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I've heard from a lot of people that LEGO can be washed in the dishwasher, but I'm concerned about warping, losing stickers, wearing off of painted pieces, etc. Is it safe to actually wash them in the dishwasher? Is there any other precaution you should take?

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See also Lego cleaning techniques and tools. –  Dori Oct 26 '11 at 4:36

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I have had good experiences when putting them into a washing bag. Stickers will usually come off. Paint differs from model, year and make. Some of my bricks from the 80'ies (such as this one) still look very new, with the original print intact.

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People seem to belive it's not the recommended way to clean LEGO, but I appreciate having some first hand real world experience and will use this method for really old and stained pieces. –  Reven Oct 25 '11 at 22:45
I've used this method and had great results, that being said I don't use hot water, or dishwashing soap, just water. –  dacopenhagen Jun 12 at 21:44

LEGO does not recommend using a dishwasher to clean your bricks:

We recommend that you clean or wash your LEGO parts only by hand at max. 40°C or 104 degrees (F) Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may affect the quality of the LEGO parts. You can add a mild detergent to the water, followed by rinsing with clear water. Please don't put your bricks in the washing machine or dishwasher or attempt to dry them in ovens, microwaves or with hair dryers. Any electrical parts, such as cables, motors, battery compartments, can only be wiped off with alcohol. Air-dry parts at room temperature. For disinfecting please use mild bleach.

(emphasis mine)

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I can vouch for this first hand - even hand hot water can warp bricks! –  Umber Ferrule Oct 25 '11 at 20:51

The real answer here is no, but please have a look at my answer to this other question for an alternative that really works, bringing them up as new, with only a little elbow grease - a bath of Milton solution.

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At some point, LEGO recommended the use of a washing machine instead of a dishwasher, since you could limit the temperature to 40°. However, you'll need to make sure all parts are safely enclosed in a cloth (pillow case for example), and don't expect your bricks not to be scratched at all.

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I would not recommend using a dishwasher. I have seen terribly worn bricks with a very ugly, dull surface as a result of multiple dishwasher procedures. Sometimes you can notice that a dishwasher etches even a glass surface.

The damage could probably be caused by a combination of the water properties, detergent being used, and temperature.

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Don't use the dishwasher. My husband misread washing machine and we put them in the dishwasher nearly half of them warped!

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