Wash It Out…

As I mentioned, I spent my Spring Break cleaning my dad’s house.  This weeklong event included mopping, organizing, and having my Dad build a new console out of some old, junky dressers.  Well, while doing all that organizing, I came across a collection of old legos, left over from mine, and my brother’s childhoods.  Of course, these are perfect for Son to play with, but there was a problem.  It seems that years of being in uncovered storage, along with being played with on, and cleaned up from, a dirty floor had made the legos gross.

We’re talking turn your fingers icky kind of gross.  Sure, Son didn’t seem to notice, but I certianly did, and even Husband, who spent the week sandblasting, among other dirty things, noticed.  Something had to be done.

I decided to give the washing machine a shot.  I figured this could be dangerous, but I’d keep a close eye on it just to see how it did.  I put all the legos into a large laundry bag, gave them a good shake, and dropped them into the washer full of hot water and a bit of soap.

Yes, this was noisy, and I’m sure it would’ve gone a lot smoother if I had one of those washing machine without the center spindle.  Just the same, it worked!

After the cycle was over, I took the legos outside to drip dry.  I started by just hanging the bag, but after an afternoon of hanging out, most of the pieces were still wet.  If I had had one of those mesh sweater racks, I would’ve spread them all out in a thin layer to dry, but I didn’t.  Dad doesn’t wear sweaters, and even if he did, he’d never lay them flat to dry.  Instead, I had to leave the legos outdoors for a few days, remembering to stir them around every now and then.  I would reccomend a good quality bag, though.  Legos can get sharp, and you don’t want holes letting the legos escape.

Still, the legos are now clean, and I’m not so averse to playing with them; Son will be happy to hear that.

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20 Comments

Filed under DIY, Home Making, Organization, Toys

20 responses to “Wash It Out…

  1. There is ALOT to be said for someone that can save a schload of Legos!! Brilliant idea! I am definitely going to remember it… I always have the debate with myself about “other peoples’ funk”, so I don’t acquire any that I don’t buy myself when it comes to Legos. I think you have changed that. Thank you!

    • Other peoples funk can be quite, well, funky, but don’t ever let that stop you from using it yourself. Funk is easily killed with a bit of soap, water, and in some cases a little sun.

      • Loretta Mangan

        you can also put them in the freezer for a while too kill any germs.

      • While I like the simplicity of this idea, freezing germs only puts them into a dormant state. It doesn’t kill them. Besides, my freezer is way to full of cookie dough and Hagen Das.

  2. Linda

    You can also put them in the dishwasher too and then it is not noisy.

  3. You can also do this with a dishwasher if you have one

  4. S. Moose

    Depending on how many Legos you washed, you could also put them, a little at a time, in a salad spinner to get them dry. The kids might enjoy helping with that too.

  5. Erin Zinke

    Genius!! Love the sweater drying rack idea for drying! It would help in the classroom when I scrub toys!

  6. Susan

    I used to use a laundry bag on the top rack of the DW.

  7. brenda

    even ones own family can have funky junk after and during cold/flu season and the washer with a bit of germicide does wonders on many of our childrens toys ad game pieces BUT the right mesh bag is important and the dishwasher comes in handy also. Oh by the way the crystal prisms on décor items look great after a session in the silver baskets of the dishwasher. After all they are there to make our lives easier. Right ???

  8. Snotty

    I did this earlier this year but instead of hanging anything on the line, I laid a beach towel in the sun and put the lego pieces on there. They were dry within half an hour. Actually they came out of the machine very close to dry – it’s a front loader, so not sure if that helps?

