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How to Preserve Heirloom Seashells | Save Heirloom Seashells

You can’t deny the fact that heirloom seashells are quite expensive and it’s somewhat difficult to get the hands on. So if you do find some seashells, consider yourself lucky. Now, you wouldn’t want to lose your heirloom seashell for something as trivial as lack of care.

Don’t have any idea how to care for seashells? Don’t worry that’s what we are here for. By following the simple steps not only can you keep your seashells clean and shiny but your seashells will also last longer. In addition to this, all the things you’ll need can be found easily at home.

Here is the method and supplies you’ll need for cleaning seashells

Supplies Needed

  • Household Bleach or Alcohol
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Dremel Tool
  • Mineral Oil

How to Clean Your Shell

If your shell has a dark brown/green flakey covering, it’s called periostracum, and you’ll most likely want to remove it. Your shell might also have algae and other dirt that you want to clean off. You can do this with 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. Just soak your shell until it’s gone, but don’t leave it much longer than that. If you have hard water, you might also want to add a little bit of a product called Lemi-Shine. It’s usually in the dish detergent section of the supermarket.

NOTE: Do not use bleach on naturally shiny shells like cowrie shells, soak in 90% alcohol instead. Once your shell is done soaking, take your old toothbrush and brush away any dirt or periostracum still clinging to the shell and then rinse with fresh water. If your shell has rough lips and you’re not concerned with preserving it in its natural state, you can use a Dremel to smooth the rough spots gently. Same goes for barnacles and other remnants of sea life clinging to the shell. Whether to keep them or remove them is up to you. If your shell has white scum that you’d like to remove, this video explains how to remove it using muriatic acid (look in the pool supply section of your hardware store).

If you’d like to add a little shine, wipe your shell with mineral oil. You could also spray your shell with a clear coat of satin finish polyurethane. If you go that route, be sure to let your shell dry on a piece of wax paper inside, in a dust-free area. And voila! You’re done!

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