Author Topic: Bleaching bones without H2O2  (Read 1345 times)

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Offline Jodocus

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Bleaching bones without H2O2
« on: January 25, 2018, 07:49:55 am »
Hi all

Off and on, I need to bleach some bone, but I loathe using those damned chemicals. Anyone know a more primitive way?


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Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 08:18:21 am »
A mix of laundry bleach and borax might work.  Or maybe just borax.  Leave them in a spot that gets a lot of direct sunlight and they should bleach pretty well(real primitive, lol!). On the other hand, I've never tried the borax.  I would guess the bones need to be pretty clean, though.  I will throw a couple into some borax mix this afternoon and see if it. Works.
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Offline Jodocus

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 08:36:12 am »
yeah, the sunlight method is nice, but it'll have me wait till summer and I already lost a couple of pieces to cats or crows or who knows what. And it takes a looooong time.
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Offline osage outlaw

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 09:35:27 am »
Bleach can damage the bone.  Peroxide is the best way.  It has zero smell or fumes.  I've been whitening deer skulls in my shop for the last couple of weeks with it.  I get the stronger stuff from the beauty supply store.  It works better the warmer it is.  I use a double boiler type set up with a tub of water and a heating element.  If you decide to use the stronger peroxide just don't get it on your skin.  Wear some latex or nitrile gloves. 

The sun can whiten bones but it takes a long time.
I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 12:05:15 pm »
Forgot about the good old peroxide - works on hair, too >:D!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline DC

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 12:42:04 pm »
Primitive people wouldn't have bleached their bone points and tools, why would you want to?
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Offline Jodocus

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 09:36:57 pm »
Thanks for the tips guys! Seems like peroxide ist simply the thing with Little alternatives.

DC, I would not mind for the Tools and points, but i's the jewellery I want really white. Mostly hair pins and pendandts.
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Offline BowEd

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 06:06:46 am »
Part of the excellent quick results I get with bleaching bones or skulls is to apply the hydrogen peroxide of even 3% with magnesium carbonate into a paste[which is what I use] to the bone after boiling the bone during cleaning.Leaving the bone surface more pourus so the bleaching penetrates deeper.
Leaving the paste applied to dry overnite and removing it with a brush.It'll be snow white when done.A very safe process.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 06:13:07 am by BowEd »
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Offline DC

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 07:03:01 am »
You can get bleached bones at the pet shop.
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Offline JEB

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 07:55:56 am »
I also use the beauty shop peroxide. It is fairly cheap for a large bottle. I  do it more in the summer when it's sunny and hot.  It turns the bones good and white.

Offline Stoker

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Re: Bleaching bones without H2O2
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2018, 08:27:56 am »
Similar to BowEd. I was told by a taxidermist many years ago. When cleaning the bone, to add sodium carbonate to the water helps to drive the fat out better.. Works for me..
Note - sodium bicarbonate will work also not as good.. But if that's what you got.. Advance on..
Thanks Leroy
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