Degreasing European Mounts, the Overlooked Step
If a European mount is not properly degreased, it will retain an unpleasant odor and appear yellow over time due to all the fats and oils that are trapped in the bone. The different methods to degrease a skull are ammonia and water, soap and water, acetone, and simmering for 45 minutes. Since the 45-minute degreasing method is the most common, we’ll cover it below.
Simmering – 45 minutes
· A popular method, and the quickest to degrease a skull is to simmer it for 45 minutes after it is fully clean. To employ this degreasing method, bring a pot of water to a simmer using a turkey fryer. Ensure the water is not boiling, otherwise it can damage the skull.
Once the water is simmering, put a squirt of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (blue) in the back of the brain cavity of the skull. Mix 1 tablespoon of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Free and 2 tablespoons of 20 Mule Team Borax together and pour roughly half of this mixture in the back of the brain cavity of the skull just like you do with the Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (blue).
It's hard not to spill it so it's alright if a lot of the mixture ends up on the skull. Pour the other half of the mixture directly in the simmering water then place the skull in the water so the entire skull is submerged. If degreasing an antlered animal such as a deer, keep as much of the antlers out of the water as possible so they do not discolor. If you have any loose teeth or nose pieces, place them in the pot with the skull so they are also being degreased.
Simmer the skull in this degreasing mixture for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, pull the skull out of the pot and thoroughly
rinse the entire skull off with fresh water.
Dump the degreasing pot into a strainer
to catch any loose teeth or nose pieces and rinse them off with water.
While the skull is still wet, place a rubber band or zip tie around the nasal area to help it keep its form and hang it to dry overnight. Don't use colored rubber bands because they can stain skulls. Once the skull is dry, inspect it to see if it has any grease in it or if it's grease free and ready to be whitened. If there's still grease in the skull, run the skull through this degreasing process one more time.