This post is about bone-cleaning and may contain text and photos that some readers might find disturbing. All content is hidden under the link. Continue at your own discretion!
After another month of soaking, my deer bones are looking better than ever! The prolonged soak has helped to remove even more organic matter, as evidenced by loose, white-ish layers of the stuff both on the bones and at the bottom of the bucket. This was easily removed with a toothbrush under tap water, leaving the bones almost completely clean.
Unfortunately, they still don’t pass the sniff test, and there’s still some visible organic material left on the tailbone, so they’ll probably spend the rest of the month soaking while I’m on vacation.
The deer bones I’d had in the degreasing bath, however, seemed to be pretty clean! I pulled them out, rinsed them thoroughly, and left them to air dry last Thursday. Bones always look darker in coloration when they’re wet, so it’s hard to get an idea of what color they really are (and, by extension, how much discoloration remains) unless you let them dry completely.
When I checked back on them today, a couple of the vertebrae still smelled a little off, but the leg bone and one of the vertebrae looked and smelled just fine! These got to join my tailbone and ulna (not a rib bone, as I’d originally speculated), since they’re both clean and ready to be whitened.
I’m officially about halfway through cleaning these deer bones, and I’m thinking I’ll be able to start whitening all of them before the end of the year! I’ll be sure to share more photos and updates in early December, after I get back from my vacation.