Cleaning Seashells?

Most of my winter is spent at Marco Island, FL where I love to collect shells for crafts. Never do I collect live shells, however, once in awhile I've ended up with a couple that have a bit of their meat still in them, like the small conches.

Is there any way to clean these out? I've soaked them in bleach, soap, and hot water. There can still be a really strong smell. Any help would be appreciated.

By Darlene Johnson from Marco Island, FL

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

Put shells into a pot of water and cook them on the stove at a simmer. The meat will come out. Then scrub out what remains For the last step I'd try the bleach soak.

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March 24, 20100 found this helpful

We were always told to leave them outside and let the "critters" clean them. Takes a few weeks. Then "wash" them by soaking in a weak bleach solution.

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March 25, 20100 found this helpful

My grandparents live in Florida. We collect shells often. She puts a little bit of bleach or detergent in a bucket and leaves them outside for a few days to get rid of the stink. That will also kill the critter more than likely with the bleach water. Then we rinse them off and let sit to dry for a few extra days outside on a towel (old towel since it had bleach on it). Hope this helps.

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March 27, 20100 found this helpful

When we lived on Maui and collected shells on the beach we would just leave them out in the yard and let the ants clean them out.

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March 23, 2010

What is the best way to clean seashells for crafts and collecting?

Lewis and Laurel


Cleaning Seashells

Place the seashells in a bucket or large plastic pan. Add water to cover all the shells and then a little bit of bleach. Leave the shells in the water until they're clean and odor free. (07/24/2008)


By Sherry

Cleaning Seashells

Boil them on the stove and then add lots of Javex to cover them. Let them stay for 3 hours, and rinse.

Editor's Note Javex is a brand-name of cleanser/bleach, used for sanitizing, among other things. It is a Canadian product. (07/31/2008)

By Gladys

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