Learn how to clean seashells to remove gunk and smells. The methods below prepare your shells for crafts or for beach inspired home decor.
Sea shells that have been left behind by the sea can be a fun souvenir to take home from the beach. There’s a ton of ideas on crafting or even creating art work with shells. But before crafting with them its a good idea to learn how to clean seashells the right way!
Cleaning them properly will remove the smells and gunk often left behind.
I also make sure I pick seashells that don’t have live animals in them- you don’t want to evict anyone from their sea homes! To check, just pick one up and take a quick peak under the shell to find out, it should be empty.
I’ve included two seashell cleaning methods below.
You’ll learn how to how to clean seashells with bleach first. This is the method I used with a bunch of shells I collected from the beach last summer and it it works well.
After that, I’ll go over how to clean seashells without using bleach. I wanted to include it just in case you have issues with bleach.
Once they’re cleaned, I’ll give you a tip on how to make seashells shine.
Also, if your looking for crafts to make with your clean new seashells, check these out:
- DIY beautiful seashell candles -so easy too!
- DIY Seashell art in a shadow box- perfect for coastal home decor
And if you have some sea glass with your shells, you might like this
Here’s the tutorial…
How to Clean Seashells with Bleach
Learn how to clean seashells with bleach so that they get rid of smells. Warning: bleaching them might lighten their natural color.
- Mineral Oil (OPTIONAL)
Mix 3 Tbsp of bleach per 1 gallon of water into a bucket. You want enough liquid so that your shells are fully covered in it
Put on your latex gloves and gently place your sea shells into the water -bleach bath
Place into a safe place and leave them in for about 5-8 hours (depending on how dirty they are).
After 5-8 hours has passed, drain the beach water liquid and rinse shells with some clean water.
Place the shells to dry on some old newspaper.
TIP: Once dried, take some mineral oil and polish the shells to bring out shine and color. You can rub the oil on with hands or a paper towel
How to clean seashells without using bleach
Learn how to clean seashells without using bleach, by simply boiling them!
- Mineral Oil (OPTIONAL)
- Soak your seashells in a bath of water overnight or longer if your not in a rush (up to 7 days) .
- Put sea shells in a large pot of water. Make sure the water is at room temperature before putting in the sea shells into water – this will ensure the shells don’t crack. Cover the shells with 2 inches of extra water.
Bring water with shells to a boil. Let the water come to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes ( longer if you have a lot of shells or larger ones).
Using tongs, take shells out and put them on a soft surface (like a towel) to cool.
Using tweezers or another tool, pull out any gunk from inside the shells and throw out
- Your done and now know how to clean seashells without using bleach!
TIP: Once dried take some mineral oil and polish the shells to bring out shine and color. You can rub the oil on with hands or a paper towel
Et voila! You’ve learned how to clean seashells with bleach , how to clean seashells without using bleach, and how to make seashells shine.
Happy crafting and seashell collecting! If your crafting with them, drop a comment below and share your seashell craft ideas…
SEA ya next time!
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