How to Clean a Conch Shell Horn

Written by karl bruce
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How to Clean a Conch Shell Horn
Clean your conch shell horn to prevent odours. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Conch shell horns are the shells of mollusks called conch (pronounced "conk"). The shells are attractive, coming in many sizes and colours and are often used for decorative purposes. People also use conch shells as horns to make noises during celebrations, ceremonies and at sea. If you find an empty conch shell on the beach or underwater and decide to bring it home, make sure you the clean the shell thoroughly inside and out. This is important not only for cosmetic reasons but also to remove any potentially smelly micro-organisms.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Bleach
  • Gloves
  • Towel
  • Dental pick
  • Mineral oil
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Put on your gloves and pour equal amounts of water and bleach into a bucket that is large enough to fit the shell. The amount of bleach and water that you use will depend on the size of the conch.

  2. 2

    Lower the conch inside of the bucket and fully submerge it in the bleach water. Submerse the shell carefully to avoid air pockets.

  3. 3

    Leave the conch shell in the bleach solution for 30 minutes. The shell may be left in the bleach for up to two hours if the periostrocum, or the leathery outer layer of the shell, is not coming off.

  4. 4

    Remove the conch from the bleach and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

  5. 5

    Set the conch on a clean towel on a flat work surface. Use a dental pick to scrape off any remaining barnacles.

  6. 6

    Pour a small amount of mineral oil onto a clean cloth and wipe the shell all over. Wipe again with a clean cloth to remove any excess oil and bring out the shine.

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