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.
You're done!


Amy said...

best post EVER

patricia said...

Just came over via your comment on my blog--and I realize I've been here before, after you wrote your homeschooling recipe! Nice to be back!

When I visited before, I didn't realize you were local. Oh, and the Bone Room! What an amazing place--you're reminding me to take my youngest there. We haven't been in such a long time. It's good to know they have an online shop too! And the bone maceration "recipe" is one I will definitely keep in mind for when my little guy comes home with treasures. Thanks!

Heidi said...
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Soldier without a War said...

wow. Now i know what to do with all my spare :)

Heidi said...
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Lori said...

hahahahaha - you are really my kind of gal! ;^)

TheOrganicSister said...

okay the very thought of the smell has me totally crinkling my nose. is it covered and still smells? or only smells when you take the lid off? good to know it's so easy. not sure i'll ever need the knowledge as zeb isn't into anything "gross" but like you said, who knows! it could be the hubby who wants to do it when he finds out it's good for the garden!! hahaha


Susan said...

My daughters are bone lovers, too. I am so glad to know what to do with the messier ones. Thanks!

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Anonymous said...

My chicken feet are very white, but soft and chalky. I crock potted them on low for two days, skinned them, washed them in soapy water-Tide for about 36 hours (maybe I used too much detergent), and then I soaked them in peroxide for two days. They are thoroughly dry now. A few yellow spots but I'm afraid iof doing any more with them until I figure out how my process went wrong. And should I sand them down? Some of them crumble when i rub my nail on them. Any assistance would be a help!