How to clean sea shells
Hello shell collectors.
Perhaps you collected some sea shells from the beach or by the river side.
Seashells can be used as beautiful accessories in your home, but they must be cleaned properly first.
You must remove all sand, dirt, and other yucky stuff before putting them on display.
Many people also like to bleach seashells for a different look and/or polish them to make them extra special.
Here are the steps for how to clean seashells and then polish your seashells.
Start by rinsing your seashells outside with your garden hose or if you don’t have a hose you can put them in a bucket of water, swirl them around and dump the water out, repeating the process several times to remove as much sand and dirt as possible. Or you can even put them in a kitchen colander and run water over them to help remove sand and dirt.
For a more detailed cleaning, use a toothbrush to scrub any visible dirt off of your seashells. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the seashells as well.
If the previous owner of the shell’s body is still inside the shell, it must be removed or else it will stink really bad as it decays. You can use tweezers to remove it,
Then clean your seashells, simply wipe them off with a disposable paper towel or old rag.
Sometimes seashells don’t actually lose their color but rater have a build up of calcium on their shells, hiding the color underneath. This calcium is usually white and uneven with bumps and ridges. In order to clean this calcium off you need to:
- Grab a bowl.
- Pour in a mixture of cold or room temperature water and bleach (3 parts water, 1 part bleach).
- Take proper precautions when using bleach that you do not splash it on anything that might be affected (such as your clothes).
- Let sit for a few hours, sometimes longer depending on how much of a build up there is.
- Once a few hours have passed, you can pull one of the seashells (wearing gloves). You can use a toothpick or paperclip to start tying to take the buildup off.
- You can also use an old toothbrush or wire bush and scrub the shell, just make sure to be careful as to not break the seashell if it is a delicate one.
- Sometimes you’ll need to put the seashell back into the bleach water and let sit for a few more hours.
- Once they are all clean, rinse off with water to get all the bleach off.
- Then let them dry,
How to clean coral
The easiest to clean (and the hardest to break) is coral. When you clean coral, you’re actually cleaning off any leftover ‘skin’ that either is still dying, or already dead. All you have to do here is put the coral into a solution of bleach water (3 parts water, 1 part bleach) and let sit for a few hours. Then you will want to let the coral pieces dry outdoors for about a day.
For those shells that have just lost their color due to sun and sand exposure, all you’ll have to do is brush on a thin coat of mineral oil. You can buy mineral oil at any food or drug store and it’s usually only a few dollars. When applying mineral oil: Use a small brush or even your hand and smooth on a thin coat. Place shell onto a layer of newspaper to dry for about 2 to 3 hours. After it dries, you can brush the under side if you want to, and them let that side dry.
I hope you found this information helpful and useful. Please feel free to ask for any help or suggestions. I am here to help and guide you in making your very own masterpiece.
Go create, and have fun!