Collecting seashells is a very refreshing activity and acts as a souvenir for your favorite moments at the beach. By bringing seashells back home from Marco Island shelling adventures, you get to bring the beauty of the ocean with you. Most states around the world would have no issues with you collecting from their beaches. However, make sure to not pick any that have a living organism inside dead or alive.
Once you have brought nice and empty shells home, you could use them to decorate your house, shelves and even make jewelry out of these gorgeous art pieces. Although, before you get to it, make sure to clean them properly to diminish any chances of infection or foul smell.
Cleaning seashells the right way
To get started, there are a few things that you would need to make the process convenient. Along with the shells you are aiming to clean, you will need dish soap, water, bleach, sandpaper, a toothbrush with hard bristles, mineral oil, and a clean towel.
Once you have all the items listed above, you are good to go. Now, the cleaning process can begin.
For starters, rinse your shells into a bowl full of clean water. Rub your hands against the shells to make them cleaner before you start using the dish soap. This will get all the mud and sand out of the shell as there could be some left inside it. Leave it submerged inside for a few minutes.
Add dish soap to the water and rub the shells with your fingers again. This would get rid of any leftover dirt further. Once done, clean them with water and put them in another bowl. Now, add water and some bleach. Make sure that the solution has equal parts of water and bleach. The shells need to be soaked into this solution for at least two to six days.
After this thorough cleaning with bleach, the shells will lose their shine for some time. However, they will soon return in the next steps. Remove the shells from the solution and let them dry properly. Now, use sandpaper to do away with any deposits on the shells. You can even do so on the entire shell to make the surface a little rough.
This would work the same if you use a toothbrush instead of sandpaper.
Once you are done with sanding, put a small amount of mineral oil on a soft cloth and rub it on the surface of the shell. This will restore the original shine of the seashell and make it even more beautiful.
To Sum it Up
As exciting collecting seashells sounds at Marco Island shelling adventures, it is equally infectious to use them for personal use before cleaning them. With an animal decomposing inside it, people can be subjected to any sort of infection. Therefore, by cleaning them up by using the processes mentioned above, you would be able to use them without any risks.