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Location: Newfoundland
Joined: 07/30/2008
Posts: 29
Cleaning mounts

Hello, all. This is my first post. I did a search and couldn't find any(valuable/sound) info, so I'll ask here.
I came across an incredible deal - I purchased 3 mounted animals, very well done, for $300. A coyote, a hawk, and a fox (with a grouse in its' mouth).
However, these animals were mounted high up on a wall in a cabin with cathedral ceilings. Grease that came from the kitchen, along with household dust, had settled on the fur and feathers over time.
Now, I know the obvious choice for cleaning is to bring the mounts to a taxidermist. Where I live, however, taxidermists are rare, and are (according to them) too busy to take on this project.
So, next best thing is to do it myself. Any advice on how to clean these items would be much appreciated. Of course I don't expect to do a professional job, but I just want a decent looking mount without ruining it.
Thanks.

Offline
Location: central Pa (LEWISTOWN)
Joined: 09/01/2008
Posts: 5
Cleaning mounts

I remember reading that to get grime off of mounts some taxidermists reccomend a damp cloth with some simple green.I would try a test area before going "hogwild".Good luck,and great buys.
Jim Thumbs up

Offline
Location: Newfoundland
Joined: 07/30/2008
Posts: 29
Cleaning mounts

Thanks, Jim.
One question though - what's "simple green"? I've never heard of it, but I'm assuming it's some kind of "gentle" cleaner.

CVC
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
Cleaning mounts

You should post this in the anything goes forum. I bet you'll get more responses there.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Cleaning mounts

One of the first things you'll need to do is determine if bugs have gotten into the mounts. You might see small moths flying around or a fine mealy dust below where the mount sits. If yes, you need to get the bug problem under control, since they will destroy them totally. One method we have used is to place the mount in a huge trash bag with lots of moth balls. Close up the bag, and leave it alone for at least a couple months. Add more moth balls if they evaporate away.

We had a pheasant mounted and within 5 years it was almost ruined. Not sure if the taxidermist did not treat the feathers and skin properly or what happened. I did manage to keep the bugs under control by doing the moth ball treatment, but eventually the bugs won when I wasn't as diligent. Might talk to a taxidermist and find out if there is anything better and more potent than mothballs. The bugs we had looked like mealworms and turned into small moths.

As for cleaning, I've always just used plain old dish soap with a soft cotton cloth. Old t-shirts and old cotton wash rags work great.. Make sure you don't soak the mount, just clean a small section at time. I'm guessing the grease will be a problem. Simple Green is a pretty good degreaser/detergent. I use it in the kitchen around the stove, so might work on your mounts. Here in the states you can buy simple green in the grocery or hardware stores. If its not available to you locally, you may be able to order it online. Another idea for a degreaser might be plain old hair shampoo. Most have some type of grease cutting ingredients. Shampoo is made for hair, so may work well on fur & feathers.

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Location: Kingston, MI
Joined: 01/16/2007
Posts: 648
Cleaning mounts

Here's how I do it:

1. Use an air nozzle with an air compressor. Utilize a "blow-off" device and just blow it off under high pressure. This takes off all of the dust and debris.
2. Use Pledge (or whatever you prefer to dust with,) on the antlers, hooves, claws, or teeth and wipe them down with a cloth. Use a toothbrush in the tight areas.
3. Use a Q Tip and Windex on the eyes.
4. Brush down with a dog brush.
5. If there are any odd hairs sticking up, you can use hairspay. I use AquaNet, because it seems to have the best adhesion. You just spray it and push it down and brush/comb it down and hold it for a short time. If it becomes too difficult, you can spray it down and then tack it down with pins and cardboard. You can also wrap it with an old nylon after you spray it down. There is a warning that comes with utilizing a nylon:

Your wife WILL get angry if you do not take great care to get her involved in the task of picking out the proper nylon. Yes, I learned this rule the hard way 6 years ago.

Offline
Location: Newfoundland
Joined: 07/30/2008
Posts: 29
Cleaning mounts
Whelland wrote:
There is a warning that comes with utilizing a nylon:

Your wife WILL get angry if you do not take great care to get her involved in the task of picking out the proper nylon. Yes, I learned this rule the hard way 6 years ago.

lol Yup...sounds true for my wife, too! Yes
Thanks everybody for your input I'll give it a try. Thumbs up

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