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Ok, here is STEP 3 which deals with whitening.  If your bones or skulls still have dark spots on them see STEP 2 again or read on.

If your bones or skulls still have dark spots in/on them this is grease.  Sometimes a soak of whitening and then returning to STEP 2 will help loosen the grease so you can try step 2 again now or do a short version of step 3 to shock the grease and then return to step 2 (step 3 will need to be revisited).

Some people refer to whitening as "bleaching" but bleach has nothing to do with the process!  What you need to use is Hydrogen Peroxide.  A 24hour soak in the stuff should be enough to whiten your bones.  Various people here have various rules on the time but you don't want to soak it longer than a few days.  

HP can be reused so if the stuff is still foaming when I take the bones out, I re-bottle it.  It does tend to have a short shelf life but if there's foam, it's still good!  

Once out of the peroxide I rinse the bones off under the facet or dunk them for a short soak in clean water to leech the peroxide out.  You don't have to do this, it's just a quirk of mine to get all the stuff out of the bone before calling it "finished".  

Let them dry for a few months now before moving onto step 4.  Sometimes I place them in front of a fan for a few weeks to help speed the drying.  Remember, bones and skulls are very porous materials, it can take months and even years for moisture and grease inside them to surface if just left to sit.  Heat and moving air can help speed the process.
Part 3, finally!
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:iconm-lee08:
M-Lee08 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I have never whitened before is there a type of ideal container to put your bones in?
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
anything, really.  :)
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:iconbronzewinged:
Bronzewinged Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist
You have forgot to connect part 2 to 3 and part 3 to part 4. 

This was an intresting read. I've had the luck of finding bones just laying around more than once.
Possibly cleaned by all of natures little workers since I've never had any flesh on them.
I still wonder how bones can wash up high on shore and just lay there. The ice in winter possibly help but still. 
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:iconjaggedbobcatbones:
JaggedBobcatBones Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
why only a few days in the hydrogen peroxide, i thought it was harmless?
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
it will start to harm the bone... and if you are having to leave it for days in there, then you did not fully degrease.
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:iconjaggedbobcatbones:
JaggedBobcatBones Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
eep, how bad? i always believed it did no harm so my stuff stays in it 1-3 days or maybe more
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If you haven't noticed any damage then maybe it is fine to leave in for a few days.  :)  I had one set of elk teeth develop pocky marks and I had left them in peroxide for a week. 
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:iconjaggedbobcatbones:
JaggedBobcatBones Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
pocky marks?
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
little dents
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:iconoxeous:
oxeous Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hello :) i have a question, does the type of 3% hydrogen peroxide matter ? because i live right across the street from wall greens but there are different kinds with a range of pries, i am so confused a little help would be wuth appreciated X)
here are the three they have.
[link]
[link]
[link]

sorry for the long question .
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
any of those will do. so go with the cheapest. they're all the same, as far as i know.
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:iconturtlesaur:
turtlesaur Featured By Owner May 30, 2011
Yey, now I know how to clean the bones. xD

Out here where I live, farmer's cows die out here in the heat all the time (lol, typical desert) and I got a jaw bone, but I have no idea how to clean it. xD So thank you very much for putting this up! : D
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
No prob, if you have any questions just ask. :)
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:iconianmelbourne93:
IanMelbourne93 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010
So... When's part 4 coming :P

These are very informal about a topic that I haven't much considered myself but realise now would be interesting for me. How do you piece the skeletons together and keep them in one piece?
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
step 4 will be released today
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:icongrygon:
grygon Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Soon, I hope! I'd like to get this series up and done by the time my "vacation" is over.

I'm not sure I'll do one on skeleton reconstruction as it's nothing I have done yet. But basically just follow my tutorial series starting at #1 and let the skeleton fall apart. Once it's cleaned up to at least #2 (many people don't whiten) then you simply glue it back together with Elmer's Glue, using references to get it anatomically correct (unless you're going for a fun/artsy look). If it's a heavier skeleton you can drill holes in the bones and use a combination of wires and industrial strength adhesives to keep it together. Some skeletons are done just with bolts and wires for easy disassembly.
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