12 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 04/11/2012
Posts: 21
Question about Bleaching a Skull

So I have boiled my skull from a nice boar I shot this year. My question is I decided to use peroxide and bleach powder mix that can be purchased from a Taxidermy site and I am noticing that there are certain areas that are whitening better than other areas. Should I give it the 24 hours that was suggested and then redo the areas that are not as white or should I do the whole skull again until I get it the color I am looking for? Thanks for any tips anyone can give.

Critter's picture
Online
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3947
You can try redoing it again

You can try redoing it again and letting the mixture sit on it for longer and see if it does get as white as you expect. Just be aware that no matter how long you let these home style kits your skull will yellow over time from oils that you can't get out leaching out of the skull.

I found that if you want a perfect white skull that will stay that way to find someone locally that does the beetle thing. Either that or send you skull off to Skulls Unlimited and pay for their services.

http://www.skullcleaning.com/index.php

hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
I let mine sit for a couple

I let mine sit for a couple of days now in the peroxide. The warmer the better also as it helps it to penetrate deeper. After I'm finished I rinse it well and then let it dry out in the sun as opposed to the garage or something. That also seems to make a difference. Mine aren't perfect but come out pretty good.

I've never used the powder but plan to use that as well.

I've recently found boiling them with oxi clean powder in the mix seems to make them whiter also.

If you boil too hot you get more blackening and that's harder to whiten. Just a slow roll is best for the water.

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2494
next step

My advice is that after you finish this step and drying, go to an art supply place and get the spray on silicon spray that artist use to keep charcoal and pencil drawings from smudging and give the whole thing a clear coat.

Offline
Joined: 04/11/2012
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the advise. So

Thanks for all the advise. So I have noticed that the lower jaw is still some what yellow and I am afraid it may ruin the color since my friend that boiled it did it in straight water. And then adding to the fact that I am a newbie and didn't research the process further, I have now realized that most guys will degrease their skulls before bleaching them. Is this a step I can go back to or should I just continue as I am until I reach a level of satisfaction?

Critter's picture
Online
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3947
Just keep doing as you are.

Just keep doing as you are. Boiling them in straight water is just fine. The kits that you purchase from taxidermy supply stores add a chemical that helps remove the meat with a slight degreasing but no matter what you do you will never get a perfectly white skull without the chemicals that are available to commercial operations. As I said in my first post your skull will yellow over time due to the oils leaching out of the skull.

One process that I have yet to try just because I don't have meat eating ants in my yard is to stake the skull out on a ant pile with a cage over it where a animal can't drag it off. Then let the ants and the sun do their job. From what I understand it does a great job.

Below are two javilena skulls. The one on the right was done by a taxidermist who boiled it and used peroxide on it. The other one was done by Skulls Unlimited. As you can see the one on the right is quite yellow or darker than the one on the left. They were taken a year apart so the yellowing process age is about the same. The one that Skulls Unlimited will stay this white as long as it is in exsistance. I have been trying some different things the last couple of years but they still don't come out as nice as the Skulls Unlimited one.

PreviewAttachmentSize
RS.JPG
RS.JPG94.6 KB
Offline
Joined: 04/11/2012
Posts: 21
Okay thanks. I did some

Okay thanks. I did some research and I think the next time I am going to try soaking the skull in dawn and water or a store bought degreaser that I have read about on some other taxidermy sites and see how that works. Yeah I have talked to my wife about possibly getting a small colony of the beetles since they also take care of the grease issue. And it is kinda cool for the kids to see how awesome nature can be.

Critter's picture
Online
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3947
A friend of mine up in

A friend of mine up in British Colombia was thinking of getting some beetles so that he could take care of the bear skulls that a outfitter service that he works for could be a one stop shop for their bear hunts. He found out that you need a climate controlled room to keep them in. Not too hot and not too cold and he figured that on the scale that he would be doing it that it just wouldn't pay by the time that he got set up properly.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5742
Interested to see how it

Interested to see how it turns out.  Mine just got done by a guy with some beetles, and it's currently sitting at his house in a barrel of coleman fuel oul, getting the oil and fat out.  Have to see what it looks like when done.

 

elkslayer's picture
Offline
Location: Idaho
Joined: 04/27/2011
Posts: 23
skull whitening

I have done a couple bear skulls and deer euro mounts and I learned a lot from my first that I did better on the rest.

My first skull looked good for a while but it has yellowed significantly.

My others are still as white as when I finished them 2 and 3 years ago. Here's what I did:

When I boiled it I used arm and hammer laundry detergent, the baking soda does a good job of removing meat and getting into the narrow blood vessel passages in the bone to clean them out.

Then I did a de-greasing step that I didn't do on my first skull. By soaking the skull in a solution of dish soap and water. I soaked it for a couple days and agitated the mixture regularly and refreshed the water as needed once oils and fats began to accumulate on the waters surface.

After the degrease I let it completely dry and rest for a week to see if any grease spots would appear.

After that I used the 40 volume peroxide that you can buy at hair salons and spread it liberally with a paintbrush onto the skull. Let is sit for a few days and repeat until you get the whiteness that you want. Certain areas are still slightly gray but I wasn't looking for blindingly white skull anyways.

To prevent yellowing I think the most important step is the degrease. For whitening the salon peroxide is pretty good stuff.

Offline
Joined: 04/11/2012
Posts: 21
Yeah I was reading about the

Yeah I was reading about the degreasing and will do that for sure on the next one. I may still try to degrease the lower jaw on this one. Here are some pictures of how it turned out.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Bear SkullBundy611/05/2007 19:48 pm
bleaching bear skullspittsburgh longhunter101/24/2005 18:32 pm
antler mount how to advisehurricane811/19/2008 13:31 pm
Clear coat on elk Euro mount?hawkeye270512/24/2010 15:34 pm
How to clean an Elk skull??JimmyB403/16/2010 22:56 pm