I have two sons and my second son was obsessed with LEGO from an early age.
For Christmas and birthdays, we would often buy him a LEGO set knowing that he would immediately start building it and wouldn’t stop until it was finished. The only exception was his Millenium Falcon which took him a few days to make.
When first assembled, LEGO models always look shiny and new, and well, just perfect! But after a few weeks, dust starts to settle, and then it gets a little thicker until it’s at the point where it won’t simply waft away with a duster. It seems to get to a ‘sticky’ stage where you have to do a bit of rubbing to get it off. The studs don’t help at all!
I’ve found that the best way to keep dust off LEGO is to keep the room regularly vacuumed. When the dust settles on LEGO, blow it off with a can of compressed air.
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How to keep LEGO dust-free
If you have a family member who is as obsessed with LEGO as my son, you will know how much of a nuisance it can be to keep the dust off.
Here are my tips to help keep dust off your LEGO.
1. Keep your room vacuumed
The cleaner you can keep your floor, the less dusty your LEGO will be. Keeping your floor vacuumed will stop dust from being churned up as you walk on it.
I recommend using a vacuum with a good filter. A HEPA filter is the best kind because it can filter out 99.9% of air particles and will stop fine dust from blowing out of the vacuum back onto your LEGO model.
I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how much I love my Miele cat and dog vacuum. One of the best things about it is the HEPA filter. Besides being great at picking up pet hair, it does a brilliant job of keeping the dust inside the vacuum rather than spewing it back out into the room.
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2. Use an air filter
Keep the air in the room where you store your LEGO models clean by running an air filter. Many good-quality air filters have HEPA filters which should remove the finest dust from the room.
We have an air filter by Winix. I love it because you can hardly hear it run at night. It has a HEPA filter. As well as filtering the dust it is great at preventing allergies including hayfever which we all suffer from. It was also very useful when my boys had COVID. As soon as one of them tested positive it went into their rooms and it seemed to stop it from spreading to other family members.
Here it is in our front room.
3. Keep your LEGO in a dedicated space
If you are fortunate enough to have a spare room, why not set up your LEGO models in a dedicated room? You will find that your LEGO will collect far less dust when there is less human traffic going past.
4. Put your LEGO in a display case
Consider putting your prized and most intricate models in a display case. When they are in a sealed unit you can keep the dust out completely and there is no danger of pieces going missing.
Amazon sells dedicated LEGO display cases of all sizes, perfect for protecting your precious models!
5. Cover your LEGO with a sheet
Having put in hours of work creating your LEGO models, very probably the last thing you will want to do is cover them up! But, if you are going to be away or you can cope with not having your LEGO on permanent display, consider covering them up with a cotton sheet or some plastic.
How to dust your LEGO
There are several ways you can go about cleaning the dust from your assembled LEGO set. If you haven’t dusted your LEGO for a while and the dust won’t simply brush off with your finger, I recommend using a can of compressed air, or a handheld vacuum cleaner with a micro attachment.
For light dust, I recommend using a Swiffer duster or a microfiber cloth.
How to dust your LEGO with a Swiffer
Swiffer dusters are great at grabbing onto dust and holding it within the fibers. Wiping your LEGO model with a Swiffer should remove a lot of the loose dust.
A Swiffer duster is best used for maintenance cleans because it won’t remove old sticky dust that has been around for a while.
For old dust, I recommend using a paintbrush, some compressed air, or a vacuum cleaner. This is what I will talk about next.
How to dust your LEGO with a paintbrush
A good old paintbrush is handy for cleaning your LEGO because it’s perfect for dislodging old dust that doesn’t brush off easily with a feather or microfiber duster such as a Swiffer.
A paintbrush works very well when combined with a vacuum cleaner. Gently push the dust into a little pile and then use the vacuum cleaner to suck it up.
How to dust your LEGO with compressed air
Compressed air works brilliantly for cleaning dust off your LEGO, even the sticky kind that may have been there a good while.
If you are going to use compressed air for dusting your LEGO, I recommend you use it outside or in an area where it doesn’t matter so much where the dust settles. If you have a room full of LEGO models, then you don’t want the dust you blew off arriving on another one of your creations!
Here’s a really useful video on how to clean dust from your LEGO using compressed air.
How to dust your LEGO with a vacuum cleaner
Using a vacuum cleaner to dust your LEGO works great if your LEGO is already assembled. There is no need to take your creation apart, you can simply dust it in place.
A handheld battery-powered vacuum cleaner is perfect for this job because it is easily maneuverable. Many of them have a transparent dust cup so you can see what you’ve sucked up. If you happen to vacuum up a piece of LEGO (which I have done plenty of times) it’s easy to get out again!
If you can, use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter. A HEPA filter is excellent for stopping the dust you sucked up from recirculating around the room.
I love my Miele handheld vacuum because it has a small washable HEPA filter inside that I can take out and clean.
For vacuuming off the dust from LEGO you will need a small brush head. However, even the smallest attachment often can’t get into very small spots. For that, I recommend buying a micro attachment set.
This micro attachment vacuum set from Amazon should work with any standard size vacuum cleaner and it allows you to clean up the dust in very small spaces. If you are using one, make sure you turn down the suction so that you don’t dislodge or suck up pieces of LEGO.
Another option is to use a USB-powered keyboard cleaner. It’s designed for computer keyboards but also works well for cleaning off the dust from LEGO.
How to wash your LEGO bricks
If your bricks have sticky dust on them or you just need them sanitary, there are a couple of ways you can wash them.
Pro tip: Before washing your LEGO bricks, pick out any that have stickers or printing on them. Those should not be immersed in water. Instead, take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe over them and immediately dry.
Option 1 – soak in soapy water
Add a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of cold or lukewarm water and allow the bricks to soak for a few minutes.
Drain onto a kitchen towel and allow them to dry. If you have stubborn dirt, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe over the bricks.
Option 2 – use your dishwasher
Washing your LEGO in a dishwasher is a great way to get your LEGO bricks clean and sanitary without much work. Only do this with plain bricks that do not have stickers or printing on them because the hot water will cause lifting.
Fill a mesh laundry bag loosely with LEGO bricks. Don’t pack them in because you want the water to circulate freely around the bricks.
Put the mesh bag filled with LEGO pieces on the top rack of the dishwasher and run your dishwasher as normal.
If you don’t have a spare mesh bag, consider buying this one from Amazon. It is meant for lingerie but it also works well for washing LEGO bricks in your dishwasher.