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Antler Cleaning After Maceration

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by SMC527, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. SMC527

    SMC527 New Member

    I have a deer with antlers skull that I have been macerating in a covered tote. I believe I left the water go too long between changes and now the antlers are very discolored (dark green/brown /black)

    Any tips on how to clean them /get them back to their natural color

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The discoloration might be from the bacteria running out of oxygen and a different bacteria taking over. Ignore it for now and continue cleaning and degreasing. You may notice it start to lighten as it goes through changes of water to get the grease out. When you peroxide the skull to whiten it, let the peroxide get on the discolored areas. They should lighten right up but you will have to retouch the color there. If they sit in the degreasing solution long enough, it is possible the black goes away and they return to the right color but I doubt it.

  3. blindluck

    blindluck Active Member

    Those antlers gotta breath while maceration or degreasing or bad stuff happens
  4. PablitoPescador

    PablitoPescador New Member

    I ran into a similar problem with my bull from last season. I macerated the skull with a garbage bag over top of the cooler to contain heat and found that the section of antler that had been covered turned a darker color. By my wife's suggestion I found a metal brush at WalMart (Golf BrushPro Retractable Dual-Bristle Club Brush) and to my surprise it actually removed the dark color and almost returned it to its original color. This was only from just a few seconds of brushing. I'm going to wait until the degreasing is finished to work on the rest but it really seems to remove the mold/bacteria ? that had formed on the antler. From what I can tell it probably won't ever look identical to the original antler color but it's a lot less noticeable. I'll post a before/after update with pictures once I'm finished.
  5. SMC527

    SMC527 New Member

    I will try the wire brush.

    Is there any danger to the antler from using hydrogen peroxide (3% or 20%)
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The peroxide will not damage the antler but it will lighten it/change the color. The longer you expose it to peroxide, the whiter it will become. Same as the skull. You will have to retouch the color to get it back to it's original appearance. 3% will probably do very little as it is a weak concentration. 12% to 20% or better is stronger and will yield faster results.