Old bones and new bones

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 a couple of weeks, I checked back on the last of the deer bones I’d left sitting in the degreasing bath, and found that the pelvis and the last vertebra were finally smelling clean!


It was a little hard to tell if they were 100% stink free, but I went ahead and set them aside to dry out anyway… if there is any lingering funky smell, I’ll be able to tell for sure in a couple of days.

I was really excited for this cleaning session, as it’s been five full months since I last checked on my raccoon skull. (Wow, five whole months already – time flies when you’re letting dead stuff soak in your garage, huh?) I decided it was high time to pull it out of the degreasing bath and take another look.

Unfortunately, I could tell immediately that there was still a lot of discoloration on the top part of the skull, but as you can see in the top right photo, some of it did seem to be lifting up after I applied some dish soap and gave it a good scrubbing. I’m not sure how long this one will take to get clean, but I’m not giving up on it yet! Both this skull and the deer tailbone – which still wasn’t smelling clean – got to go back for another dip in the degreasing bath.

Since the deer pelvis is finally done degreasing, I’m finally able to use my bucket to start cleaning the deer scapulae I got for Christmas!


Even though they’d been in a Ziploc baggie for a while, these weren’t nearly as putrid as the deer bones were when I found them in the woods last August, so I’m hoping they’ll clean up fairly quickly by comparison. While I’m not in a particular hurry over this batch, I’m pretty sure that the bones I picked up in Arizona should be arriving soon (thanks, Mom!), and I’m really excited to get started on those, too.

Looks like 2017 is fast becoming a very busy year in terms of bone cleaning… keep an eye out for more updates soon!



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