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Cleaning "hard water" off LEGO bricks?

AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
I have searched the forum and can't find anything specific to my question, so I am wondering if someone out there has any ideas please?

My children have a couple of LEGO boats (Fire and Police) which are for them to play with in the bath, paddling pool, local pond, etc. However, as you would expect, there is a pile of other LEGO bricks that have been added to these by them over time and now I have to collect all the bits and leave just the two boats in our bathroom (wife doesn't like the pile of LEGO bricks in the corner of an otherwise spotless bathroom!).

We live in a hard water area and so over the last few months, the bricks now have a chalky type scale (not too bad but noticeable) that you get on things that have been exposed over time to such water. I'm not too worried about the boats as they were written off when I got them in the hope that they would be played with and the rest of the LEGO would remain firmly away from water. It isn't a massive pile of bricks, but if they are to be returned to the fold, they would need something to refresh them and get rid of the scale.

Any ideas please?

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,362
    Have you tried just wiping them? ABS is pretty smooth, and it may wipe off. If not, use some dilute white vinegar.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    CCC said:

    Have you tried just wiping them? ABS is pretty smooth, and it may wipe off. If not, use some dilute white vinegar.

    No, wiping is not going to have an effect, but the white vinegar I'll give a go.

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,017
    Use Viakal descaler on a few bricks and see if it helps.

    Better still, fit a water softener. I did 6 months ago and wish I'd done it years ago.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,950
    We use vinegar to clean limescale stains off glasses, jugs, bathroom tiles etc in Reading, where the water is really hard (or "well 'ard, innit mate" as they would say). I would imagine it's much the same with Lego. Unless vinegar reacts with the Lego bricks? But I wouldn't think so.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,362
    Vinegar is fine on bricks, so long as you don't have it too concentrated (which it won't be if it is food vinegar). But even so, I'd still dilute it a bit to be on the safe side. I'd avoid viakal, it contains both formic and citric acids which again will be fine in dilute solution and will do the same job that the acetic acid in vinegar does. However, it also contains some long chain alcohols which may affect the prints on parts, especially if the parts are left in it or it is not washed off. It is pretty dilute and should be fine if you wash it off as soon as you have cleaned them, but try vinegar first.

    You could be British and use malt vinegar, but the parts might smell a bit unless you give them a really good wash afterwards.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    CCC said:

    You could be British and use malt vinegar, but the parts might smell a bit unless you give them a really good wash afterwards.

    Thanks CCC, just got home and the white vinegar worked a treat.

  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 298
    I've used vinegar to clean the white precipitate off of my Big Bang cannon, that's left over from the reaction of carbide and water. I prefer apple cider vinegar, as it's a little stronger than plain old white.
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