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Degreasing Help

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by fadetoblack72, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    C18F10FA-83DA-4BAA-A26C-8E6EE6862EDD.jpeg 55620C8B-B454-4ABE-9A86-24612040BE7C.jpeg C18F10FA-83DA-4BAA-A26C-8E6EE6862EDD.jpeg 55620C8B-B454-4ABE-9A86-24612040BE7C.jpeg FB019576-E942-4596-A775-90430C07FB22.jpeg A39027A5-2433-43CB-B80A-2CB575D395B3.jpeg I’m alternating dawn/h2o and ammonia(10%, 1/2gal:4 1/2 gal h2o)
    Both solutions heated to 116
    Should I be heating the ammonia solution?
    Any thoughts on this lynx skull? It seems I might need to soak it to get out the blood? I can only get 3% hydrogen peroxide, would that work?
    I know I shouldn’t heat the h2o2
    Where would I get the stronger stuff?
    I’ll include a few pics of my degreasing bucket as well
    Also, should I mix dawn and ammonia?
     
  2. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    One more thing, does the lynx skull look greasy still? Will that yellow come out in the peroxide or does it need further cleaning?
    Also, I’m assuming every one has to glue the lower jaws and teeth after whitening? All my teeth/jaws have separated.
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Doesn't look like grease. Looks like blood stains. Not sure how often you are alternating solutions but, generally, Dawn with a little ammonia in it works fine by itself. Heating straight ammonia is just asking for more pain working with the stuff than necessary. How long have you degreased this for? 4 weeks should be ok though it might need a bit longer. When it is ready for whitening, 3% peroxide will work. it should fit into a wide mouthed, small, plastic storage container. Just pour in enough peroxide to cover it and let it sit. The weaker peroxide will take a little longer to work and, if it gets used up, you might have to dump out the wasted stuff and replace with fresh. Stronger peroxide can be bought at any hair care salon type store like Sally's. Just ask for 40 Volume Clear peroxide.

    When it is whitened, you are probably going to have to give it a soak in a product called Iron Out to remove the blood stains (which are now Iron stains).

    I find that most lower mandible halves come apart during cleaning. The exception is very old, adult animals where the halves have fused together due to age. I use Elmer's white glue to glue the halves together and secure them with a rubber band in the front. Set the teeth in place and glue as well. Before the glue dries, set the lower jaw in place and make sure it is aligned properly. Now use a toothpick to move the teeth so that they also all line up and meet properly. Let the jaw dry in place, held by another rubber band around the lower jaw and around the entire skull. When dry, all the teeth will be in perfect position. This can not be done if you use Super Glue to put the teeth in or to glue the jaw halves as there is now no flex in the joint to make sure the hinges are set properly.
     
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  4. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    It’s been in there for a little over a month with heat on it I’d say. I put it in 3% peroxide and there isn’t any bubbles so I’m not sure if it’s doing anything or not. It would normally bubble correct? The two squirrel skulls I put in peroxide did. The lynx skull was soaking for probably 3 months in room temp dawn/water before I started heating it.
    Thanks for all the great information sea wolf!!
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Bubbling would be from the peroxide dissolving bits of left over flesh more than likely. No bubbles is ok and means the skull is clean. Sitting for so long in room temp (cold) water may have helped to set the grease in the bone. Try soaking it in peroxide for several days to a week and see what happens. The peroxide should be fresh if you are going to use 3%.
     
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  6. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    Perfect! I’ll do just that and see how it goes! Thanks!
     
  7. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    It’s stating to whiten but i do need to soak it in iron out. Should I just follow the direction on the package? I got the powder type. How long of a soak?
     
  8. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    One more thing, I have a pretty bloody deer skull that just came out of the beetle tank. Should I put it in the heated bucket with dawn/ammonia that all my other bones have been soaking in or use the iron out or peroxide first?
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    For the Iron Out, take a bucket with a couple of gallons of hot water and add maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons of the powder and stir to dissolve. Soak the skull and you should see a color change. Let it soak until the color is gone (might be several hours) and then rinse in a couple of changes of clean hot water. Allow it to dry and do not use peroxide on it after you have used the Iron Out.

