Finding Sand Dollars while at the beach is always fun to do, just like searching for sea shells or looking for neat rocks. But natural Sand Dollars will rot and give off a nasty odor if not treated. So here is my instructable on how I treat/bleach a Sand Dollar.
If you want information on how to find Sand Dollars, do a quick google search and there will be hunndreds of links for you to research up on!
Step 1: What You Need:
Anything big enough to hold your Sand Dollars flat and be able to have a few inches of solution in the bottom, a bucket wil lwork perfect for this but you may also improvise wish any container.
Bleach, normal is fine but It just so happens I had scented laying around which will work perfect as well.
Something to dry them on: Paper towel, Cloth towel, anything will work.
The sun, It shouldn't be very hard to find a nice sunny spot for a couple of Sand Dollars to sunbathe.
Sand Dollars... Of course!
Step 2: Solution
Fill your bucket up with about 3/4 a cup of bleach, no need to measure just dump in as much as you think is necessary. Next, fill up your bucket with a little water until your Sand Dollars will be able to be completely submerged.
Step 3: Soak the Sand Dollars
Place the sand dollars in the solution and let the bucket of Sand Dollars and Solution sit for a full 24 hours. Either inside or outside, try to keep the bucket warm.
Step 4: Whiten and Brighten
After 24 hours your Sand Dollars should look white! They may be a little yellow (The yellow will fade in the sun more, but not completely) and possibly have a few chips out of them at this point, which is normal, you can leave them i the solution longer if you please or take them out with the bit of yellow, which in my oppinion looks more natural and better then completely white.
Step 5: Sun Dried Sand Dollars
Dump out your bucket of bleach water and Sand Dollars, careful though as the Sand Dollars are VERY FRAGILE!
Rinse out the bucket and set aside, rinse off your Sand Dollars as well and place the on your towel.
Bring your towel outside and set in the sun. The Sand Dollars will need to sunbathe for a couple of hours in the hot sun. Usually from noon till the sun starts to go down (around 7 or 8).
Step 6: Done!
Retrieve your new bleached Sand Dollars!
You now have your completed Sand Dollars, that you had fun finding and bleaching! Much more rewarding to find and bleach yourself then it is to buy at a gift shop!
The bleaching process will make them more fragile then they were in their naturla state, I started with two of them as seen in the pictures but my smaller one shattered in the sun when I went to retreve it this evening. At least I managed to find two in the ocean!