Wednesday, July 01, 2009
So you want to know how to clean a bone you've found? You've come to the right place. I never thought I would need to know this, but my son has a devoted interest in bones. He finds them virtually everywhere we go. We can be a a city playground, and I'll hear him yell out "MOM!! I found a BONE!!, look at this!!" Then I'm presented with a hopefully feather and skin free bone (though sometimes not so lucky). So a year or so ago I consulted the Bone Room website and have been using these instructions for cleaning bones ever since. Warning: if you DO find yourself stepping into the world of bones and maceration, you might want to consider keeping your soaking treasures in a warm spot OUTSIDE. They stink. A lot. Worse then you think. Mucho Stinko. Ok, if you can get over that, and well, the cleaning off of the dead flesh part, you are good to go. Happy bone finding.
Maceration - Using bacterial action to clean bone
This is the simplest method of cleaning bone.
Remove any remaining tissue or hide from the bone
Immerse the bone in a container of water.
Leave the container in a warm location where you won't mind the smell.
Periodically pour the greasy, smelly water out (gardens love it!) and replace with fresh water.
When the water runs clear, the bacteria have run their course.
Soak the bone in regular drugstore strength hydrogen peroxide until it reaches the whiteness you prefer. This also sterilizes the bone.