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Skull Bleaching Over Time
I have a couple muskox skulls that were professionally beetle cleaned 10 or so years ago and they are immaculate in that regard, but the skull is yellowing. Is there any easy application of something that will whiten this. Thinking a sprayed on dilution of beach or peroxide at some appropriate ratio.
Any thoughts or experience on this type of enhancement over time
Yup, 40 volume cream peroxide developer works very well.
yellow usually indicates fat is still present
How does volume 40 work what is process to apply
Bou, just brush it on liberally and let it sit for a few days. Apply more if necessary. The cream variety allows it to stick to the skull, so you don't have to completely submerge the skull. I used about a 1/4 gallon on my last elk euro. Rinse it off with water and let dry. Done.
Aaronshort is absolutely correct, decreasing skulls takes a long time, you need to decrease properly before whitening, any changes you have pictures
I agree with the 40 peroxide. DO NOT use bleach. It will dissolve bone. I put it on with a small brush and let set overnight. Rinse and done.
I believe your skull didn't have all the grease fully removed before it was whitened.
Volume 40 or any other whitener will only be a temporary solution if there is still grease in the skull. It needs to come out or it will eventually resurface. I would try soaking it in a degrease solution of dish soap before you reapply the whitener product. Hard to tell from the pic, which looks pretty good to me fwiw.
I have some pronghorn and javelina skulls that have yellowed over the years, I'm certain it's grease, as the skulls feel slightly oily. It's been on my list to toss them in a tub with bunch of dish soap, but haven't gotten around to it. Maybe I'll try it and report back, but I'm pretty sure I'll need to soak for a week or so, maybe more, so report may be a while in coming...
Degreasing should be done in water and dawn soap at 120 degrees 24/7. The water should be changed approximately once a week until it stops getting cloudy. Some guys add ammonia to the water/soap mixture. It can take up to a month, or longer. That said, I'm not sure degreasing will do much for 10 year old skulls. Whitening with 40 volume should help a little. Personally, I don't think that skull looks too bad.
No, it’s not really bad. It was done by Robertsons taxidermy up in Yellowknife so I know they know what they were doing and that was 12 years ago. It’s just more of a creamy color than bright white certainly not a dingy yellow, but if I could get it shades of whiter it would Be preferable.
Just don't get the peroxide on the horns. "Paint" on the peroxide to coat the bone (but it doesn't need to be all that thick) and wrap it in saran wrap to keep it from drying out. Put it in a warm place.
Whoever did them didn’t do it correctly. If done right they don’t yellow.
I agree with SBH. yellowing is from not being degreased. I would degrees it with 50:50 ammonia and a little squirt of dawn. Let it soak for a couple days and repeat with fresh solution. Then bleach with volume 40
I got a deer skull yellowing I did personally years ago, so am interested in this...
"I would degrees it with 50:50 ammonia and a little squirt of dawn"
By 50:50, are you saying 50% ammonia and 50% water?
What if a guy would take straight Dawn dish soap and paint it on the skull with a brush and leave it a few days?
To degrease properly it needs to be done with heat and not just leaving it to soak in water. It would take some serious degreasing with a skull that old and if it was sealed with some kind of clear coating then it probably needs to be soaked in acetone first. If the horns are attached to the cores then degreasing would not be a good idea because the whole head and horns would be submerged in the hot water. I would try to just brush on a cream peroxide and wrap in Saran Wrap then leave in the warm sun for a few days. Remove plastic and wash off the peroxide and see if it gets white enough for you. Good luck!
I mix volume 40 or 50 with a powdered bleach and I brush it on, cover with a plastic bag and let sit for 12-24hrs then rinse off, it works great. I also let the skull sit in the sun for a few days post
That skull looks good enough to me that I wouldn’t mess with it. As others have said, it wasn’t properly degreased at first. Takes low heat, a degreaser like dawn and time. A lot of people skip that step, even taxidermists.
I would call that a little age not grease.
For minor yellowing like that try "Sun In" hair product. It'll gently bleach the bone surface.
Zbone - Yes 50% water. I would not use straight dawn, the enzymes in dawn beak down the grease so it can be dissolved in water.
I would recommend simmering it in water and oxy clean first.
Then dry it and do the same process but with CLEAR volume 40 and water. Be sure to wraps up the horns first. I usually simmer it in this mixture until the teeth turn white. Just keep an eye on it and if it starts to get chalky or degrade the bone, take it out. At this point, any remaining grease should have come out as well.
I just finished my kids deer and it turned out great.