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What Is Causing This Discoloration?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by endeavor, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Recently had this whitetail skull beetle cleaned, "supposedly degreased" and whitened. It was a fresh skull taken in right after harvesting, I skinned it off the skull and left with person to be beetle cleaned in mid November, just got a call and picked it up this week. There are several large areas with a significant grey coloration. Not nearly as white as a couple I have had done in years past, both beetle cleaned and boiled are much whiter. Is there anything that can be done to correct it, or chalk it up to bad experience?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions! skull 039.jpg
  2. looks like it wasn't degreased properly or at all. Need to put it in water and ammonia and leave it soak , after about a week you should start to see discoloration to your solution, which is grease coming out of the skull. continue to do that until all the grease is out. i use clear ammonia, about a gallon to five gallons of water. warmer temperature will help it to work faster. this is where i believe a lot of people are misled. Beetles are fine but when the beetles are done the job is only half done, what they do after that is what finishes the job, which is a thorough degreasing. i use maceration and it makes degreasing much easier.

  3. Thanks Skullery, that is exactly what I figured the issue was. How often would I need to change the ammonia/water solution?
  4. Would the Ace 10% ammonia help speed-up the cleaning/degreasing process?
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Yes. Submerge it and let it sit for several weeks. You can also add 1/3 cup of Dawn dish detergent to the bucket with the ammonia. Preferably heat it to 120 degrees if you can somehow for the entire time. It's grease and as long as the skull wasn't boiled, it should come out.
    endeavor likes this.
  6. change out your solution once it becomes yellowish and cloudy looking. you will need to do this until grease stops coming out. be a little careful on the dawn soap, once i put too much in and had a light green color to the skull which was difficult to get out.
    endeavor and Setsuna like this.
  7. Not sure I can heat to 120 degrees in plastic tub? Trying an aquarium heater, to 93 degrees, its all I can come up with, and better than 40 degrees in the garage. I am hoping it will work???
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    40 would not work at all. Degreasing shouldn't have any odor. Bring it in the house? The Aqueon heaters (300 watt) I have bought can be tampered with carefully to make them go higher. Some Tetra brand ones too. I've been able to get them to 115 easily enough.
  9. Would 300w be overkill for my 10 gallon tote? I appreciate all of your recommendations/suggestions. Just trying to salvage this euro mount. Thanks so much!!
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Nope. I use 300 watt ones in 5 gal buckets. I would do what you can to insulate the tote though to keep the heat in that larger quantity of water. Or, just use a 5 gallon bucket if it will fit. Less water to heat. Wrap it with bubble wrap on the outside. Probably not as great as pink insulation but I don't like handling fiberglass.
    endeavor likes this.
  11. Ok, I brought it inside, put it in mechanical room, aquarium heater on order, be here early next week, I have a bunch of pink insulation in my crawl space, will wrap the tote with that when the heater arrives. The water/ammonia already looking funky and small white fatty/grease pieces floating...