Skull Bleaching Question

Submitted by Easton on 5/26/06 at 11:32 AM. ( )

I just took my batch of skulls out of the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and they aren't as white as I'd liked them to be so I rinsed them off and am letting them air dry now. After they finish drying I am planning on putting them back into the hydrogen peroxide solution for a few more days to whiten them up. There are places on the skulls that are really white and some of my smaller skulls (marten, muskrat, etc...) came out great, nice and white. I was asking, should I change the solution or would the solution they were previously soaking in continue to whiten them up? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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This response submitted by Matt on 5/26/06 at 12:28 PM. ( buckeyebullet23@yahoo.cocm )

The over the shelf peroxide (3%) will take forever. Go to Sally's Beauty Supply or look in one of the supply catalogs and get some 40% peroxide. Then let them sit in the sun. Also after you soak them, if you can get access to some hair highlight soution paint that stuff on them and they will be bright white.

I use

This response submitted by Kim Collins on 5/26/06 at 1:19 PM. ( )

the 40 % peroxide from Sally's great stuff. You can as get it in a cream and paint it on. Mine are done in above two hours in the stuff. Then I put them under a work light to dry. To scare to put them in the sun and watch the dogs run off with them. LOL

Kim Collins
Bubba's Taxidermy

Sallys great stuff?

This response submitted by Bill on 5/26/06 at 4:21 PM. ( )

Just wondering if there is a phone or address for Sally's great stuff? Thanks Bill

Can Anyone

This response submitted by Easton on 5/26/06 at 5:15 PM. ( )

Give me the web address to a place that sells 40% hydrogen peroxide. I've been surfing the web for about an hour now and can't seem to find anything. Thanks.


This response submitted by chuck on 5/26/06 at 8:38 PM. ( )

Carlisle and company. They have the high-powered stuff and it works great. Don't forget to wear gloves or you'll regret it. Chuck

Dixieland Supply Co in

This response submitted by joeym on 5/26/06 at 10:21 PM. ( )

Somerville, TN also has it...35% peroxide...25.00/gal...
phone: 800-465-4577

Look in your yellow pages..

This response submitted by Randy on 5/26/06 at 10:43 PM. ( )

for wholesale beauty supplies. They will know what you need.

Its not your bleaching that's the problem

This response submitted by Dave on 5/26/06 at 11:04 PM. ( )

Easton, I've been following your posts and progression with skull cleaning, as I remember when I was in your shoes. The others who posted replies did give good advice for that last step in producing beautiful white skulls. 3% Hydrogen peroxide works great on skulls small enough to be fully submerged. I only use the stronger stuff on larger skulls too big to submerge. Buy the liquid 40 VOLUME H202 (its about 15%). You will want to stay away from 40% H202; that's some very powerful stuff that will cause serious harm to the skull, and more importantly to you. Most places advertize 40% peroxide when they really mean 40 volumes. Don't buy from them for not knowing better. Email me if you need any more details on this. But back to why I posted in the first place. Because I've been paying attention to your posts, I know that your degreasing method is not up to par, and a greasy skull will never be a really white skull. You said you use dawn for degreasing, did you not? Soap as a degreaser is inferior to other degreasing methods, and IT HARMS BONES! Because soaps tend to be sodium-based, they displace the calcium in your skulls that keep them strong. Though you may not see it, your bones are significantly weaker than bones prepared by other means. Skulls Unlimited uses only acetone to degrease, and for good reason. It does not harm bones and works well enough to be the choice by the world's largest osteological provider. They also degrease for lenghty time periods, at least 3 weeks and more often than not a month or more. The key to degreasing is a good degreaser and lots of patience. After a proper degreasing, skulls are white enough that they don't need to be whitened, although if I would recommend it in your case as you aspire to open a skull cleaning business and accordingly would want whiter mounts. So there, hold off on a strong peroxide and don't even bother if your not doing big skulls. Fix your degreasing step. Trust me.

This response submitted by Kristen on 5/27/06 at 3:03 AM. ( )

I used a hair bleach kit from the drug store and painted it on. My skulls came out nice and bright as opposed to soaking them in peroxide.

Would this work

This response submitted by Easton on 5/27/06 at 11:02 AM. ( )

would the blood out-degreaser or any type of chemical like that sufficiently degrease any skull? If so, how long should I soak them. Thanks.

It would work

This response submitted by Dave on 5/27/06 at 12:51 PM. ( )

Yes Easton the degreasers you could buy at any taxidermy supplier will work far better than dawn. Each have their own procedure to follow. Some are to be used full strength and will degrease properly in a week. Others are to be diluted and take longer. I'd stick to those which are diluted. They are usually a better deal money-wise and are more versatile. My personal rule is no less than two weeks of degreasing per skull. Experiment and see which one works to your liking. Again, don't get caught up in all the peroxide confusion. With a good degreasing, 3% medical grade will get your skulls as white as Skulls Unlimited. The 20-40 VOLUME peroxide that you can find at beauty supply shops is also sufficient in whitening, but these cannot be used for submersion. They require activators to work completey. So for example, if you buy Clairoxide 40, the strongest beauty supply peroxide grade, you will need Clairol Basic White to activate the most whitening from the peroxide. Beauty supply grades are less stable than medical grades, and therefore need the the powder to control the oxidation. Both container stabilizers that make them well suited for whitening. Anything over 15% is not recommended for whitening. 35% is food grade peroxide. Although it is hydrogen peroxide, it is very different than medical and beauty supply grades. It lacks many of the activators and stabilizers that these contain, and although it will whiten to some degree, it will do so at the damage of the bone surface and at a high risk to you. There are also peroxide concentrations above 35% that are technical and industrial grades. These chemicals are super strong- and super dangerous. Using this stuff will probably make your bones so white that they will be hard to look at, but that's if you don't kill yourself using it, and while I have not studied these concentrations, I'm sure they will damage bone. Also, these grades are very expensive and not worthwhile for cleaning bones, even if you dilute. They lack the things that make the first two peroxide grades mentioned safe and effective at whitening. Let me know if you need any more help. And Easton, keep me updated about your business. I'm interested in your progress.

Thanks Dave

This response submitted by Easton on 5/27/06 at 6:20 PM. ( )

I just finished off my nine skulls by sealing them with a clear coat of gloss and I must say, they turned out pretty good. Some aren't as white as I'd liked but I'll keep working the bugs out as the summer progresses and my business will be up and running by the fall (I hope, LOL). I'll order some degreasers for my skulls from a taxidermy supplier to degrease next time. I guess thats how you learn. Trial and Error. Thanks for all the advice Dave and I'll keep you posted on how things turn out, but first I'm going to have to get my hands on some more skulls to tinker with. Thank you.

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