How do you clean seashells?


Quick Answer

While there are many ways to clean seashells, one easy way is to simply boil them, remove any animal tissue, clean the shells in a bleach solution and then oil them. This cleaning process takes only a few minutes.

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Full Answer

  1. Boil the shells to kill any remaining animal tissue

    Put the seashells in a pot with some water, and bring it to a boil. Let the shells boil for several minutes; larger shells may require a bit longer. After they have boiled for several minutes, use tongs to remove the shells from the pot.

  2. Remove the animal tissue

    Grip each shell firmly in your hand, using a pair of gloves or a towel to protect your hand from the heat. With fingers or tongs, pull any animal tissue out from inside the shells.

  3. Clean the shells

    Using a solution of equal parts bleach and water, soak the shells until the outer flaky coating, known as the periostracum, is removed. Depending on the type of shell, the time required will vary, so keep an eye on them. Extended time in a bleach solution will weaken and damage the shells. If the shells are particularly dirty, scrub them with a toothbrush or fine wire brush to remove the flaky coating.

  4. Oil the shells

    Rub mineral oil onto the shells to give them a nice shine.

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