How to clean and bleach animal skulls safely

Scrape out and rinse

Keep the skull intact or cut it in two if you wish. Scrape out as much flesh, blood and brain matter as possible. Also remove the fine bone structure inside the nose, which will allow you to reach the material behind it. If you wish to keep the skull intact, rinse it via the spinal opening to remove brain matter. You can also push a stick or tweezers around inside the skull to remove this. Put the cleaned skull in a bucket of water for 48 hours.


How do you whiten a deer skull with peroxide?

If you place the 40vol peroxide on a cold skull you will see that the reaction is slow. You see little bubbling as it stays just like a liquid paste. Now put a skull in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes then apply the peroxide. You will see the peroxide instantly react and bubble up on the bone.

How To Clean A Skull Details

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Whats in a name?

Not all Hydrogen peroxide is equal! Hydrogen peroxide comes in a few different concentrations and grades, but the one I use for the purpose of skull cleaning is the standard, over the counter 3% that one would find in dark bottles at the grocery store, down the same aisle as band-aids and topical ointments. Other concentrations, such as 35%, are too powerful for skull cleaning and may damage the bones if care is not taken.

This skull is ready for its Hydrogen peroxide soak.

How do you get the hair off of deer antlers?

From website: Antlers are also high in protein, this too can cause stomach upset especially in young dogs. And: We are having an increase in the instances of dogs (puppies and adults) with acute diarrhea. All test show that the cause is not bacterial or parasitic.

Rinse well in clean water

Then rinse the skull well under running water. It is important to do this thoroughly, otherwise the hydrogen peroxide will continue to act. The skull would then gradually crumble away. Leave the skull somewhere cool to dry. When the skull is dry, you can glue back any bones that have come loose using wood glue. This is transparent when it dries, so you won’t be able to see it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

You need to follow the process step by step to quarter a deer, but you need to skin it before that. You can know the full details about how to skin and quarter a deer from our expert’s written article.

  • Is it hard to clean deer skull?

It’s not that easy to skull a deer if you don’t follow all the steps properly. But it’s not that hard. You just need to follow all the steps mentioned above, and you’ll get your desired result.

For hunting or getting lots of deer at one place, you can search for the place where deer sleep. Usually, they sleep at cozy places or where they find it safe or the place where no immediate danger is sensed.

How To Boil Deer Skull: The Antler Soup

The skinned head is simmered, not boiled, to remove the remaining flesh. Boiling bones do not have a very pleasant smell. If the Mrs is not too keen on your hunting escapades, boil the skull a safe distance from the house.

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Mix water and washing soda in the ratio of half-a-cup per gallon of water (0.25 L Washing Soda For Every 7.6 L of Water). Boil the mixture in the pot. Once it is bubbling hot, lower the temperature and bring the liquids to a simmer. You can now immerse the skull in the liquid. Check every 15 minutes and scrape off loose flesh.

Use a stiff wire to remove the tissue in the nasal cavity carefully. The soft nasal bones are very delicate and will break if too much force is used. A small nozzle hose is excellent for the process. Teeth will become loose and should be removed, cleaned, and dried in the order of their placement in the jaw. Glue them back in for the whitening step.

Finally, you should remove brain tissue from the hollow in the back of the skull. Repeat the processes until you are satisfied that the skull is clean.

N.B: The process of how to boil a deer skull does not involve actual boiling. Actual boiling would damage the softer bones of the nasal cavity. If, however, you are not too keen on learning how to boil a deer skull, you can achieve the same results using taxidermist beetles.

How To Clean A Deer Skull Without Boiling

Rotting is also another way of cleaning a deer skull without boiling. Taxidermist beetles are faster but expensive. Rotting is inexpensive but may take a couple of months.

Quick Cleaning Tips:

  1. To be sure that all tissue is removed, expose the skull to flies for ten days. Maggots will remove every shred of remaining flesh. The skull should then be simmered in the water/washing soda mixture to remove the maggots and fly eggs.
  2. Never boil an un-skinned head. The skin produces oils that yellow the skull lowering the quality of the mount.
  3. After boiling, degrease the skull by washing with soap and then soaking it in white gas for 12 hours.

Boiling vs. Simmering:

Simmering is distinctly different from boiling. Never boil a skull – the extreme heat will dry out the bone, crack the teeth, and eventually "melt" away the sutures that keep the skull itself together. Boiling is a technique that many hunters use, but it can actually do more damage than good. In contrast, simmering a skull in water that is just over the threshold of being comfortable to our touch (but not boiling) is where the tissues of the skull will cook, shrivel, loosen, and slough off, leaving the bone unmarred. We are aiming for an approximate temperature of 170° F. It is unnecessary to bring the water to a boil when the same effect can be achieved at much lower temperatures.

This image shows how the left and right mandibles join together at the Intermandibular symphysis.

How To Skull Mount A Deer

To mount the skull, screw the skull to a plank. Be careful not to break bones. The mount is also more appealing when the screws are not too visible.

Before mounting, I recommend you apply a coat of lacquer to the skull. The skull will look better and last longer.

Quick Skull Lacquer Tip:

Gloss and Satin finishes are exquisite. Use either depending on room décor. The skull, however, looks tampered with and loses its natural look. Use a matte finish to maintain that natural skull look.

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