How to clean dead seashells


A seashell that is found already dead with no animal tissue inside is actually a lot easier to clean then most people think.


Outer covering (algae and periostracum)- Take the seashells and let them soak in a 50-50 solution of bleach and water. There is no set time to let them soak because it various by the type of seashells and quantity of seashells being cleaned. Just make sure to remove them after the periostracum is gone. The periostracum is the flaky leathery covering that covers most live seashells.


perios perios2.jpg
with periostracum                         without periostracum


Barnacles - If after bleaching there are still some barnacles and other matter on the seashells you can use an instrument such as a dental pick to pick off the material. Picks can be found at Other useful tools are a water pick, toothbrush, and a grill brush.


Rough lips - If the lip of your seashells are chipped or rough and the natural state is not important to you, one may use a rotary grinder or file to smooth down the lip. Another great tool that can be used is a Dremel.


Shining - If you wanted to give your seashells a luster you can then wipe them with a mineral or baby oil.