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Cleaning old Lego parts
Clean old Lego parts like new using ordinary toothpaste and an electric toothbrush.
About this creation
After going through my old Lego, I found that many of the pieces showed their age, some over 20 years old! I'll be cleaning the lot eventually using the warm water and soap trick, but one method I've found that works an absolute treat, especially in tight areas or odd-shaped bricks, is to break out some ordinary fluoride toothpaste and my trusty oscillating electric toothbrush!

I'll be testing this on printed parts soon but I suspect that any print will be remove in the process - I have however, had great success cleaning coloured bricks this way. Check it out...

Update: Matthew, soap does work fine, but it takes a little longer. The gentle abrasive nature of the toothpaste is what does the work in removing the grime and dirt, and this is why I have a feeling that printed parts will lose their markings using the toothpaste.

I maintain a Squidoo lens on the subject of How To Clean Lego with this trick, and some more tips on how to keep your bricks looking brand new.

Before and after shot of Classic Space old grey radar dishes, both 15 to 20 years old.

The oscillating action of the toothbrush, combined with the ligh abrasiveness of the toothpaste works well to remove the grime.

21 April 2006 Here's a before and after of a pair of Classic Space transparent yellow hoses.

Closeup of the hose ends - you can see how effective this method can be, even if it is a tad time-consuming! I wouldn't recommend doing your whole collection this way, but for tricky bricks, this can't be beat. ;)


  August 9, 2009
Electric toothbrush: Greatest creation of man.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2009
Hmm... electric toothbrush, toothpaste, salad machine... sounds good.
  November 27, 2008
thats pretty gross... BUT IT WORKS!!!
 I like it 
  September 22, 2008
wow!! all my white peices are really old, i really need this tip for my new gunship!! thanks for the info!!
Vaughan J
 I like it 
Heather LEGO Girl
  July 26, 2008
Don't forget that you can dry them pretty well in a salad spinner too. Thought I'd throw that in.
  January 24, 2008
Toothpaste can do anything!
 I like it 
  May 9, 2007
You know, I need to get rid of some anoying print on some UFO quarter scaucers. Thanks, I gotta try this!! Ill report back to see if it works.
 I like it 
  October 21, 2006
What an excellent method of cleaning! You, sir, are a genius!
Vaughan J
 I like it 
Pat G.
  May 4, 2006
Only problem with cleaning the bricks is there are so many of them and I haven't cleaned them since I got my first set! How about submerging them into a diluted solution of toothpaste + water and then stir? Ideas...ideas...
 I like it 
  April 19, 2006
Good to know. I've got a bunch of old bricks as well.
 I like it 
  April 18, 2006
ha, i've tried cleaning some of my lego bits with a nail brush and soap, that kinda works, but this looks better, i'd have used soap though... you know how to turn the yellowed bricks back to normal colour???
 I like it 
  April 18, 2006
Very odd but interesting method. Do you think toothpaste works better than something like, say dish soap? Have you ever tried anything like that on the brush and noticed any difference? Just wondering because I obtained 2 huge lots off of ebay last year, and so many of the parts were dirty, but I'm not so sure I'd want to use toothpaste. lol I've seen some people put their bricks through the washing machine before, but there's no way I'm ever going to do that.
By Vaughan J
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