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Topic: Help cleaning conch type shell  (Read 2649 times)
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« on: September 03, 2005 08:58:35 PM »

I found a beautiful conch type shell on the beach and it has a thick, gritty, dirty look to it. I would like to clean it up and make it look shiny like the ones they sell in stores. I've tried soaking it in a 1/2 bleach and water solution, that took the nasty stench out but didn't clean it at all. I wanted to post a pic but I couldn't figure that out, sorry! Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2005 04:53:02 PM »

My grandmother used to get those types of shells too.  She'd soak them overnight in a straight bleach solution, not diluted, and she'd scrub them with a soft toothbrush often.  That got them really clean.

I'm not sure how you'd make them shiny though except to spray them with some kind of varnish or glaze or something. 

« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2005 05:51:15 PM »

Wouldn't the full bleach solution make the shell brittle? Maybe not, I've never done it before, so I'm not sure.

And the soft toothbrush is a great idea, maybe one of those baby ones. And a q-tip for the small cracks.

Good luck - I love how those shells look when they're displayed nicely!

« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005 08:35:45 AM »

Wouldn't the full bleach solution make the shell brittle? Maybe not, I've never done it before, so I'm not sure.

I don't think so, but then again it might.  Usually after they were clean my grandmother would put them out of reach of us kids, so they could have been brittle and I wouldn't have even known.

**Oh, I do remember that my mother would paint her small shells with clear fingernail polish for that shiny look.  I guess you could do it with larger shells but that would take a lot of polish.   Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2005 08:45:50 AM »

if i had a dirty shell i would soak it in a hot solution of dishwasher detergent then give it a good scrub with a tooth brush. try to use the sprayer on your sink too.

as far as shiny surfaces, it will depend on the shell you have. i have three conch shells. one if from the 1940's that my grandmother received from an uncle while he was in the army. she placed a small light bulb in it and placed it on her organ in the front room. it gave a really cool, eerie glow.  i bought one at a garage sale and the third was given to me by friend from floriday. the last one is not a shiny shell. but the first two are. they are all beautiful! try placing a small bulb inside! you can get these bulbs (a simple socket attached to a power cord that has an on/off switch).  you'll be surprized how beautiful your not so shiny shell is!

"Don't you let nobody tell you that you can't do nothin. You can do whatevah you put your mind to!" - wise words from my Granny when I was 5 years old.
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2005 03:09:44 PM »

This may sound wierd but alka seltza is good for cleaning out the inside of vases - the bubbles do all the work, so it might help clean your shell......

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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2005 04:33:05 PM »

not sure about the dirty looking part, but when we used to bring stinky shells home from the bahamas, my dad always made us leave 'em on an ant pile for a few days to make sure there were no rotting critters inside... Lips sealed

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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2005 07:08:48 PM »

when i was a kid i collected shells like crazy and i usually used bleach to clean them out but some zing or zap it would kill of the algee and dirt just be sure to wear gloves, safty first
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