How to Preserve Starfish, Sanddollars and Seahorses

Cleaning & Preserving

Shells: remove live mollusk or remains by boiling 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the size, or freezing until removable with a fork, ice pick or pliers. (If the shell still smells after doing this, discard or bury it for 6 months and let the ants do their job). Soak overnight in full strength bleach solution. Scrub with stiff brush removing barnacles and outer skin using strong soapy water OR 50% bleach solution. Repeat process if necessary. Rubbing shells with mineral oil will preserve the luster (nacre) and color. You can also use 3 part Baby oil & 1 part lighter fluid.

Starfish & Seahorses: Soak overnight in rubbing alcohol. Dry between paper towels or in the sun. If legs curl press between plates while drying.

Sand Dollars: Soak in 50% bleach solution for a few hours. Dry in sun. You can harden by washing in water several times over a few days. They will naturally harden, or apply watered down Elmer's Glue coat when completely dry.