    For the bloody deer skull, soak it in a bucket of COLD water for a couple of days, changing the water when it gets bloody looking. That should get most of the blood out of it before you try to degrease it.
     
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  10. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    I soaked it in cold h20 and iron out for 3-4 hours and it changed very little. Is there a chance I pushed it in further when I left it in cold water/dawn for a long time prior to hearing it 24/7 for a few weeks?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  11. OutsidersSkulls20

    OutsidersSkulls20 New Member

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    Fadetoblack, I have had the same issues with all kinds of critters, bear coyote fox raccoon beaver pretty much everything I have touched but in a year plus of trying different things i have learned to soak every skull in cold water and cold water only for 1-2 days to rehydrate the bone and it will help not setting the blood stains in the bone. After a day or 2 try adding warm tap water and dawn for a day. I do a 4-5 day process before peroxide mix. The last 1-2 days is dawn water with heat at 115-120. I change water daily. The cold water helps rehydrate the bone and start the loosening of grease and blood.
     
  12. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    Hmm. From what I was told, degreasing would take a lot longer than that....maybe I misheard.

    So if I’m understanding correctly, you think the cold water that I left it in for a couple months pushed the blood in? Or in some way kept it from coming out?
     
  13. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    And to be honest during those 2 months I would heat it too 120 during the days that I was home but let it cool at night. My tank didn’t have a thermostat or insulation.
     
  14. OutsidersSkulls20

    OutsidersSkulls20 New Member

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    To be honest degreasing takes as long as it takes but with my experience and talking to other bug guys the cold water is just to rehydrate the bone and start the breakdown of grease and blood. I have not tried cold water for more than 2 days and the second day is cold water/dawn. Then i heat with dawn to 115-120 and let that roll for 24 hours. Then when I believe i have most of the grease out I use clean water heated to 115 for 24 hours. Then i bring my peroxide color batch to boil with skull in and shut it off after 5-7 minutes of boiling. Let sit in pot until it is white and stains are gone.
     
  15. OutsidersSkulls20

    OutsidersSkulls20 New Member

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    And I have learned in my experience with peroxide, the cold skull does not take a whitening as well as arm skull
     

    Attached Files:

  16. OutsidersSkulls20

    OutsidersSkulls20 New Member

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    How often was water changed and Im not saing it trapped the grease/blood but if water was not changed I think it could have once bone softened. I know how nasty my water is after a day so i change it daily. Even my degrease tank! I also have a temp controller for my immersion heater!
     
  17. Vulpes Vulpes

    Vulpes Vulpes Active Member

    What do you all use to keep water at 120 degrees? I’m assuming it’s not on your stovetop.
     
  18. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    Thanks for all the help! I changed it daily at first then weekly. Once the water looked dirty or greasy I changed it.
     
  19. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    I use a bucket heater and inkbird temp controller now but before I was using it without the temp controller
     
  20. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Cold water does nothing to remove grease. Even if you add detergent to it. Take cold water and add detergent, drop in a piece of butter and see how long it sits there. You have to HEAT the water/detergent mix for it to work. Letting a skull sit in cold water for months does nothing more than allow the fat to decompose into a wax that is almost impossible to remove. Boiling peroxide does nothing more than waste product. You can use strong peroxide at room temp and get the same results and keep your peroxide for many more jobs.

    There are plenty of threads on here where folks have shown what they use to heat water in assorted sized tanks. From fish tank heaters, hot water heaters, bucket heaters and more..

    If the Iron Out made any sort of change then it was working. Leave the skull in longer and you can also try making the solution a little stronger as well as warming it up a little. Warm as in hot tap water warm, no hotter.
     
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