Tips on how to clean skulls
The process of cleaning bones or skulls is the toughest and time consuming one. It will help if you are careful while doing it to avoid permanent damage or even losing your bones. Whether the bones are being used in a museum, in an investigation process or for other studies, we have different methods to clean tissue off of carcasses depending on these three factors; the size of the specimen, how much tissue is on it, the time you have. Putting all this together, you will be able to know which method will work for you. Here are a few ways to use it when cleaning the bones.
- You can bury them in the dirt
We have so many bacteria and microorganisms in the dirt. When you bury a skull in the ground, these microorganisms will eat up the tissue on the bones. Also, worms and bugs help clean the tissues without eating the bones. To avoid the carcass from being moved around or even scavengers digging them up, you can use wire mesh for larger specimens or a muslin sack for smaller ones. These will ensure the safety of the carcass.
- place them out in an opening
In this method, insects are believed to help in the cleaning process. Most professionals use dermestid beetles for taxidermy to clean off the tissue. Leave the skull outdoors; the insects will do an excellent job in cleaning the tissue off of the skull, even from the hard-to-reach areas. This method is also among the fastest you can get your bone cleaned. It would be best if you also safeguarded your carcasses by using a wire mesh.
- Soak them in water
The method is best for bones with smaller amounts of tissue on them. Soaking them will help soften the tissue and make it easier for you to scrape it off. Plus, the microorganisms found in the water will eat up the tissue. It is perfect for removing tissue in tiny crevices in the skull, and you will end up with very clean bones. Like the other methods, be careful when pouring the water to avoid losing bones or teeth.
- You can steam the bones
As the name suggests, Steaming will help loosen the tissue quickly. You can use a steriliser. Since the bones will not be floating in hot water, It will be easier to remove the tissue; the fat from the tissue won’t absorb, nor will the heat damage the bones.
This method is used when one is in a Hurry, but ensure to keep the temperature lower, not at boiling point, to avoid any damage. For skulls with a lot of tissue, hot water will do wonders by loosening and making it easier to scrape. You can scramble and remove the brain at this point. Although simmering will not eliminate the hidden tissue, it is the best method to use when you are in a hurry.
Cleaning off the specimen’s tissue is not easy, but with the help of dermestid beetles, it gets easier. Many tissue is hiding in animal skulls, especially the large ones. You need to thoroughly clean off the tissue to end up with clean bones before whitening.