De-greasing Skulls

Submitted by Steve Sorensen on 1/22/1999. ( )

I have a few skulls that I want to display. I have no problem getting the flesh off with various means, but I would like to know how to de-grease them and whiten them without boiling and without bleach. Any help for an amateur?

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What are the Various means?

This response submitted by Perry on 1/25/1999. ( )


How are you removing the flesh? Boiling certainly has it's
disadvantages, but one advantage is that much of the oil comes out
of the skull. If it is a B&C skull, boiling can be done, but dermistid
colonies are the first choice. for flesh removal. scoring can be done
after 60 day after insertion into a colony. once scoring is complete,
you could boil to remove oils. I'm sure there are other methods for
removing oils from non-boiled skulls, so help me out here guys. As for
bleaching, it is a term, not a chemical used. Never use chlorine bleach
to whiten a skull. I use hydrogen peroxide. This is the same stuff you
by at the pharmacy section at wall-mart for under a buck a quart. soak
the skull in the peroxide over night. bigger skulls may take a little
longer. avoid putting antlers in peroxide, it will remove the color from them
. Also check the other threads in deer, lifesize, gamehead and beginners as there
are more methods and instructions on skull cleaning there.

no grease

This response submitted by Rob on 1/25/1999. ( )

Bollman's grease buster shoud do an effective job as well as any of the other various degreasing agents listed in supply catalogs.The peroxide may be diluted in half to save money.You can also get a stronger grade peroxide from beauty salons. Add water with this product to create a paste and brush it on your skulls.


This response submitted by Corey Ilko on 1/28/1999. ( )

Steve- Acetone, bought at any hardware store for a few bucks works for me. A very well known skull bleaching company with a worthy reputataion gave me the insight. Just submerge your skull in the acetone and monitor until the grease is gone. I tried it on a bear skull and it took about a week. It depends on how greasy it is. Good Luck!

oh by the way.....

This response submitted by Corey Ilko on 1/28/1999. ( )

I forgot to add that boiling is quick and simple. That's fine I guess, for the guy that just wants his skull back. But you can't compare a skull that has been prepared by dermestids which eat every scrap of flesh, cartilage and hair, then soaked in acetone, and then "whitened" by means of peroxide. It takes longer, but when quality is compared it wins out. Theres no brittle bone structure, much less teeth fall out or become loose, and the whiteness!! I'm not an expert. Give Skulls Unlimited a call, 1-800-676-5459 or They're the experts, they'll be more than happy to share their knowledge and service too! Ask for a catalog.

Good Advice Guys...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 1/29/1999. ( )

Hey Guys,

Dermestid Beetles - the "flesh-eaters" - are the safest way to go for any skull or full-skeletal preparation. They can be purchased, in "colonies" from the Carolina Biological Supply Company catalog, their phone number is 1-800-334-5551.

As for degreasing, the Grease-Buster was not developed for removel of grease from bone. It works wonders on epidermal adipose fat, that's it's strongest suit. The most effective degreaser is without a doubt... Acetone! Good call Corey!!

As to bleaching... the hydrogen peroxide sold in stores - the "medicinal strength" can actually damage the bone because it must soak for so long.

The better, actually best choice, is the type of bleach sold in beauty supply stores, used for bleaching hair. It is much stronger, requiring wearing good rubber gloves like "Platex" kitchen gloves, and requires less time on the skull.

It comes in two forms: liquid - for immersion; and as a paste - for brushing-on.

If you soak the entire skull, it need only remain submerged for a few hours, NOT overnight! When removed, the skull is rinsed and allowed to dry. Drying in the sun will hasten the whitening also.

When using the brush-on paste, it can remain on the skull several hours to overnight. The same steps are followed as with the liquid for rinsing and drying.

I have taken old "field-skulls" that I've found, and after washing, bleached them with the brush-on paste, and had them turn out really white. This stuff works great!!

There is a national chain of beauty supply outlets where you can buy this type of bleach. It is called "Sally's Beauty Supply". Give it a try. Works great, and it's less filling! Ha!

Best to all... John B.


This response submitted by Matthew shine on 8/7/99. ( )

I boiled my skull for a long time about 12 hours and the flesh was
still on it the teeth turned purple and it has a funny smell how
can I be helped?

Skull Boiling

This response submitted by The Trickster on 12/10/99. ( wazutoo @ )

Ive tried different ways of boiling but this works the best for me.I use a propane fueled burner and outside of course,I boil the skull for half of an hour.Then scrape all of the meat that comes off easily. Then boil skull for 15 minutes and scrape again.Repeat process untill all meat ,sinisus and brains are removed.Use a coat hanger to scramble the brains and they will pour out easily.Then soak in peroxide 40% for 4 hours and set skull in the sun for a day. This process works great for me.

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