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How To: DIY Skull Bleaching

Oftentimes when you shoot an animal, you want to preserve a part as your trophy. You may want to get it mounted or keep the skull but may not have the funds to pay a taxidermist. Another option would be to do the skull yourself, which is actually a quick and easy process and makes a great trophy.

The method is a new method for me personally, but I love the way my skulls have turned out. I prefer a more natural look instead of the blinding white color you get from using bleach.

Supplies needed:

Large Pot (big enough to submerge the skull)

Sharp Knife


Bone Whitening Kit*

Skull Degreaser*

Baking Soda

*These items are from Research Mannikins


1) Remove hide and as much meat as possible from the skull, including the eyes, tongue, and any other flesh or meat you can get off.

2) Place the skull in a large pot, and fill it with hot water. Add a couple of capfuls of Lysol cleaner. Bring to a slow boil. Let boil for about 30 minutes.

3) Remove the skull from the pot; discard water. Clean the remaining meat off the skull. This may require some time and effort to scrape everything off. Most of the brain and nasal cavity meat should have come out during boiling, but there may be some membrane and other meat still left inside both areas. You can use a high-pressure hose or pressure washer to spray this out or even uses needle-nose pliers to pull it out. You want to remove as much meat as possible to prevent having to boil it multiple times.

4) Return the skull back to the pot, fill with water, and bring to a slow boil with the degreaser (be sure to read the package instructions for safety). Boil for about 15 minutes.

TIP: If you boil the skull too long, it can become brittle and begin to crack. Watch closely for any separation between the pieces of the skull.

5) Remove the skull from the degreaser; discard water. Let the skull dry completely.

6) Mix your Bone Whitening products per the package instructions. You will be making a mayonnaise-like paste. Spread the paste all over the skull, making sure to cover it well and get it into all areas. Let the paste dry for 24-36 hours.

TIP: Do not put the past on the antlers of deer skulls. Depending on the animal, such as a bear or mountain lion, you may not want to get it on the teeth.

7) Wash off the paste with cold water.

8) Put the skull in a 5-gallon bucket with 3 tbsp of baking soda. Let it sit for a couple of hours. This will neutralize the acids.

9) Remove skull and let dry completely.

Now you have a beautiful trophy skull to display.

Follow Kelly Cohen on Instagram at @kellycohen4202

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