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Author Topic: Degreasing deer skull question  (Read 721 times)

Offline 7mmfan

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Degreasing deer skull question
« on: November 11, 2017, 09:32:49 AM »
I'm down to the bitter end with my latest Euro mount. I tried a modified maceration this year with what I feel is very good success. I kept it in approximately 110 degree water with lots of Dawn dish soap in it for about a week and a half. The thing is spotless as far as meat goes. I feel like 95% of it is also properly decreased. The base of the antlers and the back top of the skull however, I don't think have been degreased properly, and I'm trying to avoid submerging the antlers in that hot soapy water. Any tips on how to quickly degrease that portion of the skull so that I can get moving?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 10:34:24 AM by lokidog »
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Offline PastorJoel

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Re: Decreasing deer skull
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 09:43:22 AM »
(don't take my advice too seriously, I am a rookie)


I used Oxyclean and made it into a paste by just adding a touch of water.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Decreasing deer skull question
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 09:52:32 AM »
So I did that once already, actually mixed it with a little bit of Dawn dish soap, and water, made a paste, and covered it with a wet paper towel. I'm just not sure how to tell if it's actually degreased or not,
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Offline jrebel

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Re: Decreasing deer skull question
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 10:03:23 AM »
I just soak mine in warm water and a lot of dawn soap for 24 hours.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Decreasing deer skull question
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 10:15:55 AM »
All the way up around the antlers and everything? Does it discolor the antlers? I'm trying to avoid submerging them and just apply something to the parts I don't think have decreased enough. 
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Offline PolarBear

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2017, 12:23:55 PM »
Fish tank heater, dawn ultra, change out water every week for a month.  Rinse, let dry and sit it in a nice warm place for another month.  If you don't start to get yellow spots you are good to go.  If you do back to step one or low simmer very carefully with dawn ultra until there is no scum on the top. DO NOT BOIL, EVER!!!   :chuckle:
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Offline Brushcrawler

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2017, 12:26:44 PM »
I didn’t have any trouble with discoloration in the warm soap mix, just don’t get any whitener on the antlers. Be patient on the degreasing, it can take weeks and many water/soap changes, but you have to get it all out or it will turn yellow and smell down the road.
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2017, 12:51:24 PM »
Ok I'll start over. It's been in a warm dawn and oxy-clean bath, with water changed daily, for basically 2 weeks. Over the last 3 days, the water has accumulated zero oil and is clear, so I feel that its effectively degreased, except for the following.

Because I'm leery of getting the antlers into that solution for fear of discoloring them, I have only filled the container to the base of the antlers, leaving some of the top and back of the skull exposed. I have put an oxy clean/dawn/water paste on this part and covered it with wet paper towels, but I want to make sure its degreased before I dry and whiten.

So the questions are:

Is there something I can use specifically on that spot that will do the job quickly for me, without having to fully submerge the skull/antlers?

OR

Can I fully submerge the skull AND the base of the antlers into the warm degreasing solution I've been using (Oxy Clean and Dawn in warm water) without discoloring the antlers?
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Offline steeleywhopper

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2017, 01:49:32 PM »
What if you completely covered the skull in borax? I would think it would help get it all dried out.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2017, 01:50:49 PM »
I never really viewed borax as a degreasing agent.  Does it work well for that?
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Offline steeleywhopper

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2017, 01:59:26 PM »
i use it when I cut the skull caps off a buck. I skin the fur off the top then pour borax all over the skull cap and let it sit for a month or so. Seems to dry them up and no stink. I would think it would work for the whole skull, worth a shot.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2017, 02:31:58 PM »
Hmm, maybe I'll give that a shot after I get the last little bit of it grease free, might be a good way to finish it off before whitening.
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Offline Shaqdiesel

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 02:51:35 PM »
Wrap the bases of the antlers with Saran Wrap and then electrical tape to keep them out of the water
60% of the time, it works every time.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 05:27:56 PM »
Wrap the bases of the antlers with Saran Wrap and then electrical tape to keep them out of the water

I've done this before with good success but couldn't seem to get it to wrap up this time, something about the bases was goofy. Maybe I'll try again.
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Offline Lingcod

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 06:13:09 PM »
I use borax, you can also get powder dish detergent and make it into a paste.
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Offline blindluck

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 06:14:14 PM »
Don't worry, you need to submerge the skull and the bases. It will not discolor the antlers.

Offline blindluck

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 06:16:02 PM »
Just make sure you don't use peroxide or soap with bleach alternative or it will lighten the antler.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »
Alright
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Offline buglebuster

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2017, 06:24:07 PM »
You will be fine, the dawn will not discolor the antlers
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2017, 06:49:26 PM »
Alright, that seems to be the consensus. Thanks guys
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2017, 02:36:24 PM »
So I did a test run on a small head I had sitting around that I had gotten meat free, but had never completely degreased.

I picked up a bucket heater off Amazon, that has an auto-shut off feature when it gets to about 150 degrees or the water gets to low. I have been able to keep it in my container with soapy water for a few days straight now and it keeps the water just steaming. Man its kicking butt on that head. I submerged the skull in hot soapy water, and in 24 hours, the water is getting pretty murky with a nice sheen on top. It's cleaning awesome. So far, no discoloration to the antlers.

Yes I know I broke the nose off the deer.

Very impressed with the bucket heater for this. Just make sure theres enough water in the container to keep it running, and let it work.

I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline Bulldozer77

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2017, 06:07:45 PM »
I haven't ever had trouble with dawn and warm water effecting the antlers, I always fully submerge the skull. If any of your whitening agent gets on them however,  that will cause a problem. Those nose bones will just pop right back in. Doesn't hurt to use a little glue on them either. Happens to me all the time. Looks good!  :tup:

Offline stickslinger

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Re: Degreasing deer skull question
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2017, 06:16:25 PM »
I mix borax and dawn in my pot and it seems to work really well, 12 hours and skulls come out clean, the only thing I have ever struggled with is bear sculls.
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