sorry if there already is such a topic, but unfortunately i didn't find anything like that.

So..as the title says, can you tell me some good methods to clean up old bricks and free them from dust and so on to make it shiny again? I digged out a few sets from the 90's lately and recognized they are pretty dirty and look "old". And since i don't want to make a mistake on cleaning it with the false substances, i thought why not ask here first.

#25 natelite

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:49 PM

lots of posts already on this subject. just use ordinary soap and hot water. the lego stickers as long as firmly placed on the bricks will not be damaged during washing. bleach will destroy certain bricks, mostly the chromed pieces. best to use mild detergent where possible and leave oxyclean for the heavy stained pieces. make sure you lightly wash the coins and crowns in mild soap. use a paint brush (do not use hard or vinyl brush) to clean tough, hidden spot or you will scratch the surface.

if it is just dust, you can also use compressed air to blow it all away. save yourself having to air dry them. :-P



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