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Ongoing problems with degreasing skulls!!!

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Saskatchewkiller, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    Hey, for the last few years i have had nothing but trouble degreasing my skulls. I simmer at very low temps (below 200 degrees) and use soap when i simmer. After i have tried dawn in water for months with no success, I then tried dawn in water at temps as high as 160 for weeks with no success at all. Some of these whitetail skulls are almost completely covered in grease others just have some spots on the forehead, but no matter what i do the grease doesn't go away or even get better. I've also tried borax, acetone, and many other methods. What should i do?
     
    Eric Weiss likes this.
  2. TrueNorthSkull&Bone

    TrueNorthSkull&Bone New Member

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    Utah
    first of all, how are you cleaning the skulls? boiling or bugs?
     

  3. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    I simmer at very low temperatures below 200 degrees always
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Try quitting simmering and switch to bugs or maceration. You are cooking the grease into the bone. How long are you simmering for? Hours?
     
  5. LilBit1587

    LilBit1587 New Member

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    White tail skulls greasy ? Pig skulls and bears skulls are greasy ! Have u tried a fish tank heater in tote of water giving constant heat .change water once a week? Aka stank tank Many factors go into skulls. Low slow simmer barley rolling .... Depends on how many gallons you simmer with also . We also use small amount of soda ash very ruff on skulls you have to babysit boil.
     
    woakley144 and Saskatchewkiller like this.
  6. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    I usually do 2 deer skulls in one pot with about 10-12 gallons of water. I only simmer them for at most 2 hours because i use the pressure washer to finish them off. And like i said the water is not very hot, i never see a bubble and if it drips on me it doesn't even burn my skin. I know whitetails are not supposed to be this greasy, about 50% of mine are just as greasy as pigs for some reason. I don't know if it has something to do with big Saskatchewan whitetail being greasier than others?

    and yes i have a heated tank to soak deer heads in i keep temps above 120
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  7. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    i've been playing with the idea of drilling holes in the skull from the bottom, but not all the way through the top to allow water flow to the grease in the bone
     
    Simond likes this.
  8. LilBit1587

    LilBit1587 New Member

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    I don't think drilling would help greasy . Drilling would help for horns . It's a long process with degreasing.... soaking . Skulls are delicate unless buffalo or something ridiculous. Dawn is a highly favored in our shop . Fish tank heater to keep water at set temp. I pre mix all hot water dawn some times stank bucket is to much have to change more than once a week warm water clean water key. Keep trying it's a process
     
  9. One time I had a deer skull that took 4 months or more to degrease (at 90 degrees with a fish tank heater and Dawn) and every time I refilled with fresh water and soap the grease kept bleeding out like a greasy french fry on a newspaper....I didn't think that skull would ever stop pumping out the grease! But eventually it did, with a lot of time. Just took a while longer than what I was used to for deer. This was the skull of an old buck with really worn teeth so he must have had lifetime to build up a good bit of fat reserves. From my experience, older animals (of any specie) are harder to degrease because the bone tends to be thicker and denser and for some reason they tend to hold more grease and fats. Maybe you have a bunch of geriatric deer there...
     
  10. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    ya it doesn't actually have be dawn brand does it?
     
  11. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    i do always get those white chunks floating on top of the water i assume that is grease right?
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    White chunks will be grease, yes. Dawn works really well because it seems to be more concentrated so, if anything, you use less. Might also be the ingredients that they make it with. Just seems to work better than others and can be gotten cheaply if you look. If you are going to insist on simmering, try adding soda as LilBit suggested. You can use Baking soda. Try adding a cup of it to your 10 gallons. The flesh will come off faster and easier and will shorten your simmer time. You do ABSOLUTELY have to keep checking the skull. Pull and scrape off the softened flesh every 30 min or so or even more often. Probably won't hurt to add Dawn to your simmer water. A full cup to those 10 gallons. You shouldn't have to drill holes in a deer skull. But then, I no longer simmer because of the issues it causes.
     
  13. Saskatchewkiller

    Saskatchewkiller New Member

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    i agree i have seen what heat does to bone, i only soak it hot water to loosen then the pressure do the work. i can put my hand in the water so i'm sure it wouldn't cause any complications
     
  14. ToTheBone

    ToTheBone New Member

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    I would suggests to quit simmering... it only takes me 4-6 days to macerate a skull to just bone with an aquarium heater set to 80 degrees. I put em in and walk away for 4 days and usually come back to a clean skull.
     
  15. i do the maceration process. then i degrease with water, ammonia and dawn at 93 degrees and it takes about a week and a half. do a ton of them and bear every year and no problems with grease.
     
  16. When I used to simmer. I hit the skull with a power washer first. I finally got a hotsy (heated power washer) and it’s awesome. 120°
    Cut time in the summer in half.
     
  17. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Before you recommend to others to use a power washer, might want to take a gander at this if you are cleaning skulls that belong to someone else. https://www.taxidermy.net/threads/419146/
     
  18. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

    If your simmering for two hours then power washing how do you think every thing is out of the skull?
     
  19. I’ve been using them for years as many I know. Now if you’re over zealous and stick the wand 2 inches from the skull yes maybe. But in 10 years never had that happen
     
  20. Does anyone have a “best method” for removing grease that is years old? Tried to search the forums, but I’ve got an amateur made euro mount that a friend boiled…. Covered in peroxide, and then left in the sun for some time. Looked nice and white when he gave it to me 3-4 years ago, but now is as yellow as snow that a coyote just pissed in.

    I’ve had it in a bucket with an aquarium heater & oxi clean (which worked really well at getting more grease out of my last skulls after Dawn just did “okay”) running for 48 hours now, and see zero grease floating and pulled it out for a second with no noticeable difference.

    I guess my question is…. For grease that was originally “boiled into” the skull and has been seeping to the surface and setting in for 3-4 years…. Is it a lost cause? Or just gotta give it months of soaking? Or is there a known solution?