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Blood Stains

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by weasel123, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. As I have been cleaning skulls for quite some time now it seems to me like the most time spent in degreasing is trying to get the blood stains out of the bone.
    It appears that the grease doesn't take long to get out but the discoloration from the blood causes difficulties.
    Even after going into peroxide and back into degreasing some skulls just don't want to turn white. Has this happened to anyone else as well?
    Any tips on eliminating the problem or dealing with it more efficiently?
  2. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    Wanna hear others take on this. From my perspective, I always say treat blood like you would stains on your carpet. You have blood and some fat on the carpet, what are you going to try and clean up first? Peroxide the head immediatly after bugging or as soon as you can to prevent the blood from staining. But I still battle with it.

  3. i have had this happen twice. both on early season bull elk. prep skull and into bugs. done in 24 hours, straight into the degrease and CRAP!! blood staining the skull from the burrs down. i change the water every day until it stops. usually 2 or 3 days and then continue w/ my standard routine. the blood that stains the bone adds a couple of weeks to my degrease time and i have not used anything but dawn and ammonia. these are the only instances i can speak of. hope it helps
  4. Damon

    Damon Member

    I would love to hear a solution. I have a very large iguana skeleton that has been degreasing for months and is still bloody. The stuff just will not move.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Try a looooong soak in ammonia and back to peroxide. I have also found out that some of these blood stains are no longer visible when the bone is completely dry.
  6. jprince

    jprince New Member

    I havent been doing skulls for to long but this year a guy brought me a couple wt that had been sitting for a year and the bone seems to be blood stained badly especially in nose area. Is this common for a skull that has been sitting for a while untouched? Have only had this problem with fresh skulls once on a muley that hadnose dived that broke nose that im currently working on but in 2-3 days of degreasing it was gone. Oce i pull the stained ones out of degreaserand had time to dry its not visible. Will this show up after whitening?
  7. Can not say that I have ever had much problem with blood staining on skulls but will offer a thought or two.

    To get blood stain out of fabric, I always use cold water. Hot water will set the stain. Could the normal degreasing temperature also be setting the stain in the bone? Something to think about..... Maybe room temperature water and ammonia is a better solution to blood stains than the normal heated degreasing.
  8. After skinning and fleshing heads, I soak them in cold water for a day or two. That draws a lot of the blood out of the tissue before cleaning.
  9. Good ideas everyone. I have noticed this problem more with furbearers rather than with bear or deer.
    It seems to me that the smaller skulls are a heck of a lot harder to get completely white compared to big game.
    I have especially encountered this problem with every single lynx skull I have done where the top of the skull has some very dark almost black stains that are very hard to get out.
    Maybe it all has to do with how long the blood was allowed to soak in the bone for?
    I will try soaking heads in water before putting in the beetles to see if that helps.
  10. FowlWeather

    FowlWeather New Member

    Would soaking them right off the bat in cold saltwater help pull the blood out of the bone? After a duck hunt I soak all the shot up birds in a bucket of cold salt water overnight and it seems to pull a lot more blood out than cold freshwater. Just a thought, anyone ever tried this?
  11. FowlWeather

    FowlWeather New Member

    And by right of the bat I mean fresh out of the beetles.
  12. Matt_S

    Matt_S New Member

    Cool salt water was the first thing I thought of while reading this also.
  13. The main thing is time, it takes a LOOOOOONG time to get those stains out without damaging the skull..
    This one took so long - I hated it.. ;)
  14. When you say long, how long? I had some bad lynx that took almost a year to get completely white.
    Now I have a fisher that looks just as bad as your wolf. Completley black all over.
  15. my longest to date................a large blk bear, green scored 20 5/8, took me 13 months to degrease, this included the one day it took to prep the skull and let the bugs clean it and to let it dry for a couple of days after whitening. i thought it would never finish and i was always concerned that it would fall apart. it did not.