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Cleaning inside the middle of a mole skull
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TheScatterbrain
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July 27, 2016 - 12:02 pm
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Hi, I'm completely new to taxidermy, but I've started a project to clean the skull from an european mole.

I've had it lying in hot water with washing powder for a couple of days and it's gotten rid of most of the tissue except some bits around the jaw and zygomatic bones that are really hard to get off. The skull is so tiny it's hard to hold on to, not to mention get into all the smaller crevices without breaking something.

Anyway, the biggest problem is that there still seems to be a bunch of gunk stuck inside the middle of the skull above the eye sockets:

I have no idea how to get it out of there. Any ideas?

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CJ Herring
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July 29, 2016 - 7:43 am
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Hi and welcome to Taxidermy Talk. You could begin the Maceration process and let it go. I know many who use a crock pot for this purpose and will macerate for days into weeks on one skull. You can try just plain water with Dawn added.

Chief Editor of The Taxidermy Journal~TTN News Contributor 

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TheScatterbrain
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July 30, 2016 - 11:41 am
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Thank you!

Yeah I came to the same conclusion, so I've switched to water with some average dish soap now. I don't know if that's effective enough or if it should be a stronger detergent? I'm from Denmark and Dawn isn't sold anywhere here.

I don't own any sort of slow cooker, so it'll just have to be room temperature water for now and I'll see how it goes.

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MountNMan
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August 28, 2016 - 7:45 am
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I would try blowing out with an air compressor. Just a thought.

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TheScatterbrain
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September 1, 2016 - 4:46 pm
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Just flushing this tiny skull with water makes me a bit nervous, I don't think a compressor is a good idea. The problem is that the only holes that go into that part of the skull are tiny, so there's hardly a way for that tissue to get out unless it's dissolved completely. 

Anyway, current status is I've had it soaking in water for about a month and one side of the skull has cleared up a little bit, but absolutely nothing has changed in the other.

The sides of the skull where it's brown are all porous, probably because I went a bit hard on it with washing powder, so since I've already damaged it I decided to punch a couple of holes in either side with a needle to see if that'll make a difference.

Time will tell I guess! 

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MountNMan
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September 7, 2016 - 4:16 pm
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Good Luck!

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TafiNami
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April 24, 2018 - 11:50 am
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Use a steamer only for what it is designed to do. Always wear shoes when operating any kind of electrical steaming device. Only buy certified electrical appliances. Use only on surfaces that are sealed and can take high heat and moisture. Be aware of temperature variations that could be great.. And you can use baby soap for this kind of cleaning work

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