Can disinfectants be used on LEGO bricks?       

While a brush or other dusting tool is typically enough to clean most LEGO models, sometimes a set is just too dirty for that to do the trick. It may be tempting to break out some disinfectant wipes or sprays and take those to your LEGO collection, but are these products safe to use on your LEGO bricks?

Before delving into this question, it should be noted that the LEGO Group recommends soaking your bricks in warm water and dish soap in these cases, as it is the best way to wash the bricks while also sanitising them via the soap… but going through the process of taking apart a set to wash it, then having to rebuild it may seem like a bit of a hassle, especially if you have a large batch of LEGO sets to clean or you’re just short on time. The lure of disinfectants is a tempting one.

When researching online, you’re bound to come across loads of contradictory information regarding this subject, with some sources telling you it’s safe and others warning you to avoid using them at all costs. So, which is it?

At first glance, there may not seem to be any cause for concern when it comes to using disinfectant wipes on LEGO sets. The wipes are designed to clean a variety of surfaces – so why can’t one of them be LEGO bricks? They’ll remove dust while sanitising them, all at a fraction of the time it would take to give the bricks a full bath.

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Well, disinfectant wipes rely on a variety of chemicals for their cleaning power. They’re designed to be useful on a wide range of surfaces, but there are still some that are best not to use them on, one of which being LEGO bricks. Alcohol-based wipes are incredibly risky to use on LEGO bricks and should be avoided at all costs, as they can weaken or discolour the plastic. Non-alcohol-based wipes are safer, and likely fine to give a LEGO set a once-over with, but they should not become your go-to cleaning method, as frequent use of chemicals on the bricks can also lead to damage, as per the LEGO Education hygiene guidelines.

What about sprays? They wouldn’t really do much in the way of combatting dust, but they may seem like an effective way to quickly disinfect a lot of LEGO bricks. The answer here is even simpler — don’t use them. The sprays and wipes have different ingredients and what’s in the typical spray is much more dangerous. There’s a high chance that the spray will severely weaken the plastic of the bricks, which could cause them to break. And it doesn’t just impact the usual fragile colours. Every piece is put at risk when you use disinfectant sprays.

So, in the world of LEGO collection cleaning, disinfectants are best avoided. The tried-and-true method of giving your sets a warm bubble bath still reigns supreme. If you really need a substitute, a damp cloth with a touch of soap should do just fine. But disinfectant wipes – and sprays most of all — should be kept far away from your LEGO sets and bricks at all costs. it may be a disappointing truth, but when it comes to keeping your prized collection safe, it’s best to take the extra steps rather than the extra risk.

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