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Cleaning LEGO

 
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silverspyder



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: Clackamas, OR USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Cleaning LEGO Reply with quote

I just recently found all my old LEGO from my childhood. I've got about 150- 200 pounds of old parts. They have been sitting in boxes for probably 15 years and have gotten alittle dirty in that time.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for cleaning them? My girlfriend and I have been sorting them and cleaning them with water, mild dishwashing detergent and a toothbrush. Going at this rate it will most likely take over a month to get them all cleaned up. I am hoping for a more expedient way.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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ApophisV



Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ihave heard that those tablets that are used for cleaning braces are working very well, though I don't know if this is effective if you want to clean a large amount of bricks (and I have never tried it myself I have to admit)
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MacDuff



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: Texas Brickhouse

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the same situtation as you. I've been cleaning bricks one by one with a soft toothbrush & water. I think this is the best method if you are concerned about adding more scratches & wear to the bricks.

For significantly dirty & scratched bricks, I have been using a method that has been getting fantastic results:

1. Use a soft toothbrush & Comet abrasive powder. This will eliminate minor scratches and tough stains. The bricks will be dull and cloudy looking after this step. The dull cloudiness is especially noticeable on transparent bricks. The color will look great.

2. Then I use a Dremel tool running at low RPM to polish dull bricks to a brilliant, brand-new looking shine. The effect is amazing. Only flat surfaces can be polished and it takes some skill to do this. My old cloudy trans-yellow glass looks perfectly clear and brand new now (except when you get really close up, you can still see some scratches).

3. Yellowed bricks can be left outside in bright sunshine for several days and most of the yellowing will be reversed. I left about 20 yellowed gray space wings and some yellowed crater baseplates outside for 5 days in the Texas sunshine and the original color was practically completely restored.
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ZomDarkie
Undead!


Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Location: Witness Protection Program

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard of others using either the dishwasher or the washer for clothes. Just throw them in a laundry bag with the zipper, add a little detergent and there you go. Just don't use the dryer. Smile
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norman



Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacDuff wrote:
2. Then I use a Dremel tool running at low RPM to polish dull bricks to a brilliant, brand-new looking shine. The effect is amazing. Only flat surfaces can be polished and it takes some skill to do this. My old cloudy trans-yellow glass looks perfectly clear and brand new now (except when you get really close up, you can still see some scratches).


I've thought about doing something like this as well. However, I'm afraid of losing part of the plastic. Things may not fit as well, since you are taking plastic away. How do they hold together?
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Repoort
Man of Many Reds


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Location: California Status: Groovy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've actually never tried this, but to me a better solution than a dremel for polishing would be to use a car wax buffer. Just don't put any wax on it. My idea would be to stick the wanted plate or whatever onto a tall stack of similarly-shaped bricks, and then hold it upside-down to the buffer. There's more control and less rick of taking away huge chunks.
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MacDuff



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: Texas Brickhouse

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a car wax buffer wouldn't spin fast enough to do any significant polishing of ABS plastic, but I could be wrong. The dremel tool comes with several small polishing heads that can fit into many crevices. You can polish the insides of windscreens. I wish it came with a polishing head small enough to polish the inside of those 1x2 and 1x4 bricks without internal center posts.

Polishing with a Dremel tool won't remove any plastic or cause parts to snap together more loosely. You aren't polishing the studs. You are polishing flat surfaces only like the sides of bricks and tops of slopes. The polishing head is made of dense felt. There is a risk of marring the parts if you press too hard while polishing. Using a low RPM setting minimizes this risk

I think using an abrasive cleaner like Comet will cause bricks to snap tohether more loosely though so you need to be careful about doing too much toothbrush scrubbing on studs and connecting points.
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