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Using ammonia for degreasing

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Patriottaxedermtbeetles, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. I am just wondering about the details of this. Like how Long? Price? Benefits? Seems like it would be much less of a hastle than my unreliable chest freezer and bucket heater dawn degreaser. Thanks everyone
  2. gnatboy911

    gnatboy911 Member

    I've spent a lot of time researching this using the search function. I'm trying it myself right now with a skunk skull and a pine marten skull. I've got them in jars covered with cheap, non scented ammonia. They have been in there a little over a week and I'm not seeing much change yet. Patience, and time will tell.

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I just started a new batch with ammonia. I use the strong stuff from the hardware store. Makes grocery store stuff seem like water. Was on sale for $4.00 a gallon. It will last for quite a while. How long will depend on how much grease you put into it over time. It doesn't have to be heated but keeping it at room temp will benefit the work greatly. Cold fat is still just a rock that won't move otherwise. I soak stuff for a month and then check it. I normally use heated Dawn/water but some things need a little extra beating. If the ammonia doesn't loosen stuff up I go to acetone and then back to Dawn/water.
  4. I have been using dollar store ammonia for several years now. I use two cups per 3 gallons of water on deer heads. I have never had problems using ammonia for degreasing. I run my current tanks between 120 degrees and 124 degrees. The size of the tanks causes a slight variation in temps. usually it takes about 4 to 4 weeks to degrease a whitetail skull. I Run the skull in the pot the first 2 times with only hot water. This saves on ammonia and acts as sort of a maceration round for the heads. From there it is 2 cups per pot and water changes as needed. I buy ammonia in bulk from the local dollar store. Theirs comes 8 to a case and I buy 10 cases at a time. Compared to Walmart brand, this ammonia is a lot more stout. So I cannot speak for anyone else, but I have used everything from dawn, ajax, LA totally awesome, to various heavy degreasers from the parts house. Ammonia works the best for the money and degreases completely.