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How to Disinfect Feathers

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are looking at long wing feathers or fluffy downy feathers, feathers are a popular addition to crafts. Their natural colours and their bladed shape make them useful in crafts ranging from masks to jewellery. Collect feathers on the ground where birds roost, but before using them, it is important to clean them. Feathers may be dirty from the ground outside and they may carry parasites, so disinfect them before using them in your projects.

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  1. Fill a plastic tub with cold water.

  2. Place the feathers in the cold water.

  3. Scrub any dirt or debris off the feathers with your fingers.

  4. Pour out the dirty cold water and fill the tub with clean water.

  5. Leave the feathers in the tub for two days.

  6. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a squirt of mild liquid soap.

  7. Soak a clean cloth in the soapy solution.

  8. Pat the feathers with the soapy cloth, removing the last of the dirt.

  9. Rinse the feathers in lukewarm water. If the feathers are small and fluffy, let them dry in the sun. If they are large, continue to the next steps.

  10. Place the feathers in a shallow box.

  11. Cover the feathers lightly with sawdust and leave them covered for a few hours. The sawdust soaks up the moisture.

  12. Brush the sawdust off the feathers with a soft brush. They are now completely clean and dry.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tub
  • Feathers
  • Gloves
  • Bowl
  • Mild soap
  • Clean cloth
  • Box
  • Sawdust
  • Soft brush

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