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Skull Cleaning And Whitening

Discussion in 'Wanted' started by Marissa Boettcher, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Marissa Boettcher

    Marissa Boettcher New Member

    Hi everybody!

    Would anybody mind sharing their skull cleaning/whitening protocol and the chemicals you typically use (if any)? I manage a research lab at NC State University and the chemicals we get through the school are crazy expensive so I'd like to try alternative methods. Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. Caitie

    Caitie New Member

    Hi there
    I do skull cleanings as a hobby and use fairly cheap chemicals for my skulls. I get everything from Walmart or Dollar Tree and usually have a $50 budget.

    To start, I cut as much skin and meat of the bone as I can before I throw the head/bone into a boiling pot of water with a small amount of Dawn dish soap or a scoop of OxiClean / Borax (anything that cuts through grease)
    Let that boil for a bit, until the skin starts to split on the nose or muzzle or looks.. Cooked lol
    Boiling time varies on what is being boiled. After it boils and I think its ready, Ill take it out and start to clean it off. I use a wide variety of tools.
    Sometimes it can take a few boils/simmers but after you get EVERY piece of meat/ flesh off and out of inside the bone (marrow and cartilage can leave a stain and ruin the look of a white skull) you can start the whitening process. Sometimes not everything will come off or out after you boil it. If that happens and its a small amount of flesh, the whitening solution will help remove that. I use 30-40 level developer (for hair bleaching) or even just OTC hydrogen Peroxide. Both work but I find the 30-40 peroxide gives it a better white but can weaken the bone if not done correctly. Start by bringing 50/50 ratio of water to peroxide to a boil, once that comes to a full boil, put your bones in and bring the heat down to a simmer. Keep an eye on it at this point, whitening doesn't take that long for some bones and can be finished within 10 minutes. It may not look 100% white when you take it out of the solution but it will be white after it dries. Weather you let it airdry/sundry outside or in front of a fan, let it dry for several hours if not overnight if possible. After it is all dry, you can brush on a layer of Mop & Glow to help keep dust off the bone or just leave it as is.

    I learned a lot about Whitening from White Bones Creations on YouTube. I do things slightly different from him but I still get the same results. I put a link to his channel below.


  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The OP also put the same post in the Skulls and Skeletons section where several folks offered help. They haven't been back since so maybe they really didn't want the help? If you are going to cook your bones, #1 you should never allow the water to boil. That is one of the things that is weakening your bone, not the peroxide. Always simmer your water, not boil. Keep your dish soap if you want but get rid of the borax and Oxiclean. Instead use a small amount of Arm &Hammer Washing Soda. What flesh you have on it turns to jelly and you wash it off. To whiten, just soak your skull in the peroxide at room temperature. You don't dilute it with water and you don't cook it. What you are doing is weakening your bones, not the materials. Peroxide doesn't weaken bone or damage it if you just soak it. The weaker the peroxide the longer it will take. 40 VOL will whiten a skull nicely in several hours. The video blogger you share also boils peroxide in a metal pot. Read the pinned post in the Skulls and Skeletons section and understand how foolish this is. If you want to clean skulls with minimal materials, read on here how to do it. Posts go back all the way to 2006. Do it properly, and nothing you do will ever weaken bone.
    Caitie and eurosbyRT like this.