How do you clean sand dollars?


Quick Answer

Clean sand dollars by ensuring the organism is dead, rinsing it until the water runs clear, soaking it in chlorine bleach and drying it in the sun. Use white glue, diluted with water, to preserve the sand dollar.

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Full Answer

  1. Ensure the sand dollar is no longer alive

    Look for hair-like tendrils on the bottom of the sand dollar called cilia that indicate it is alive. Sometimes, live sand dollars wash up on the beach, and in most locations, it is illegal to collect live sand dollars.

  2. Rinse the sand dollar

    Place the sand dollar in a container of fresh water. If the water turns brown, drain the water and refill the container. Continue draining and refilling until the water remains clear.

  3. Soak the sand dollar in chlorine bleach

    Pour about half the clear water out of the container, and refill it with chlorine bleach. Allow the sand dollar to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not soak it in a higher bleach concentration or for a longer time to prevent crumbling of the sand dollar.

  4. Dry the sand dollar in the sun

    Place the sand dollar in a sunny location to dry. The sun helps to bleach the sand dollar to a white color. Additional time in the sun makes the sand dollar whiter.

  5. Preserve the sand dollar

    Mix equal amounts of white glue and water. Brush the mixture on the sand dollar, and allow it to dry.

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