Question: How do you wash Lego?
ANSWER: We get a lot of people asking us "How do you wash Lego?" so here we are going to talk about how we wash our Lego and what we have learned about washing Lego over the past 15 years.
First, we sort out all the non-Lego pieces. It is important to get any paper products or other items that may dissolve such as bubble gum or putty, this way it doesn't stick all over your Lego and make a bigger mess.
Second, we bag it up in mesh laundry bags that can easily be purchased in the laundry section at the grocery or department store. At the time of this publication, the mesh bags are usually around $2-5 each. We do try to get the heavier duty mesh bags if we can. We have tried the cheaper bags you can get at the dollar store and they just do not last long enough. In this case, you usually do get what you pay for. If you are using mesh bags, you should be sure to also take out long skinny objects such as axles, antenna, plants, hoses, etc because these pieces will get caught in the holes in the mesh bag and tear it. It is important to double or triple bag the Lego and make sure the bags are tied tight so that the Lego does not break open in the laundry. Loose Lego in your washing machine will eventually break your machine sooner than later. We have had customers tell us they use pillow cases in lieu of laundry bags, just be sure to tie them shut well.
We wash our Lego in an ordinary clothes washing machine, just make sure it does not have an agitator sticking up in the middles of the machine or else you may need to use smaller bags that would fit around the agitator. A top-load machine with no agitator is ideal, however, we are currently using a front load and it is working fine as well, but the weight of the Lego is more difficult to tumble in a front-load washer and may cause unnecessary wear on the machine.
You can also use a dishwasher in lieu of a clothes washing machine. We use an ordinary dishwasher to wash our baseplates and we have never had any problems with high heat damaging the baseplates, however, all machines are different so you may want to test it out before trying. We have had customers tell us they use a bath tub or swimming pool as well to wash their Lego.
You can use normal laundry detergent to wash Lego, however, we like to use an all natural detergent we make ourselves. It is a mixture of Lemon Juice and white vinegar that we put in the detergent compartment then we put a scoop of baking soda and borax inside the machine with the Lego so that when the detergent mixes with the baking soda and borax it effervesces for more cleaning action.
It is very important to use a fabric softener. A store bought fabric softener will work but we use white vinegar and it works just as well. The fabric softener will prevent any human hair or other types of particles from static clinging to the Lego and make sure that it gets washed down the drain. Without the fabric softener, hair will not wash off of the Lego, it will stick to the Lego and not rinse out.
We wash the Lego on normal wash cycles. When it is done, we take the bag out and put it on a wire shelf so that air can get under the bag. We leave a fan blowing on it and it will dry overnight. It is best to spread the bag out as thin as possible, the thicker the Lego is bunched in the bag, the longer it will take to dry. We fit about 15 lbs of Lego in a mesh bag.
We also keep a dehumidifier in our wash room to help dry the Lego faster.
We do not find that the washing machine hurts Lego stickers, however, if you are concerned about them or have a super rare stickered part, you may want to hand wash it.
We do have further tips and tricks that address discolored Lego and dusting Lego but that is a topic for another discussion. For a video on our sorting and washing process, check out our youtube channel, Atlanta Brick Co Tv, or watch it on the page below.
We sell our bulk Lego in many forms, both new & used. You can check out our bulk Lego here: Bulk Lego(R) – Atlanta Brick Co (atlbrick.com)
Written by Chris Cott, CEO of Atlanta Brick Co