When you leave LEGO bricks in the sun, the colors will fade. Long-term exposure to artificial and natural UV lighting cause discoloration in blue, white, and grey LEGO pieces. The longer LEGO pieces are under UV exposure, the more prone to discoloration such as yellowing.
The exterior LEGO pieces will fade in the sun because of the chemical reaction the exterior coating has with UV lighting. If they sit in the sun for too long or under artificial lighting, LEGO sets are very likely to become discolored.
Using hydrogen peroxide, soap, and water is a great way to clean your legos and bring back their vibrant color.
Do Lego Fade in the Sun?
LEGO pieces are prone to discoloring if they are left in the sun regularly. Colors such as dark blue and grey are likely to show fading because of the dark hue. Instead of fading, white and clear pieces will begin to noticeably yellow.
What Causes Lego to Discolor?
Long-term exposure to sunlight is the main cause of LEGO discoloration. This lighting exposure causes a chemical reaction with the outer flame-retardant material. The outer lining becomes tinted and yellows. That means that it is typically not the pieces themselves that are discolored.
What Causes Lego to Yellow?
LEGO pieces turn yellow after long exposure to UV lighting. UV light exposure may come from natural or artificial lighting. The yellowing discoloration is the most obvious in white LEGO pieces, which turn sandy beige after long-term exposure. Gray and blue pieces will also turn yellow. Compared to white pieces, the yellowing discoloration is much more intense.
Can You Restore Faded Lego?
You can restore faded LEGO colors by placing them into a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Let the pieces soak in hydrogen peroxide, and it will lift the yellow color from the outer layer of the LEGO piece. By the time you finish soaking your pieces, they should be vibrant and colorful again.
How Do You Fix Sun-Damaged Lego Bricks?
You can fix your sun-damaged LEGO bricks by soaking them in hydrogen peroxide. It is unlikely you will restore them as good as new if there is too much sun damage. However, soaking LEGO bricks in hydrogen peroxide can make the colors more vibrant.
Several other methods can help you fix sun-damaged LEGO bricks.
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Soaking your LEGO bricks in hydrogen peroxide is a great way to fix sun damage. Fully submerge all LEGO pieces inside a flat-bottom plastic bin of hydrogen peroxide and leave it in direct sunlight for at least three hours. The hydrogen peroxide will lift yellowing from most LEGO pieces.
Hydrogen peroxide is a highly dangerous chemical. When handling a dangerous chemical like hydrogen peroxide, you should always wear gloves and safety goggles to guarantee protection. Only adults should use hydrogen peroxide, and children should always ask adults for assistance.
Follow these directions:
- Go into direct sunlight
- Pour hydrogen peroxide into a plastic dish or bowl
- Fully submerge all pieces
- Place weights on large pieces (if necessary)
- Leave to soak for 3-5 hours
- Check every 30 minutes and resubmerge floating pieces
- Pour into a strainer or colander over a bucket
- Rinse the pieces with water
- Let the pieces dry
As bubbles form, your pieces will float to the top. If your pieces do not remain submerged, you may encounter several aesthetic problems later. It can help to use Use weights, utensils, or glass bowls to weigh down large pieces. You may also stir or pop the bubbles to prevent them from lifting your pieces.
After the color has lifted from your pieces, pour from through a colander into another bucket. Rinse your pieces and let them dry before using. The area should be out of the sunlight with great aeration. If you have other pieces to clean, you can use the same solution from your other bucket.
Soap and Water
Washing your LEGO bricks with soap and water can lift some of the discolorations that sunlight may have caused. Use dish soap, tap water, and a toothbrush to scrub the surface of your LEGO pieces. Scrubbing your pieces with soap and water will remove exterior film dust, dirt, and other grime that can be causing discoloration.
If you intend on performing a hydrogen peroxide soak, washing your pieces beforehand is an important part of the practice that can remove residue stick between pieces.
Move Your Display
Moving your sun-damaged LEGO display is a great option if you do not have the time to take apart your LEGO pieces and clean each of them. It is also a great option if the discoloration of your LEGO pieces is irreversible. Move your bricks away from the direct sunlight and other light sources. Then, turn the display in a direction where you cannot see the sun damage (if possible).
Doing this will not fix the sun or light damage, but it will disguise the damage significantly. Avoid displaying LEGO sets near windows, lamps, or under main light sources. If you cannot avoid using LEGO pieces in the sunlight, try storing them out of the sunlight whenever possible to minimize sunlight exposure.
The best way to fix pieces that the sun discolored beyond repair is to replace them. Replacing LEGO pieces is a good solution if you have tried every other method and cannot reverse the damage. It should be your last case scenario since it can be one of the most costly options.
LEGO bricks fade because of exposure to light. The longer you leave these pieces in the sunlight, the more likely they will fade and become discolored. Pieces may discolor from natural or artificial lighting.
It is normal for LEGO pieces to become discolored in the sun. After long exposure to UV lighting, there is a chemical reaction with the fire-retardant coating around the LEGO pieces. The chemical reaction causes the outer layer to become discolored and turn yellow. Luckily, this damage is not irreversible in most cases.
The best way to remove yellowing and discoloration from your LEGO pieces is to soak your pieces in a tub of hydrogen peroxide. All pieces should be fully submerged and remain submerged the whole time. Let the pieces soak for roughly three hours in direct sunlight before removing the pieces.