How Do I Degrease and Whiten My Skull?

Hydrogen peroxide can be an effective and safe solution to degrease and whiten skulls, but prolonged exposure could potentially damage it over time.

Lemon juice can also act as a natural bleaching agent and help whiten and brighten bones without causing them any harm.


Degreasing is one of the key steps in bleaching animal bones. By extracting fat trapped within bones that has caused them to yellow and become smelly, degreasing helps remove yellowing as well as prevent further bleach absorption by inhibiting absorption by bone cells.

Degreasing can take some time, but is essential if you want a white skull that lasts. Microbes that feed off tissues also consume fat; when left to its own devices they will break down bone grease into gooey residue that eventually leaks out and stain the skull surface.

Degreasing a skull requires adding a small amount of enzyme laundry detergent or dish soap to water warm enough to dissolve fat deposits, with temperatures between 80-115F (26.6-46C). Soak the skull for 24 to 48 hours in this degreasing solution (small bones may need to be propped up or covered with towels for this step).

Acetone is considered to be an excellent degreasing agent; however, it can be hard to source and costly for amateur boneers. Paint thinner may work as well but may contain additives which could harm bones. Acetone should only be used undiluted; otherwise it will dissolve plastics.

Benzine, an inexpensive gasoline additive, makes an effective degreaser that’s easy to find and budget-friendly. Although volatile in nature, benzine requires an airtight jar for storage. Trychloroethylene degreasers are highly effective degreasers but should only be used by professionals in controlled laboratory environments.


Soaking skulls is an integral step in whitening and cleaning animal bones, as this will remove any fat that accumulates on them and makes them appear yellow or smell foul. For best results, use liquid soap, strong detergent or cleaning solutions specifically tailored for cleaning skeletal remains to degrease a skull.

No matter which cleaning product you select, it is wise to start with using a wire brush on the skull in order to remove any remaining dirt, blood or other debris. For larger bones it may also be beneficial to use an enzyme-containing cleaning solution which dissolves animal fat.

At least 24 hours is ideal when it comes to soaking a skull in cleaning solution, as longer exposure will increase its whiteness. To achieve maximum whiteness it may even be necessary to soak your skull for up to one week or longer.

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way to both clean and whiten a skull, with solutions containing between 3-6% concentration available at most grocery stores.

Acetone is another common cleaning solution for skulls, yet it can be costly and difficult to use. Not only is it highly flammable and produces toxic fumes when inhaled directly; its disposal requires taking it directly to a hazardous waste facility – therefore most hunters opting out of using it altogether. Although ideal for larger skulls, most hunters opt out altogether.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an economical and safe bleach that can be used to whiten skulls and bones, while simultaneously offering antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral benefits that help clear away organic stains or mild rust – although its use should be avoided near cuts or open wounds as it could irritate their delicate tissue and slow healing time.

This method requires just three basic supplies to work: a plastic container large enough to submerge the skull, a spoon or plastic bag for suctioning out debris, and some 35% hydrogen peroxide (or watered down as desired). This works particularly well when dealing with small animal bones that tend to float; wearing nitrile gloves makes the cleaning up process simpler; it’s advisable that this be completed outside or on a table that allows easy wiping in case any spillage occurs.

I recommend leaving skulls submerged in peroxide for 12-24 hours, although you can leave them longer if desired. While they’re there, I use a toothbrush and an old pair of work gloves to scrub them; any teeth that fall out during this step can easily be glued back on once dry.

Food grade peroxide is much safer for human skin than cosmetic or dental grade peroxide, available at most grocery stores and pharmacies with concentration marked “35%”. Industrial strength peroxide may cause blindness, burns, lung damage and other issues when handled improperly – be very wary when handling this material!

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has long been touted as an effective treatment for pimples and acne scars in DIY skincare recipes, but its effects do not go beyond temporary relief; overuse may actually irritate skin conditions like acne. Furthermore, its acidity erodes teeth which causes tooth sensitivity or decay.

Lemons contain vitamin C, an excellent anti-ageing and hydrating agent. To combat dry, flaky skin on hands, face, and neck apply equal parts lemon juice and water to affected areas and leave on for several minutes to soften skin cells and remove dead ones.

Lemon juice contains natural lightening properties that can reduce the appearance of age spots and sun spots. To use it for this purpose, dab a small amount onto any discolored areas for several minutes each day until fully absorbed by skin cells.

Lemons can also help provide skin care benefits by being applied topically on elbows and underarms to eliminate hyperpigmentation that forms as a result of overexposure to sunlight. However, be mindful that lemons contain citric acid which could irritate the skin.

Lemon juice can also help whiten your nails after taking off nail polish, by soaking your fingertips in a mixture of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide to lift stains and restore them back to their original colors. When applying this mixture, use caution as toxic fumes may be released; for a cost-cutting and safer option try making your own nail polish remover using lemon juice and baking soda – an inexpensive and nontoxic alternative to acetone!

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an everyday kitchen essential that also has many other uses beyond culinary purposes. Baking soda’s natural bleaching agents can be used to whiten bones and other organic material naturally. Furthermore, it acts as an excellent natural abrasive to gently scrub away dirt and grime – providing an alternative method of bleach soaking when whitening skulls and animal bones.

Boiling and bleaching can be effective methods for cleaning animal skulls of stains, but these methods can damage their bone structures. A better option would be using a solution made up of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide which is easy to make at home and will effectively eliminate all stains on an animal skull.

Before beginning the process of skull dissection, it is essential to remove as much flesh, blood and brain tissue as possible in order to make subsequent cleaning easier. One effective method is boiling the skull for approximately one hour in water while also using a screw driver to extract any earholes at this stage.

Once your skull has been cleaned thoroughly, you can bleach it using borax. A solution consisting of one part borax to ten parts water should be created and used to soak your skull for 24 hours before being rinsed and dried with a towel.

ARM & HAMMER(tm) Baking Soda is an essential household cleaning item with many uses besides deodorizing skulls. For instance, it can be placed in closets and lockers to absorb odors and freshen the space, sprinkled onto wet sponges to give surfaces extra shine, or sprinkled directly onto damp cloths to help remove shoe scuff marks.