Cleaning old Lego parts . Clean old Lego parts like new using ordinary toothpaste and an electric toothbrush. . 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. ;)