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Major Cleaning Job

brickgittbrickgitt DenmarkMember Posts: 25

Hi everyone

After a major fire in my home, destroying more than half of my belongings, but fortunately max 10% of my Lego, I have some questions regarding how to clean Lego bricks and wood- and cardboard-boxes. It's a major cleaning job, because the soot got in almost everywhere so a huge amount of my bricks have become dirty by soot alone. The bricks are almost all standard bricks for normal use (ex. without printed text, 100% plastic etc.). The stuff have been exposed for soot, ash and "mixed dirt" and my questions is:
1: How do I easiest clean my bricks (1949-present day) ??
2: How do I easiest clean my cardboard-boxes ??
3: How do I easiest clean my wooden-boxes ??

Any help will be highly appreciated !!


Sincerely,
Mikael Gitt
# brickgitt #


FowlerBricksFizyx

Comments

  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,680
    edited February 2018
    Wow. That's a tough thing to deal with. I'm very sorry that you have this problem. I would try a soapy rag first. I don't have much experience with soot, but soap will clean most plastic. As for wood and cardboard...that's tough. Cardboard is not easily cleaned no matter what you do. Wood could be cleaned if the soot is just on the box and the box itself isn't burnt. 
    Fizyx
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,090
    Cardboard can be cleaned with a damp but not wet rag, so long as it is only surface dirt. For bricks, I guess a vacuum cleaner with a fine mesh filter on the tube to remove the worst of it, followed by a good wash and days of drying. Washing is easy, drying takes forever in northern European climates, especially this time of year.
    madforLEGOFizyx
  • brickgittbrickgitt DenmarkMember Posts: 25

    @CCC Sounds very interesting with your information regarding cleaning cardboard and very promissing also. Looking forward to try it soon - first some tests on some cardboard that already are to damaged in some way (probably halfed burned of course) and later on some of the "dirty only boxes". I will of course tell about the result(s) here. Regarding drying the bricks - plenty of time since a new house have to be built before I'm going to use my Lego again.... 

  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,445
    CCC said:
    Cardboard can be cleaned with a damp but not wet rag, so long as it is only surface dirt. For bricks, I guess a vacuum cleaner with a fine mesh filter on the tube to remove the worst of it, followed by a good wash and days of drying. Washing is easy, drying takes forever in northern European climates, especially this time of year.
    Does no one over there have forced air heat? Around here, drying is really quick in the winter.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,529
    Really sorry to hear this, @brickgitt - best of luck with the clean up.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,090
    Concerning the carboard, I'd also recommend vacuuming first if possible. The less you wipe, the less abrasion to the boxes.
    Fizyxsid3windr
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 501
    For boxes, try to only suck or blow air on them. If they're newer boxes with the waxy coating on them, wiping them gently a little bit should be ok, as the cardboard is protected. But definately don't get anything moist near older boxes with just printed cardboard as it may smear or peel.
  • brickgittbrickgitt DenmarkMember Posts: 25

    Okay, think I will wait a little and check for more suggestions and information first. I for sure appreciate all help so far !! 

  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 3,001
    Sorry this happened to you! Is your insurance not chipping in for smoke/soot damage?  Although I guess certain things are irreplaceable anyway.

    Must be but heartache. Good luck with it!
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 1,311
    I feel for you with a situation like this and glad you sound so proactive in moving on! I've cleaned bricks from auctions quite a few times, some of which have actually been somewhat sooty, or have gathered sticky grime that could be seen as even worse. Although it takes some time, the best way to clean bricks in my opinion is to run some warm water and a small amount of soap into a washing up tub without too many bubbles. Then gradually dump some bricks in and scrub them with a toothbrush - the bristles work really well because they won't scratch the Lego but can get into most gaps, especially between studs.

    You might be able to use some wood polish on the wooden boxes to give them a more substantial touch-up which will take off most grime, however cleaning cardboard as others have mentioned above can be very hazardous. If the cardboard has been dry for a long time, or is difficult to get to dry you're going to want to use as little water as possible. I usually discard cardboard if it's too dirty and replace it, but I appreciate it could be hard to find the size you need.
  • colaycolay OxfordshireMember Posts: 497
    edited February 2018
    Really sorry to hear tgat  That's horribke

    For cleaning lego, I wash all the bulk used second hand stuff in a a washing machine inside a washing bag that looks like a net. To be extra safe i put that bag inside aapillowa  case I tie up
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