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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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    Another fun fact that I’ll add is that ammonia will break down antlers. I learned this by accident when I left a skull in the bucket too long. That being said I used 10% ammonia, a couple cups in 4 gallons of water. Pretty strong stuff. Maybe the weaker stuff diluted in water wouldn’t effect them but this sure did. I could push my fingernail about 1/16 into the antler. It was soft.
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Were those antlers new ones that had still been in velvet? Can't say that I have ever had ammonia damage anything. But then, soak using it were maybe a few weeks with antlered heads. Another question, were the antlers chocolate colored by any chance?
     

  3. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    About once a day for a week and then once a week.
     
  4. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    I can’t remember if they were dark or not but now they are really white. I guess I put it in too long and too strong
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Changing once a day is wasting resources. Once a week is enough and I often don't change for a couple of weeks. The detergents in the water are still working on getting the grease out. Quite a bit of grease can be in the solution before it stops being effective.
     
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  6. fadetoblack72

    fadetoblack72 Member

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    Thanks sea wolf. I had a lot of fat floating on the top so I thought I should change it. I was worried about wasting resources. I’ll keep this in mind going forward.
     
  7. Vulpes Vulpes

    Vulpes Vulpes Active Member

    On a similar topic, For a full skeleton, does the rank smell dissipate? My fawn bones are clean and white after a month macerating in warm water. I used Dawn and Ammonia for the second soak. I drilled the ends of the leg bones to get the fat and marrow moving. The bones still smell rank. I’m on my third soak in since I started a couple months ago. Does the H2O2 kill the smell or should the bones smell fine before I whiten? I plan to soak the bones in 40 volume (12%) H2O2 for a day before assembling.
     
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The smell will vanish once they have been soaked in peroxide and completely dried. If there is a lot of trapped material inside the longer bones, expect a lot of foaming .. which is a good thing. It's the leftover trapped stuff being dissolved. After your peroxide soak, let them dry completely and there shouldn't be any odor if all the grease and marrow bits are gone.
     
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