View Full Version : how to bleach skulls
08-07-2005, 08:04 PM
FONT=Comic Sans MS]I have a deer skull with antlers attached and i wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions on how to bleach the skull? Is it safe to get bleach on the antlers? The antlers are a little black from the smoke when i boiled off the meat, how can i get rid of it.[/FONT]
08-15-2005, 08:40 AM
I have done a few skulls and the best thing for the black on the antlers is just use rubbing alcohol. To bleach the skull just make sure all meat and tendens are off. Then take a paper rowel or rag with bleach and wipe it down until you get the white you want.
Where in OH are you? I am in Jackson County and live in Oak Hill by Wayne Natl.
08-15-2005, 08:53 AM
thanks for the help.
I live in mahoning county.
Bleach/clorex ultimately damages the bone. The best thing to use for bleaching bones is 40% peroxide which is available in beauty supply stores.
I did this a couple of times the first time i phoned a shop and asked how it was done he told me get a big pot and some bleach and water to cover the skull you wrap up the antlers boil the skull for about two hours take it out to let the meat dry up and flake two day at least clean the best you can repeat at least two times it is very important to make sure the bleach dosent hit the antlers when boiling (Dont chance it )I used a little clear varnish to the skull not the antlers and for me it looks good .I think you can buy a kit for that also .Good luck which ever way you choose .
09-22-2005, 05:27 PM
I have done two skulls with peroxside and they turned out great.
12-09-2005, 01:17 PM
I am currently working on a hog skull. I defleshed it as much as possible, droped it in a large pot covered it with water, poured in two cups of unscented laundry soap and then boiled it for five hours. Almost all the flesh simply fell off the bones and I only had to do a little cleaning. For the next step I am going to soak it in acetone for a week to degrease the bones then I have to let it dry. Once it is completly dry I can wrap it in rags and pour concentrated hydrogen peroxide on it letting it sit for a few hours before I let it dry and finaly glue in all the teeth. If all the steps are properly done I should end up with a perfectly white skull.
Not sure what the soap and acetone will do to antlers, I guessI will have to drop an old one in the pot and see what happens.
12-09-2005, 06:36 PM
that seems like alot of steps to me. The way I have done it is to just skin and take all the meat you can off the head. Then fill a pot with water and put some borax in with the water(I don't know if the borax helps but thats just the way we have always done it). Boil the head outside and change the water every half an hour. After the skull is pretty clean take it out and let it dry. they fill ziplock bag with hydrogen peroxide. and put the head in the bag and let it sit until the skull is white. Then take it out of the bag and dinse it with water. I have not done a antered animal but they say to use a pan and wrape the antlers with tape or something.
12-12-2005, 06:34 AM
The Borax serves two purposes. The soap, helps to degrease the skull, and the Boric acid, which is a key ingredient in Borax, is a cure agent. Regular Clorox Bleach is too harsh for bleaching, and could damage the bone. Use 40% hydrogen poroxide. It's more powerful than the stuff you get from the store, and not as damaging to the bone as regular bleach. They call it bleaching because of the end result, not because of the product used to get it that way. When boiling the skull, try to keep the antlers out of the solution.
12-20-2005, 09:06 PM
Just finished a skull last month. I used 4 cups Borax mixed with 3 gallons bleach. Soak just the skull. Make sure the entire skull is covered in solution, being careful not to get mixture on the antlers. Soak for 4 hours, pull any remaining tissue from the skull, soak for another hour. Rinse skull under water hose thoroughly, then soak skull in clean water for 6-8 hours. Skull should be completely clean. I then put on a light coat of flat white spray paint on the skull and used a common wood stain to darken the antlers(the skull was about 2 years old and the antlers were bleached from the sun). Turned out great, my wife even let me put it on the gun cabinet.
01-03-2006, 03:13 PM
I don't really understand the flat white paint. I thought the whole purpose of the bleach or peroxide was to get the skull white. Why go through all of the fuss of bleaching if you are going to paint it anyway?
01-03-2006, 05:46 PM
So, this may sound silly but I asked a friend of mine who has lots of nice bleached looking skulls around his cabin. He said he uses the old fashioned method. He places the entire head, meat and all in a very fine mesh metal cage. He then wieghts it down with rocks and puts it in a very deep hole in the stream next to the cabin. Come spring there all set and clean as a whistle. Iguess the critters in the water eat everything but the bone. I might just try it to see if it works. I have a basket of scull caps out in the shed withthe fur still attached. Ill let you know come summer!
No Kidding, Dave
01-05-2006, 05:16 AM
Actually my neighbor does kind of the same thing. Only, instead of water, he puts it in the ground, and when its picked clean, he sun bleaches it. I don't know if this work for long term though, as I've only seen new ones of his. I don't think the air is dry enough up here to do the job properly.
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