Sunday, March 18, 2012

How I Wash Legos, Duplos, and K'nex

I try to wash all of the children's building toys at least once a year. We have massive collection of Legos, Duplos, and K'nex which are the building sets our seven children have favored over the years. When you factor in some of them are 20 years old with the heavy use they receive, they need it. For the ones with many pieces, I wash them in a large kiddie pool. I fill it up with water, dish soap, and a little bleach. I let them soak for an hour. I go back and agitate them manually for 15 minutes. I agitate them with either my hands, a new broom, or my feet while I sit in a chair. I have also let the children take turns swishing them around with their feet. 

Then I drain them, refill it with water, let them soak a while longer, agitate them, and drain it. I put a cookie sheet under the drain hole which catches the ones that get through the hole. As I scoop the blocks out with my hands, I look for bits of paper or whatever and pull it out. I put them in a container with a hole and rinse them with water as I go. Then I let them sit in the sun for a while. Every few minutes or so, I wobble the container back and forth to get out more water. After a while of doing this, I put a thick towel in the bottom of their container, dump them in, let any water I missed be absorbed, shake them around some more, and then pull it out. I have also laid them out and let a fan blow on them, but it lengthens the time spent on them, takes up a great deal of space, and still does not get them 100% dry. It is not a perfect method, but it is the best one I have come up with to date. My investment of time is not that great since I can get other work done during the time I am waiting for the blocks to soak, drain, or dry out.