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Cleaning Lego

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  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    legomatt said:

    I heartily recommend everyone read this whole thread back, with their mind on personal hygiene of the 'privates' sort, and not lego. It's quite hilarious in places.

    Please no, it'll just start getting creepy when they get to my airbrush comments.
    SumoLegojesirose
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,248
    I've got a large lot of LEGO that needs a good cleaning. It's primarily just a thick layer of dust. I've read through most of this thread and seen a variety of suggestions, although some people seem to contradict others.

    Is tossing the pieces in a pillow case and setting at a low temperature ok? I'll have to do several "loads" as there is quite a lot of pieces. These are also pretty expensive pieces, so I don't really want to do a test run with them. I'd rather make sure my method is full-proof before I dive in. Any opinions/suggestions for the washer/dryer method?
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,435
    throw a brush head of some kind in there. The areas between the pegs will need a lot of brushing.
  • HaleAFOLHaleAFOL Member Posts: 58
    My lego is displayed up on high shelves which Gather Dust quite easily they have been up there a few weeks now and are ready to be cleaned I have had a go at dusting them but it hasn't got rid of all the dust in the corners which way would be best to properly clean them? Because of stickers I don't want to wash them 
    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,623
    Before I started putting all of my CMFs into cases, I ended up dusting the crevasses with a fine paintbrush.

    I wanted to avoid scratching any of the printing or the pieces.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217

    HaleAFOL said:
    My lego is displayed up on high shelves which Gather Dust quite easily they have been up there a few weeks now and are ready to be cleaned I have had a go at dusting them but it hasn't got rid of all the dust in the corners which way would be best to properly clean them? Because of stickers I don't want to wash them 
    I would say go back into the few past pages to look, but I think there is no easy way. I know there was a vacuum attachment maker some time ago that made an attachment for regular vacuums that had a collection of very small tubes and bristles to clean fragile areas without sucking up large pieces of something (I think it was for collectables but I could see it being used for LEGO) but cannot find it any longer. Otherwise you are stuck with an paint brush, electric tooth brush may work well as well if it is thicker dust, or those small key board vacuums. Otherwise I think the tried and true method is to either create a dust free environment for your entire layout (good luck doing that cheaply or with minimum effort IMO) or using display cases for much of what you want to display and ensure it is sealed.
  • texaspetetexaspete U.K.Member Posts: 56
    HaleAFOL said:
    which way would be best to properly clean them? 

    When faced with a dusty Helm's Deep recently, I bought the cheapest 1.5" paint brush I could find. Brushing in two directions (perpendicular) makes the pieces look like new. It did a good job on the cloaks too.
    SumoLego
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,226
    HaleAFOL said:
    My lego is displayed up on high shelves which Gather Dust quite easily they have been up there a few weeks now and are ready to be cleaned I have had a go at dusting them but it hasn't got rid of all the dust in the corners which way would be best to properly clean them? Because of stickers I don't want to wash them 
    I use a DSLR camera cleaning kit (I replaced an old one that I used on my camera, and that one is now used for Lego).  The squeeze ball thing works alright for light dust (heavy, caked on dust won't be removed with anything but a good wash I have found) but I figure the key is the brush, since it's delicate enough to be used on a camera, it should be good to use on Lego (ie, not scratch Lego!).

    As an example:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phot-R-Professional-Lens-Camera-Cleaning/dp/B00MOLJCVQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1437471529&sr=8-3&keywords=dslr+sensor+cleaning+brush


  • Davian07Davian07 Member Posts: 19
    I was wondering how you dust LEGO sets that you display on a shelf. Feather duster? Wool duster? Other? Any ideas are much appreciated!
    The best way (I have found in my experience) is to regularly use compressed air.  Either those cans marketed for cleaning computer periferals & electronic  components which are available in many retailers (at least here in the States ) or a small 1 gallon compressor with a blower attachment (much more cost efficient and with a stronger psi).  One can also place a vacuum hose close by to inhale the dust particles. 

    It is important to dust regularly- particularly in a home with pets- because after a while the dust seems to adhere to the surface.  This happened to me in the early days of my LEGO insanity and I had sticky coat on a 8455- the rubber pneumatic hoses REALLY hold dust!  I used a small handheld steamer with different nozzles to clean the entire model then allowed it to air dry in the sun a few hours.  Turned out like I had just purchased.  So I recommend a steamer for really dirty components. Still time consuming but much less laborious and the only thing in contact with the brick is steam/water.  Pieces come out looking perfecty.  Great for minifigs.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217
    edited July 2015
    Davian07 said:
    I was wondering how you dust LEGO sets that you display on a shelf. Feather duster? Wool duster? Other? Any ideas are much appreciated!
    The best way (I have found in my experience) is to regularly use compressed air.  Either those cans marketed for cleaning computer periferals & electronic  components which are available in many retailers (at least here in the States ) or a small 1 gallon compressor with a blower attachment (much more cost efficient and with a stronger psi).  One can also place a vacuum hose close by to inhale the dust particles. 

