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Borax Substitutes?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by BloodRedEek, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. BloodRedEek

    BloodRedEek New Member

    Hey everybody! This is my first post , ever! To start this thing off, I'm young (Under 15), and I'd love to start learning how to taxidermy. I live with my mother, who ...well... doesn't quite like me having dead things in the house... To say it lightly. I've secretly salted feeder mouse hides (?). I've salted two whole mouse hides, besides the head. I've also preserved mouse tails and limbs. That's it for dry preserving. I once bought home a bag of dead chicks (They were 5 for £1, Don't blame me!). Obviously, my mother would NOT appreciate me putting a bag of dead chicks in the freezer, hell, she didn't even know I had them! So I stupidly decided to "hide" them in one of my drawers over night, thinking "Hey, They'll be fine by tomorrow, right? I've kept a mouse for two days without decomposition!". Stupid mistake. When I woke up, my room smelt like an abandoned slaughter house. Terrified, I sprayed my entire room with a whole can of deodorant.. ._. . Anyway, I checked on the chicks , and NEARLY VOMITED. I'm not squeamish at all, I've handled dead crabs, shrimp, a cow's heart, I've even cut open numerous mice (Notice I said I've only preserved two mice skins? On the first few mice i skinned, on the first one the feet got ripped out of the skin, the second one, i managed to somehow rip halfway down the back, and on the third one, i punctured the bowels while skinning it, it sprayed all over me, and some random dog decided to jump on me) but when you open your drawer full of clothes, and see a bag of chicks who's rotted organs are leaking through the skin and the mouths and eyes are bleeding, you have to gag! I threw them out of my window.

    Anyway, I would really love to get into taxidermy, but because of where I live, nowhere sells borax, especially to people under 18. And it's not as if I could get my mother to buy it, because she doesn't want anything to do with it! I don't really know what else to use, I could use salt, but that makes the skin feel like cardboard, and it doesn't really eliminate the smell. I was wondering if I could use talcum powder or something instead? I don't think I have any baking soda in my house, which I've heard that other people use. I don't know what to do, HELP! Also, could anybody please tell me where I could buy glass beads? I don't live anywhere near any big crafts shops, and the one that is near me only sells wool. Please answer!
  2. Genie

    Genie Member

    Much of what you are doing could sound creepy but you're in pretty good company here. Many of us got started similar to you. It seems that you've already learned some important lessons about properly storing your specimens. 20 Mule Team Borax should be available in almost any store that sells laundry detergent. You might talk to your mom about taxidermy, especially the finished product - not so much the "dead thing" part of it. Let her get used to what you want to do little-by-little. Good luck!

  3. BloodRedEek

    BloodRedEek New Member

    I wish I could just buy borax! I live in the uk, and just about nowhere sells borax. Especially nowhere around me. No shops around me even sell rubbing alcohol! I have to order it online for £5 ($6-7). Shops here only sell purple dyed methylated spirits, and even then, you have to be 18 to purchase a bottle. My mum has a really weak stomach. She gags when people blow their noses! She told me I can taxidermy, just not in the house. Nor the garden. First mouse fur I salted, I did while sitting next to a river in a forest, brought it home in a plastic bag, then covered it in salt in my bedroom. I'm kinda scared to even ask her about it, because I'm scared she'll say something like "Why are you asking? Do you have dead animals in your room?" Then she'll probably go through my bedroom and throw everything out, which she did to my bird skeleton, even after assuring her that it was disease free. I'm wondering if there is anything I could use as an alternative or a substitute to borax so that I could do it out of the house, then maybe bring it back home and tell her that I bought it in a shop or something and she'll let me keep it? I don't know, but I really want to know, so that I can learn "Early on in life" and not wait until I've left the house. When I'm older I'd love to be a biologist or something else to do with nature and animals. I really would love to learn! In my room i have a preserved mouse heart, 6 mice feet, 2 crabs, a shrimp, and an oyster "heart" thing (All in rubbing alcohol)
  4. Genie

    Genie Member

    Is there Walmart in the UK?
    In 1999, Asda became a subsidiary of the American retail company Walmart and today is the UK's second-largest chain by market share.

    In the U.S. You could find borax at a Walmart for about $4 for a 4 lb. (1.84 kg) box. That would be enough for a thousand mice. But like I said, any store that sells laundry detergent should have it.
    Perhaps you live in a rural area and have trouble getting to a larger store so your mum will have to help you out. In fact you and mum should be talking about your dream of becoming a biologist, naturalist or zoologist. Your fondness for taxidermy could just be an indication that there are other areas you have yet to discover. Try to get mom to help you out - but don't let her find your mouse heart or feet, crabs, shrimp or "thing".
  5. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Best info I found is that the substitute is sodium sesquicarbonate, the same ingredient in the US's Oxiclean. It will not do the same thing as Borax.

    Borax is sodium tetra borate and has been regulated in the UK because of toxic effects to pets and children.