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DANGERS of working with Strong PEROXIDE .. a read and learn article

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sea Wolf, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. WildlifeLady

    WildlifeLady Member

    I should reiterate:
    The peroxide loosens and softens the cartilage to the point if easier removal in other areas. There are definitely safer ways to whiten. This higher grade is not easily obtained. I had to search for it locally. It also cannot be shipped except by someone who has does hazmat shipping. Thanks for all of the info. I, for one, did not know about the metal interactions and dangers, so I will heed the warnings!
  2. horsefeathers

    horsefeathers Member

    Who-ever was able to FINALLY make this post a sticky... thank you, thank you, thank you... THANK YOU!

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I asked Ken. I guess it was finally ok.
  4. I am still using brown-bottle peroxide. Any disadvantages other than cost? (if it is a disadvantage; I just get it because it doesn't require any kind of mixing and I can buy it at the corner drugstore.)
  5. DeeCee

    DeeCee New Member

    Just time, it's takes longer to work. I used 3% for years before going to BO.
  6. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    I had PMed him too, guess he figured it would make people stop bugging him ;)
  7. DermestidKaye

    DermestidKaye New Member

    Being new to bone processing, I am so glad I came across this post.
  8. JRose

    JRose Member

    Hey Seawolf- You keep referencing BO, which you say is pool-grade peroxide? I recently tried switching to 27.5% peroxide from the spa shop. As far as the bottle says it's just pure peroxide, no additives. What makes it different? The spa guys said it's literally no different than food-grade or normal peroxide other than it's just concentrated.

    And I'm assuming that in this account, the taxidermist was soaking skulls in the undiluted peroxide? Ouch, I'd be afraid to try it! I always always dilute mine pretty heavily. Does this decrease many of the risks and hazards? I've never had anything weird, unpleasant, or explosive happen o.o
  9. Baquacil Oxidizer (BO) is just one of several brands of hydrogen peroxide that you might find at a pool or spa shop. Another brand you might see is BioGuard SoftSwim C. They are both 27 or 27.5% hydrogen peroxide. They both also include a stabilizing agent for longer shelf life, but that usually isn't mentioned on the label. The spa guy is right that these are just more concentrated versions of food-grade, hair salon, or pharmacy peroxide.

    In the account at the beginning of this thread the guy was using 50% hydrogen peroxide, which is very dangerous. 27% is much safer, but you still need to wear gloves and eye protection, and make sure no metal or even flakes of rust get into the peroxide. Diluting makes it even safer.
  10. Wheatfields

    Wheatfields The woods are my home

    Great info that's fn nuts !!!
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As Alpinist pointed out, BO (Baquacil Oxidiser) is just another brand name for the same 27% peroxide product sold for pools and spas. Depending on who is selling it, I can normally find this early in the year for around $11 a gallon. Even though stainless should be ok, I would never use metal containers with it. Though I do have stainless tongs and some screen baskets made from stainless. Even with this percentage, I think the accidental addition of iron flakes or other metals will cause a reaction. I am just super SUPER careful with it.
  12. JRose

    JRose Member

    That's very interesting to know, thank you! I have metal lids for some of my containers, I don't know what they are comprised of. Never had a problem, nothing weird. I use more like a tablespoon of peroxide to a quart of water though. I find that it whitens just fine that way. Then again I'm not looking for results in an hour, I'm fine waiting a day or two.
  13. I'm surprised you are getting any results with that dilution. 1 tablespoon of 27% hydrogen peroxide in a quart of water works out to about 0.4% peroxide. If you put metal (other than stainless steel) in dilute hydrogen peroxide it will eventually cause the metal to corrode. It will also waste the peroxide by using up some of its reactive properties more quickly.
  14. JRose

    JRose Member

    I've never done the math. I use it sparingly- just enough to get the job done. It does take several days for things to whiten, but they get there all the same.
  15. necrocanis

    necrocanis Member

    Very interesting. Ive never used more than 3% and dont intend to change anything but from my younger days of less cautious skull cleaning i can say that even 3% gives a very violent reaction when chlorine is added. Extreme heat and boiling while giving off copious amounts of chlorine gas? Will burn your eyes and mucus membranes bad. So my stupidity as a child when i was cleaning my first horse skull should tell you to not only watch yourself with metals but other chemicals as well. Point is make sure that any chemicals that you are not %100 sure of the reaction with peroxide should probably be kept well away in a separate room to avoid any "blonde" momments. Also i would suggest that if you treat your skulls with any other chemicals to first soak them in warm water first or let them dry completely before adding them to strong peroxide as an added precaution. Adding chlorine to 50% would probably be worse than whats described here and you will likely die. The reaction he had gave off oxygen. Im not sure exactly what type of reaction it is but ive been told its an unbalanced reaction that creates hydrochloric acid that burns off instantly leaving a deadly gas behind. Be smart people. I now leave it open for the home chemists that are in every forum to come in and correct me where im wrong lol.
  16. qwackorama

    qwackorama New Member

    great info, thx :)
  17. Coloradoyaler

    Coloradoyaler New Member

    To All!

    Thanks for all the info!!!

    I do have a question. I have a buffalo skull that is very big. I do not have container to submerge the skull in. Can a paste be made with the 27% peroxide?

    Thank You
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    You can make a paste with it but it would be more cost efficient to use the 12% hair type or dilute the 27% to 12.
  19. From what I have heard it is now hard to get anything over 30% because very volatile high explosive can be made with acetone and high concentrate peroxide (used by many foreign terrorists).
    Anyhow I use 30% and the guy that does most my skulls uses 30% but not straight. It is a big money saver rather than using something already diluted and paying for the diluted stuff instead of what you intend on using. So both of us cut it down to around 10% with water. Lots of people don't realize 2 things about getting a really nice clean white skull.
    1. They should be properly degreased
    2. The do not look as white as they already have gotten until they are dry
    Also I use small containers not much larger than the skull itself and use different ones for different kinds of skulls. I don't submerge the horns or antlers and wrap a thick white shop towel around the pedicle under the bur and keep it wet with a turkey baster so I am not betting peroxide on the antler bur and whitening it as well.
    Never had any issues with it. It is all about being informed, safe storage and usage. Granted I have also taken Haz Mat training at my former job then more in depth when I got my Firefighter 1 and 2 training and got certified for Haz Mat Ops so that helps a little but mostly its just common sense.

    One other thing that can't hurt is to get you hands on an ERG guidebook that will tell you all kinds of info on dealing with hazardous chemicals.
  20. Rob43

    Rob43 Member

    I have always used straight 40% peroxide from Sally's, submerged skulls in a plastic container ( just big enough for the skull ), for a day or so. Never had a problem. I will take heed to the warnings posted though. Thanks for the info!