    It is important to dust regularly- particularly in a home with pets- because after a while the dust seems to adhere to the surface.  This happened to me in the early days of my LEGO insanity and I had sticky coat on a 8455- the rubber pneumatic hoses REALLY hold dust!  I used a small handheld steamer with different nozzles to clean the entire model then allowed it to air dry in the sun a few hours.  Turned out like I had just purchased.  So I recommend a steamer for really dirty components. Still time consuming but much less laborious and the only thing in contact with the brick is steam/water.  Pieces come out looking perfecty.  Great for minifigs.
    I presume the heat can hurt any stickers not sure about printed or 'painted' parts, like torsos and the like.

  • Davian07Davian07 Member Posts: 19

    I presume the heat can hurt any stickers not sure about printed or 'painted' parts, like torsos and the like.

    Yes, steaming probably would remove/damage stickers.  I personally don't use any stickers- I always think I will eventually and then I never do.  Even on those models I know I'll never disassemble.

    That is why I believe the best way is to dust with compressed air early & often.  And if one acquires a set that has stickers but needs a real cleaning than the risk of losing the stickers is pretty much a foregone conclusion. 

    Steaming doesn't harm the printing on Lego if it's not held in place for an overly long period of time.  A good steamer (I have a McCullough, available on Amazon) quickly blasts away grime similar to a pressure washer. 

    I would use the other methods- mesh washing bag in dishwasher- for a large lot of loose brick but for a few pieces or assembled models with a coat of residue the steamer gives excellent results.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,245
    I was wondering if the color of the pieces plays a factor in how much they catch dust, for example, I'm under the impression that black parts attract lots of dust, while gold part very little. of course it could just be that dust is more visible on black, or that models contain large amount of black part, so you spend more time dusting them.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    My cleaning methods I've tried and my thoughts on their pros/cons. Maybe someone will find it helpful?

    Toothbrush - Used a soft bristle brush. Cheap, easy to use, can mix with a bit of water, but I found it does actually scratch some bricks. 

    Vacuum attachment- I like this method because its actually picking up the dust not just throwing it in the air. However you have to have a vacuum nearby which may overheat, and is loud, so it's difficult to clean large amounts

    Cyber Clean - This method is easy to use and can get into all kinds of crevices even a toothbrush cant reach. Cleans pretty well and leaves a slight shine. It's pretty expensive and the puddy gets dirty quickly, and sometimes feel as if it leaves a slight sticky residue. 

    Compressed Air - Everyone knows this pros and cons of this method. Expensive, but straw is nice to direct powerful air blasts. Best to use regularly to avoid heavy build up, because heavy dust build up will not be removed by this. 

    Dishwasher with mesh bag - I think I bought a small mesh bag for bras or something. I used the dishwasher because I felt a washing machine would tumble the bricks too much and scratch them. In my trials, it didn't damaged printed bricks but would definitely not try sticker pieces. Problem is drying all the loose bricks.

    Make-up brush - Works well, doesn't scratch bricks, variety of sizes available. Problem is the embarrassment of a grown man looking through make up brushes at a store and when dusting its actually slower than a toothbrush. 

    Next method I intend to try is something I heard from someone at a local convention. They said they used pledge multisurface and a really fluffy microfiber towel from the dollar store. Sounds like a cheap, quick way to dust built sets. 


  • sstoroesstoroe Member Posts: 156
    I use this think.  Attache it to a vacuum and dust once a year.  more if anyone in the house smokes.  http://www.centralvacuumstores.com//central-vacuum-plantation-shutter-blind-attachment


    madforLEGO
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    I bought the camera cleaning kit @khmellymel suggested above.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    One thing that seems to help keep dust down in my whole house is a really good filter for the furnace. I hardly have any dust buildup even after a year on shelves. 
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217

    sstoroe said:
    I use this think.  Attache it to a vacuum and dust once a year.  more if anyone in the house smokes.  http://www.centralvacuumstores.com//central-vacuum-plantation-shutter-blind-attachment



    How does this work on heavy dust?


  • sstoroesstoroe Member Posts: 156

    sstoroe said:
    I use this think.  Attache it to a vacuum and dust once a year.  more if anyone in the house smokes.  http://www.centralvacuumstores.com//central-vacuum-plantation-shutter-blind-attachment



    How does this work on heavy dust?


    Heavy dust is fine.  If it is sticky wet dust, dust.  No way.  Meaning at some point, the dust will no longer blow off and is really more like dirt and water pasted to your legos.  At that point, you need to wash them and that is a lot of work.
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