Watch: 3 Ways to Clean up a Skull


Watch: 3 Ways to Clean up a Skull

A few days ago, we shared a video in which a guy tried using an ant bed to clean up a skull for a European trophy mount. He’s made a series of similar videos showing the results of various methods, and it’s pretty interesting. If you’ve ever cleaned up a skull of any sort, you know how challenging it can be. This promises to help out with that — a lot.

Burying a Skull

This one is pretty simple: Dig a hole, bury the skull, and get away from it.

He does it with three skulls. One he surrounds with sand as he buries it, one he just buries in Virginia red clay, and one he surrounds with sawdust when he buries it.

Of the three, he said the sawdust one had almost no odor when he dug it up, so that’s interesting.

Soak Your Head (in a Pond)

In this video, he shows the results of pond-soaking skulls to clean them up. You know, as the old campfire lore says, “Let the fish clean it up.”

The first one is a cow skull he tosses into a pond without even skinning. Four weeks later, he drags it out. Not so nice.

Next, he puts a skull into a “cage” to contain miscellaneous bones and teeth — after he shows you how to make the cage.

Maceration: Buckets o’ Bones

His favorite method is (naturally) the one that works the best for him and is the easiest: Maceration. All it really means is immersing the skull in water to allow the “stuff” to rot away and slough off of the bone. You put the skull under water (he uses a bucket), leave it, and every now and then you dump out the water and ick, and refill with fresh water.

In this video, he uses five different variations: Just water; heated water; just water but without changing it; water with an air pump to aerate it, and an all-black bucket to encourage solar heating.

Avatar Author ID 61 - 64976368

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

Read More