Seashells have always been a popular souvenir to bring home from the beach. These fascinating ocean treasures come in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes and make great additions to any decorative display or collection. However, seashells can become brittle and dull over time if not treated properly.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to treat your seashell collection so that they remain beautiful for years to come. From cleaning them to displaying them, we’ve got you covered.
Why Should You Treat Your Seashells?
Seashells are delicate creations of nature that require care and maintenance. Without proper treatment, they can quickly deteriorate over time.
Treated seashells maintain their beauty for much longer periods as compared to untreated ones by retaining their natural shine. Treated shells also become stronger against damage caused due to age and rough handling so that they do not break easily.
Furthermore treating your seashell collection is crucial if you want the shells’ bright colors preserved- This is because adverse conditions like prolonged exposure to air may cause discoloration which is irreversible.
Preparations Before Treating Your Seashell:
There are several things you should consider before starting on how best to treat your seashell.
1. Safety First-
Treating seashells involves using chemicals such as bleach solution or vinegar; thus protective gear like gloves are recommended when starting any treatment process requiring chemical usage. .
2. Cleaning Up After The Process-
Before beginning the treament use a rug or towel laid down around the area where yu will be working. This way it becomes easyto clean up any debris left behind after finishing off doing work on each shell piece. Most importantly, take care no pieces get stuck in drains and cause blockages which clog pipes resulting in unexpcted expenses.
Treating Your Seashells: Step-by-Step
Follow these steps for successful treatment of your seashell collection:
1. Cleaning the Seashells
Cleaning is the first and most essential process when it comes to treating your seashells.
Start by wiping away loose sand, dirt, and any rocks stuck onto each shell with a soft-bristle brush or damp towel to get a clear view of their condition. To remove more stubborn stains or buildup, submerge shells in a bucket filled with water and sprinkle some baking soda. Remove them from the solution after an hour, gently scrub off any remaining debris. This will increase their chance of retaining shiny natural colours. .
Debris on non-porous shells can also be removed using dental pick tools while being cautious to avoid surface damage during working on rough areas
2. Bleaching The Seashells
Bleach solution is an effective method used when wanting to keep bright colors looking vibrant. “
Prepare a mixture comprising one part bleach to three parts water in a contained environment. Soak your cleaned shells covered completely in this bath for approximately 10 -15 minutes keeping an eye out every few minutes observing the effectiveness on individual pieces.
If you’re satisfied that they have gotten brighter then take them out and rinse thoroughly with cool water ensuring no outer residue.
Note: Make sure not soak for too long as over-exposure could eat up calcium content creating defects on shells’ surfaces.
3. Vinegar Treatment
This technique requires a balance between strength and concentration so as not strip color either leave ugly stains.
The best type of vinegar that can be used is white distilled vinegar mixed into warm water at room temperature. Mix two parts water with one part vinegar.
Submerge each piece into this mix leaving them untouched for about two hours before gently removing any sticky deposits applying dry towels. Clean using lukewarm fresh oceanbathing or rainwater followed by air-drying or using paper towels.
Question: Can I Use Freshwater For Seashell Cleaning?
Yes! Using freshwater is highly recommended if you do not have a standing body of ocean/sea nearby. Ensure that the water used is at normal temperature and low in minerals to avoid contaminating your seashells.
4. Polishing Your Shiny Seashells!
Seashells are an appealing sight when clean and shiny. Additional polishing techniques can add charm to your collection. To make them sparkle, follow these simple polishing tips:
Mix fresh lemon juice with olive oil. Make sure the solution stays liquid and not lumpy. Clean shells then polish gently.
Sanding down any rough edges or bumps on each piece also adds elegance.
Displaying Your Treasured Shell Collection
After treating, cleaning, bleaching/vinegar treatment, it’s time to display your treasured shell collection. Be creative while displaying them as an attractive visual will enhance their aesthetic appeal:-
1. Creating a Display Cabinet
A good way of showcasing your shelsl could be by designing unique displays. Glass cases top choices for viewing colorful collections. Some homemade options would include either tucking away the shelsls into transparent bowls.
Try arranging different sized shells together rather than linking same type ones. Shrimp cocktail glassware can serve as decorative accessory holders.
2. Use Of Decorative Bottles
If you’re looking for a more elegant display, you can put beautiful shells into some thick colored glass bottles leaving empty spaces within. Watch how they differ after being placed under varying lighting situations-reflections on walls, charming interplay between textured elements. . . . the list goes on!
Simply fill some clear jars halfway with sand then nestle single special specimens within. Additionally, larger beachcombed finds such as starfish, lone driftwood pieces could be displayed in tall vases.
Ques: How Do I Get Sometimes Dirty Handprint Off My Shells?
Some stubborn stains on seashells often come from handprints or other areas that are hard to scrub off using normal cleaning methods mix bicarbonate soda with hot water until a paste-like texture is formed. Dampen your hands and apply it onto the stain. Leave for atleast 30 min then rinse off any remaining residue.
Seashell treatment exactly the same more like other home DIY processes that can be completed without hiring a professional. A few guides might recommend doing something different from this but, all in all, cleaning first plus no harsh acids whatsoever yields great results.
Prolonging their lives depends for how they’re taken care of after harvesting them. So, follow these tips to maintain the beauty, strength, and details of your shell collection so each piece leaves an exciting story behind them.