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Solvents For Drying Birds Ranked.

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Vulpes Vulpes, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. Vulpes Vulpes

    Vulpes Vulpes Active Member

    I’m still a newbie to taxidermy. I read through older posts about solvents like camping gas to aid in drying bird after they’ve been degreased. I’ve never used solvents but would like to after I spent a loooong time drying a teal with a shopvac.
    I’ve heard of rubbing alcohol, acetone, gasoline and mineral spobeing used. My understanding is that they work so well because they evaporate quickly and are soluble with fat (which there should be close to zero).
    Does anyone have experience trying different ones. Which work the best?
    Are their any non-flammable options that work well?
    Thank you.
  2. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    I've used pretty much all of them. I chose Odorless Mineral Spirits as my everyday product. For me, it was a happy medium, less odor, it doesn't dry out the skin as bad as the others so I spend less time wetting the skin, and it gives the feathers the best shine.
    John C, Westcoast, AFTHUNT and 3 others like this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Avoid solvents if possible. Your health is worth more than a dead bird. I've used them all...acetone, gasoline, lacquer thinner, Coleman fuel to name a few. They are bad for your health, and are absorbed into your skin or inhaled. Use dawn on waterfowl, drip dry, towel dry, and blow dry. I'd use a hair dryer on medium heat. It takes a little while, but it's worth it. If you don't mind the dust, you can toss them in a tumbler of corn cob grit for a few minutes and expedite the process, then do touch up drying with a hair dryer.
    KLFL, bucksnort10, magicmick and 2 others like this.
  4. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    Coleman Fuel and Odorless Mineral Spirits are the 2 I use. The others I find dry the skin out too quickly for my likings. I'm aware of all the health and danger concerns but I'm a big boy. To each their own
    Misty and BrookeSFD16 like this.

    AFTHUNT Well-Known Member

    BrookeSFD16 likes this.
  6. Crittrstuffr

    Crittrstuffr Well-Known Member

    I used to use Coleman fuel, mineral spirits because everyone did. Then I read a couple posts from very experienced and talented taxidermists that for no fault of their own went through the same steps drying a bird as they have dozens of times except the fuel fumes ignited into a fireball they where standing in. Probably due to the sparks from a drying device or hot water tank / furnace or the such. Really didn't matter how it started as they where on their way to a burn unit. Not being dramatic just want to make a point 30 seconds before they set themselves on fire nothing ever happened to them either. Here's what I can guarantee water will never do that. A tumbler and shop-vac will dry your birds as well and as fast and your Birds will come out beautifully. Be safe
    Keith, Terry Bennett and BrookeSFD16 like this.
  7. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    I've used 70% Isopropyl alcohol. This product will dry the hide as well as the feathers. Then rehydration of the hide is required. The time saved is fairly significant. The danger of inhaling fumes that can be flammable and bad for you over long time exposure is also significant. I stopped using any kind of chemical displacement years ago.
    BrookeSFD16 likes this.
  8. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    And saves you some money!
  9. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    Forget that stuff , it stinks and its flammable , I use the spin cycle on my washing machine and it works great .... No chemicals .. if you've cleaned the skin good the bird takes very little time to dry after the spin cycle .... just dont forget its in the washer and let your wife toss in a load of cloths on top of it ... trust me its not a good thing ....:eek:
  10. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    ALWAYS make sure your bird is wet before putting in any kind of
    solvent. Most know this but some may not.
  11. Westcoast

    Westcoast Well-Known Member

    Skip the solvents, not necessary, expensive, dangerous, bad for your lungs, bad for your eyes, just plain bad for your health, containers everywhere, messy and again unnecessary. Absolutely no difference in the end product. And for what? So the feathers dry faster? Makes no sense in the grand scheme of things.
  12. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    I wash all my ducks twice in dawn hot water
    The wash in tide warm water
    Gets grease and dirt really well
    Wally Gator likes this.
  13. bryan115

    bryan115 Member

    I've tried most and have settled on Coleman white gas. I use it out in the middle of the backyard No chance of sparks. I also use rubber gloves. I don't tumble. Just put them in a big box of sawdust. Shuffle it around a few times. By the time I get the body, wires, etc. ready, the skin is easy to blow dry with shop vac or hairdryer.
  14. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Well-Known Member

    I started using Tide after the convention last year and I love it. Just like you, twice in Dawn and hot water gets the grease off the skin, then the Tide seems to really shine the feathers. I’ll probably never gas again. Birds seem to blow dry easier after the Tide.
    Powdered Tide, not liquid.
    spurhunter, Vulpes Vulpes and Clew like this.
  15. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Well-Known Member

    Since we’re on the subject, I made an observation this morning. A while back I received a turkey. I thawed, skinned, fleshed with pressure washer and washed in Dawn before freezing the skin. This morning, I washed the skin two more times in Dawn. The water was very clean. Then I washed in Tide with warm water; after soaking a few minutes the water was brown, so obviously the Tide with oxy clean is breaking something loose that Dawn won’t.
    John C and Clew like this.
  16. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    Never used Tide , but with using HOT water be careful … I’m all for using really warm water done it for years but if you use too hot of water it Does shrink the hell out of the skin , I know from experience .. ruined a couple rare dux ..oops Really Warm water is fine but if it burns your hands it’s probably too hot .. it does work like nothing else when I used the real hot water , I’d watch it melt the fat off .. didn’t know it was shrinking the skins so much while doing so ..
    I’ve used Gain on Turkeys and it seemed to be fine , they smell nice afterwords ..
  17. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Don’t use boiling water
    Use it hot where your hands can barley stand it
    No shrinkage since 72
  18. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    I haven't tried all of them but will agree with Joey. Tried gasoline one time. Too many fumes for this old boy! I hang my turkeys, fold a towel around them next pressing down trying to absorb as much moisture as possible. Next I use a roll of paper towels and go over the wings , and carefully the neck feathers . Paper towels on the inside of the wings and skin. Getting all the excess moisture I can. Then hang and blow dry.
    I am considering one of those pet dryers to speed things up a bit. Takes a bit longer but works for me. Sometimes I hit with the air hose at a distance. While hanging.
  19. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    None. Wash with dawn and tide and sometimes some hydrogen peroxide . Let soak and then wash a second time if bad enough. Rinse a couple times and then one more time just to be sure. Spin cycle and master blaster gets them nice and fluffy.
  20. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    I have personally witnessed 2 fires involving white gas and birds.

    One of the shops I worked at prior to me working there, had a female employee burn her long hair when the fuel started it on fire. Fortunately it was just some of her hair.