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how can I clean and whiten bones smply and with a minimal effort? Answered

I have two small pork rib bones ( about four cm each max.) and, on a whim, have decided to whiten them. I don't know how to do this. The bones almost no meat on them, but I'm not sure whether or not they have marrow. I was thinking of boiling them, since I belive it is easy, are there any setbacks to this method? please help
(note: I am thinking of trying scrimshaw on them, so I dont want to weaken the bone)


Some kind of bleaching is in order. Leave them in the sun for a few months, take them with you to the tanning-salon, try domestic-bleach or as J' suggests.


You mean stick them in some womans or girls little briefs while they are getting a tan?

No. Put the wood on the bed about 2 inches from the tanee's body. Or if it's a stand-up; on the floor.


don't boil the bone specimen. It is imperative that you soak the bones in water and open. If the become stagnant through it out and refill the  container  with more water do this until the water is clear. Once its clear air dry the bone and finally soak the specimen in hydrogen peroxide(3%) until your specimen is crisp,clean,and white.

                                          Thank you for your time

Do not boil or bleach! 

"First of all, don't boil or bleach bone! Boiling causes fat to soak into the bone, resulting in a greasy, yellowish specimen. Superficial grease can be removed with ammonia and certain industrial solvents, but this is an unpleasant process and cannot remove deep grease which will eventually migrate to the bone surface. Chlorine based bleach irreparably damages the bone itself, resulting in chalky, weak, extremely porous specimens that will turn to bone meal with age."
- BoneRoom.com

Peroxide is best for whitening. The stronger the better. 

I've done this with deer and other skulls.

A very small amount of regular bleach (not ultra bleach) in a bucket of water overnight does the trick.

Peroxide used in the same manner also works.

Whatever you use, be sure to thoroughly wash the bone in clean water when finished.

The easiest approach for larger-scale cleaning is to enlist nature  -- biologists use tanks of beetles to delicately clean the meat off carcasses.; I suppose leaving the bones next to an anthill, or burying them for a few months, would have similar results but I haven't tried it.

Boiling might work as a second-best solution.

Bleach/peroxide will sterilize and remove some more of the organics, and is recommended if you don't want the bones to smell like dead animal,. Of course any color that's in the bone itself may remain (soaking in undiluted laundry bleach left the teeth I treated still yellowish), but it's probably about the best you're going to do.

I've done the anthill thing and it works fantastically, but it takes a few weeks for the ants to get all the meat out. If you're not in a big hurry, it's great.

This instructable suggests that boiling it is best and then using peroxide to whiten the bone.

so, boil and bleach with peroxide, whats the catch? ah... "boiling stinks up your house"
ah well. I'll give it a shot this weekend (ifI remember) and report back on success/faliure