I have read all the history I can find, but I still don't understand how to get rid of the smell from the horns themselves. The skull plate and its forks (not sure of the correct terminology are clean and do not smell and the cores have been removed after I did a slow boil and twisted the horns off but the horns still stink. I Backed them with preservative to try them out and sprayed the insides with an aerosol but to no avail-el stinko.
Help would be appreciated.
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John, when i get the horns off i lean them against something and fill the inside with bleach and leave sit for about an hour. Then dump out and rinse real good and let dry. Has been working great for me with no smell. Skullery....Jeff
Bleach is hardly a smell inhibitor. Use powdered borax or dry preservative to "sweeten" the membrane left inside the cores. I always fill them with Dp and leave them overnight. Then dump them out. Let the cores dry HARD, and reinstall with a good epoxy.
Bleach kills bacteria, and bacteria is what causes the rotten smell in the first place. Does not sound like a bad idea. After the bleach then coat the inside with Borax.
You're not dealing with keratin in those horns. They are modified hair and bleach (Chlorine) does a job on protein based matter. The borax works just fine by itself. Home chemistry sets can only cause problems.
John, I have to say that I would not use the bleach. It will certainly kill rotten odor but bleach can continue to damage and weaken horns and skulls long after it dries. If not completly soaked out and neutralized it could mean trouble years later. I would soak in heavy borax bath a couple of days then let dry. If you still have a little odor pour baking soda into horns and let stand a week or so. You can also kill off rot smell with denatured alcohol--use rubber gloves. Enjoy, Aaron H.