Operation Lucretia: The Stink

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Lucretia is currently airing out on a towel in my living room. She doesn’t smell great, nor does the tub I had her soaking in, which is airing out outside. I honestly don’t have a very good reason for “airing her out” right now; I just sort of wanted to stare at her while I figure out what to do next.

She sat in plain water for nearly two weeks, with me changing out the water every few days. The first two times changing out the water I did a lot of manual cleaning of meat, tissue, and sinus cavity gunk. She was starting to smell pretty funky, and I feel like my fingers smelled like bone for the rest of the day (my boyfriend said I smelled like bones. I didn’t think that was very nice.)

My last time checking her before today she was looking pretty clean & fancy, but there was some pretty strange neon yellow coloring between her eye & ear cavity (I think it would be the zygomatic bone if it was a human. Maybe they have the same name if it’s on a pig? I might never know.)

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I’d heard of bones becoming strange colors during maceration, but never of neon yellow, so I went ahead and hit up Jana at the Bone Lust Blog to see what she knew. I haven’t heard back yet (not sure how often she gets on that blog anymore, but it’s still a tome of info and worth checking out).

I figured hydrogen peroxide would get rid of the color, so I went ahead and soaked Lucretia in the tub filled with water again, but this time adding about a cup of hydrogen peroxide. I let her go for about a week, and then pulled her out today.

First – she looks so clean! I see a teeny bit of gunk still in her sinus cavity, but a lot of the tiny meat bits stuck in the mandible are gone. She’s definitely lighter in color as well.

I think my plan is to let her soak for a few more days in hydrogen peroxide, then kindly ask a friend of mine with a backyard patio if Lucretia can hang out there for a few days. At that point, I’ll decide if I’m happy with her color, and either soak her again in hydrogen peroxide, or call it quits.

lucretia on stump

And here she is looking god-damn classy on top of a tree stump. I figured a pig skull and a tree stump might have a thing or two in common they could chat about. #severedremains

Anyhow, I was really happy when I pulled her out of the tub today. She’s starting to look like a very beautiful dead thing that anyone would be happy to have around their house. Right? RIGHT??

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2 Comments

  1. Hey Theresa! Sorry I did not reply sooner. Running a business full time does not leave me much time for my blog. That neon yellow is really strange.

    One thing I wanted to note is that when macerating you do not change out the water so often, if at all. Ever. I’m thinking that is what caused the yellow color. You want to leave what you are macerating undisturbed in the water at least a week or two for the maceration bacteria colony to grow and deflesh for you. You do not need to do ANY manual cleaning. Maceration takes all of the work out of defleshing for you. Smelling bad, you WANT that. That’s how you know the process is working.

    As for your whitening with peroxide – adding a cup to a tub of water with your skull is not going to do anything. You need it to be 100% peroxide if not at least a 50/50 bath with water. For you skull I would go with 100% peroxide. No water.

    Take a look again at my maceration posts and peroxide whitening posts, all of this info is there. 🙂

    http://bone-lust.blogspot.com/2015/09/bonelust-blog-quick-links-answers-for.html

    good luck… jana

    Reply

    1. Hi Jana! It’s so great to hear back from you! Thanks so much for checking this all out and giving me advice – I really need it.

      You’ll probably be happy to hear that I’ve wised up a teensy bit since this blog post – I bought some gloves, got a container with a lid, and moved Lucretia and my newest skull (Phineas) outdoors. Thanks for letting me know how my peroxide to use – I felt like I wasn’t using enough with Lucretia and added more, but I guess I still am not using quite enough.

      With Phineas, I still did some manual cleaning, and then, honestly, I just got lazy and let him go in the water. Turns out that’s what I should be doing! That is super cool, and a lot less gross. I thought Phineas was turning out really lovely, and it’s probably due to letting him macerate for a few weeks at a time – instead of cleaning and changing the water out.

      . Hopefully I haven’t done anything too dumb to myself or the skulls. Thanks again for checking this out, and for running your blog! I admire your work a lot!

      Reply

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