How to preserve and harden a Sanddollar
One of the keys to cleaning a live sandollar is also very often the least known. In order to get a sanddollar to bleach white it is important to soak it in fresh water first. Here are the steps you should follow in order to preserve live sanddollars
1- Gather the sanddollars and as soon as possible after gathering soak them in fresh water. The water will turn a brownish color and after awhile they might begin to smell so change the water frequently. If you are pressed for time you may just continually flush them in water. Continue to due this until the water stays fairly clear.
2- The next step is to soak them in a solution of Bleach and water. Depending on the strength of the bleach you use, let them sit for 5-10 minutes.
3- Remove from Bleach, rinse thoroughly in fresh water and let dry.
4- Repeat step 2 and 3 if necessary.
Do not soak them for too long in the Bleach because if left too long they can crumble. Each soaking in bleach weakens the sanddollar a little more so it is not recommended you do this more then a couple times.
If this does not whiten your sanddollars enough it is best to let the sun bleach them the rest of the way, or spray them with a white paint.
To Harden: Simply mix together a white glue and water in equal portions. Take a sponge brush and completely cover the sanddollars with the mixture. Let dry thoroughly. After hardening they may be used in a variety of craft projects or simply display them in their natural state on a stand. You may find stands for your sand dollars at http://seashells.com/stands.htm
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