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  10. Debbie

    I KNOW WHEN I USED TO WORK IN PRE-SCHOOL, DURING SCHOOL BREAKS AND COLD SEASONS, WE WOULD TAKE ALL THE TOYS, INCLUDING LEGOS, BLOCKS, LITTLE PEOPLE, BARBIE FURNITURE, CLOTHES, ETC. AND WE WOULD SPEND THE DAY SOAKING EVERYTHING IN SUPER HOT WATER WITH A SMALL AMOUNT OF BLEACH AND A CAP FULL OF DAWN DISH SOAP. IF SOMETHING COULDN’T GO IN THE BLEACH WATER WE WOULD USE A CUP OF WHITE VINEGAR AND THE DAWN. TO RINSE JUST USE A WEAKER SOLUTION OF HOT WATER AND BLEACH “OR” VINEGAR, JUST NOT TOGETHER!!! AND JUST DUNK THEM IN THEN OUT AGAIN. IT’S AMAZING WHAT A LITTLE DAWN CAN DO!
    TO DRY THEM WE WOULD LAY BLANKETS OUT AND USE WHITE TOWLES TO COVER EVERYTHING AND GIVE A QUICK WIPE JUST TO GET MOST OF THE WATER FROM THEM, THEN LET THEM DRY ON THE BLANKETS FOR AN HOUR OR SO WHILE WE FINISHED WIPING THE REST OF THE DESKS,CHAIRS AND CUBBY’S DOWN. WHEN ALL WAS SPARKLING CLEAN AGAIN WE WOULD GIVE THEM EITHER NEW CONTAINERS OR CLEAN OLD ONES.
    I ALSO USE THIS AT HOME WITH MY GRANDCHILDRENS TOYS. I USE THE BLEACH METHOD WITH HOT WATER AND DAWN IN THE BATH TUB. ALL THE BALLS FROM THE BALL PIT GO IN AND ANY TUB TOYS, ANYTHING THEY USED OUTSIDE DURING THE SUMMER GO IN… IT’S A TOTAL TOY FEST IN THERE! I USE A DOLLAR STORE MESH SCRUBBIE ON A STICK LIKE THE ONES THAT LOOK LIKE A BACK SCRATCHER AND I STIR THE TOYS ALL AROUND FOR ABOUT 10 MIN SOMETIMES MORE IF NOONE NEEDS THE BATHROOM ;P… THERE ARE A LOT OF SUDS AT THIS POINT AND I KNOW THAT EVERYTHING HAS BEEN UNDER THE REALLY HOT WATER AND I’VE GOTTEN INTO SOME OF THE CUPS BY THIS POINT.. I KNOW ALL GERMS HAVE BEEN KILLED. I LET THE WATER GO DOWN AND I CONTINUE TO STIR UNTIL ALL THE WATER IS GONE.. I TURN THE SHOWER ON AND THIS RINSES MOST OF THE SOAP DOWN THE DRAIN.
    IF THERES BUCKETS I FILL THEM UP AND USE THEM TO RINSE THE BACK OF THE TUB TOO. ONCE AGAIN I FILL THE TUB WITH ALL HOT WATER, WHILE IT’S RUNNING I ADD 1/4 CUP BLEACH FOR FINAL RINSE. THIS TIME I START TAKING THE TOYS OUT AND LAYING THEM ON A BLANKET WITH A SHEET ON TOP OF IT. THE SHEET I USE TO TRANSFER THE TOYS IF THE BLANKET BECOMES TOO WET. I CAN GATHER THE CORNERS UP AND TIE THEM TO MAKE A BUNDLE TO HOLD THEM TOGETHER TO PUT A DRY BLANKET UNDER THEM.
    THEY SIT UNDER CEILING FANS TO DRY AND ARE DRY IN NO TIME! I KNOW IT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT BUT IT REALLY ISN’T. YOU CAN FIT SO MANY TOYS IN YOUR TUB AT ONE TIME!!! JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T PUT ANYTHING IN THERE THAT WILL GO DOWN YOUR DRAIN , OF COURSE. AND NOTHING THAT HAS MOVING PARTS OR METAL. LIKE TALKING BARBIE OR GI JOE… THAT IS UNLESS YOU DON’T WANT THEM TO TALK ANYMORE, THEN IN THAT CASE.. SOAK AWAY! LOL THERE’S A FEW TALKING TOYS I WOULD LOVE TO MEET THE BATH TUB, BUT BEING A GOOD MOM MOM I’LL SUCK IT UP! THEY’RE ONLY LITTLE FOR SO LONG. I’LL MISS THIS STAGE ONCE IT’S OVER!!!
    I HOPE THIS HELPS. OF COURSE THIS IS FOR BIG JOBS. MY YOUNGEST SON STILL HAS ALL HIS LEGO’S BTW…HE GREW UP TO BE A USMC FA-18 MECHANIC AND CREW CHIEF, THEN WENT ON TO BE AN EMBASSY GUARD. HE IS NOW A GUNSMITH AND IN SCHOOL FOR FINE WOODWORKING. IT PAYS TO PLAY WITH YOUR LEGOS! ;P HE WAS OBSESSED WITH THEM! LOL TO A POINT STILL IS.
    IF YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN ARE REALLY INTO THEM LET THEM USE THEIR MINDS. SEE THEM AT YARD SALES, GARAGE SALES EVEN AUCTIONS… PICK THEM UP. AS YOU SEE THEY CLEAN UP VERY WELL! IT’S A TOY THAT DOESN’T GO OUT OF STYLE!!

  11. adrian

    Love the washing idea I would probably use a blow dryer on cool air and blow dry the whole bag (:

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