Step 4: Whitening and De-Greasing your skull

Now that the worst part is behind you, the rest should be easy. For this step you will need a small plastic tub or container as well as several bottles of 3% hydrogen peroxide ($0.99 per bottle at your local drug store).

1. Place your skull into the tub and pour in the bottles of hydrogen peroxide. You will want to make sure you use enough peroxide to completely cover the skull. Do NOT dilute the peroxide. 3% is very low strength but it is the cheapest and easiest to to get your hands on.

2. The peroxide will fizz like crazy. Allow the skull to soak over night, and the check to see the progress. You skull should begin to whiten nicely. Leave it in the solution until you reach you desired whiteness, but I would not leave it in for more than about 48 hours, as the peroxide will eventually begin to weaken the bone just enough so that it gets a few hairline cracks.

3. Once your skull has whitened nicely, remove it and wash it thoroughly under running water. If there are still small bits of flesh or cartilage on it, they should have turned a light yellow color by now and should come off easily during the final rinse. Allow your skull to dry for 24-48 hours.

4. If your skull develops any greasy dark stains, contact a taxidermist to purchase a professional de-greaser. I have herd that ammonia can be used, but I have never used it myself. The peroxide works as a de-greaser as well as a whitener, but some species have greasier bones than others.

*** I NEVER recommend using a bleach mix for whitening. This can seriously damage a skull. If you wish to use something stronger than drug-store peroxide, you can purchase 40% peroxide from a taxidermist supplier. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

You can go to sally's beauty supplies and get large gallons of the peroxide that they use on hair. It is a 30% solution I believe and I got mine on sale for $4.99/gallon The creme version they use for hair is also a great way to whiten right around the base of antlers so you don't risk bleaching them in the liquid

When simmering the skull add arm and hammer super washing soda ( sodium carbinate ) and some dawn dish soap . degreased and clean.

hherzog2 years ago
Dawn dish detergent works well for de-greasing bone, but don't even try it on any skins you are tanning: you just wind up with a greasy mess.
diablocurry3 years ago
Yay! I did a mole! H. peroxide is hard to get here but I hunted some down, from Boots! Only thing, it's teeth fell out, gonna superglue them before dipping and fizzing next time as they are really small and impossible to put back in. I superglued one to my finger, ew!
lstaley5 years ago
Other sites recommend  using fingernail polish remover to degrease.
THank you !  I've been wondering how I was going to go about doing this, as I have a buffalo skull that needs whitening..  as well as a hog and a couple of severed deer heads out in the snow..  Which sounds kinda weird.  But this is vermont, and deer season just passed.  and my boyfriends got bacon smoking in his newly built smoke house.  you get the idea right?  Anyhow, thank you, this is surely going to be of use!
yukoimada7 years ago
I buy my 40vol peroxide from a beauty supply store! Sales are usually always going so I can get a large 32 oz for about 3 bucks. I try not to go lower than 30vol, but I do dilute it. I get whatever is on sale - works wonders, just don't let the ladies working at the shop know you're cleaning skulls - I've found that most get spooked easily.!