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Degreasing skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by blindluck, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. blindluck

    blindluck Member

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    I've been using the masceration and dawn /water at 115-120 method for a while. I have degreased deer for 5 months then using 27 percent Bo to whiten but only coming out with creamy white results. Is there a better industrial degreaser, not happy with my results. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Five months is way too long for a deer skull. Alot are pretty week degreased in three weeks, the rest usually by the fourth week. I've had a few rough ones that took six weeks but only a few.

    You need to make sure the water temp AT THE SKULL is 120. Idk how you're checking it, but i have a submersible probe that sits at skull level in the water.

    Next, 115 is on the low end, my elements kick on at 118 and kick off at 124.

    Make sure you're changing the water as it clouds up. With bulk degreasing, i change the water every Tuesday and Saturday.

    If they are stubborn skulls try rotations... Degrease two weeks, peroxide, then degrease again. The peroxide seems to shock the grease and when back in the degreaser it starts leaching out again. Some people use ammonia, it's great for degreasing... But i think it pulled color out of alot of my horns so i stopped using it.

    Finally... 27 percent peroxide is much much stronger than the volume 40 I'm using which i think is 12 percent. Try mixing with basic white. I mix it to a consistency of toothpaste. I paint on heavy, cover, and let sit over night. The next day i rinse and set out to dry. Once dry, it's white like a robe from heaven.

    Not sure of your setup, but following these steps works for me to turn a skull very white. On occasion two whitenings are required, but usually one does the trick for me.
     

  3. blindluck

    blindluck Member

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    I appreciate the advice, however I do the same, water changes twice a week. I've noticed inside the skull cap it will never degrease brown in color. degrease longer 120 deg, totally submerge in 27 percent. 24/48 hours. I thought mine were really white till I compared mine with some professionally cleaned and whitened skulls then realized mine were not at the same level. I've even tried acetone and ammonia soaks still not there.
     
  4. marshtaxi

    marshtaxi Member

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    utah
    Sounds like your doing pretty good. Any pics to see what they look like. Did you compare your skulls to someone else's in person or just looking at their pictures.
     
  5. blindluck

    blindluck Member

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    Ive compared side by side at my local taxidermists shop, where he has them sent out and mine don't compare. Mine have a creamy look in some areas a hint of yellow which tells me they still have grease, It makes me think there is more to it than just dawn and water heated. like more industrial. I haven't been able to post pics but will if I can figure it out they don't take when I try.
     
  6. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Upload a photo to photobucket and then copy the link and post here. Are you letting your skulls dry out before whitening? Are you bagging them and applying heat when whitening?
     
  7. blindluck

    blindluck Member

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    I let them totally dry after degreasing then submerge in 27%
     
  8. Tonyreach

    Tonyreach New Member

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  9. Tonyreach

    Tonyreach New Member

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    I see this is an old post but I have a question. What is your peroxide mixture to "shock" the grease. I need to step up my game in this area.
    Thanks
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    No such thing as "shocking grease". Peroxide does nothing to remove grease. It whitens bone. Grease is removed by detergents/solvents and heat. What kind of skulls are you working with?
     
  11. No but I have had cases where a soak in peroxide helps to speed up the process. Normally with skulls that have that dark blue/black bruised color to them. This mostly happens with skulls that came from animals that where shot in the head or were snared- i think trappers call it melon head. As the head swells from the blood. But I've also seen skulls that where mummified get this coloration too, even though the animal was not shot in the head nor snared. When you soak these skulls in peroxide this bruised coloration disappears completly and they degrease much easier afterwards. So while the peroxide may not help with degreasing perhaps it gets rid of other "crap" i.e. blood trapped in the bone which then helps to speed up the degreasing process overall.
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It gets rid of the blood stains. That is what it is used for. It actually has no effect on grease. Heat and detergents/solvents move grease. Peroxide is none of the above. Individual animals will all degrease differently as well due to differences in the grease load in each. If you have issues with grease, try adding some ammonia to your degreasing solutions.
     
  13. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    I always like to add a little peroxide to my first soak. I always say if you spill red wine on the carpet are you going to let it soak in or are you going to try to get it out immediately, it s just to help with the dark stains from blood and marrow and junk. So i do that first just to get the blood started and any staining. Then for grease, i do use a lot of ammonia, it gets the grease out, but seems to yellow my skulls so i swap between ammonia and dawn.