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Thread: whitening your skull

  1. #1
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    May 2008
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    Default whitening your skull

    I have just finished cleaning my black bear skull from this spring and was woundering the different methods you guys use to get it white. I had beatles clean it and than I soaked it in degreaser for a couple weeks and it still looks pretty dark.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Basic White

    The best I've found for whitening bear skulls after they have been cleaned is a kit sold by Van Dykes taxidermy called Basic White. The kit comes with the Basic White bleaching powder and a bottle of 40% hydrogen peroxide, plus all the instructions (about $28). Basically, you make a paste with the two products and brush it on the skull, when it drys, brush it off and the skull is white. WARNING, you have to be careful with the hydrogen peroxide, its 40% H2O2 not the 3% stuff you buy at the drug store. Follow the instructions and wear gloves. It works great.

  3. #3
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    Default Hydrogen Peroxide

    I used regular store bought hydrogen peroxide to do a deer skull a few years ago. All I did was sit the skull in a pan and wrap it with white washclothes. In the spots where the washcloth wouldn't fit like the eyes and other areas I used cotton balls. Then, I poured the hydrogen peroxide over the whole thing enough to make sure it soaked through and kept the skull moist. Every day I would add more hydrogen peroxide to those areas that seemed dry. After about a week, it was perfect.

  4. #4

    Default hairdresser

    Your local hairdresser probably has Basic White and 40% Hyd Per; that is where I got mine. The stuff is pretty nasty, too; use it outdoors. The UAF museum soaks their skulls for weeks in ammonia; cheap stuff. I think they use 10% ammonia, 90% water. It degreases real well, if you give it time and change it every few days.

  5. #5
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    Juneau, Ak.
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    Default

    40% peroxide works great. Did a bunch of skulls this spring. I put a quart of the stuff in a bucket, put a bear skull, a mink, marten, beaver, and otter in, added water to cover all, and let sit 3 days. Pulled them out, rinsed and set them out in what little sun we had in May, and let them dry out. They came out absolutly white. Good enough for a museum.
    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Default hair bleach

    I have done many skulls and have always used Hydrogen Peroxide. Don't use the stuff that you buy off the shelf at the drug department of Wal Mart. Go to your local beauty supply store or salon and buy the strongest peroxide hair bleach that they sell. It should be at least 40% peroxide. The mixture is basically the same stuff that Van Dykes sells as a skull bleach, but cost much less and you don't have to pay shipping and wait. Paint the hair bleach on with a small paint brush, put it on thick, let it sit a day or so and rinse, scrub the dried bleach mixture off gently with a tooth brush and let the skull dry. One time should be enough to achieve a good bone white. You can then seal the skull if you want; I have never sealed any of the skulls that I did because I like the natural color and texture. Make sure that you have degreased the skull before whitening or the peroxide won't do its job evenly. You can soak the skull in a strong dish detergent/water solution to degrease.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

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