How to Bleach a Deer Skull: The Steps You Need to Follow

The best part of go hunting would be displaying what you got in the field! When you catch deer, mounting its head in various parts of your home makes an excellent home decor for hunting enthusiasts and hipsters alike, with its unique way of bringing a certain vibe to your rooms. But before mounting it for display, you’ll need to know how to bleach a deer skull for it to look even better when displayed!

But why should you do this and how can you start? I’ll be helping you out and show how to bleach a deer skull yourself properly.

Why Learn How to Bleach a Deer Skull Yourself?

Bleaching a deer skull is one of the things you’ll need to do before mounting it for display. Why bleach it? Just like any other type of furniture, you’ll want to make sure it looks bright and clean, meaning brand new and free from any form of grime or dirt it may have come across while hunting.

Also, the skull isn’t originally white at first, but it will still have a lot of fur or blood around it, which makes it lose its creamy white color. To further enhance it while cleaning, proper bleaching is a must.

Deer Skull Decor

Plus, learning how to bleach a deer skull yourself will help save up on time and effort having to look and pay for a professional to do a job you can do alone! You’ll get to learn and improve your hunting skills, from killing your targets down to cleaning them for either selling or display.

Read more: How to Train a Dog to Shed Hunt: All The Things You Need to Know!

How to Bleach a Deer Skull

Fortunately, bleaching a deer skull is very easy and would only take a few days, depending on how long you want to bleach the deer skull and drying time when letting it sit outside. While you can get a helping hand, an assistant isn’t needed unless you need someone to help carry or support the skull.

Before getting started, prepare the following materials:

The Materials That You Will Need

Protective Gear

You will need to protect yourself from the bleach or other chemicals you’ll be using when whitening the deer skull. Plus, it will also protect your clothes and body from any form of chemical or blood if you’re handling a freshly hunted deer.

Latex Gloves and Apron
Latex Gloves & Apron

Use latex gloves, boots, and an apron. If you want goggles or glasses to avoid the chemicals from getting smoke or tissue into your eyes, then you can wear clear ones as well.

Large Container or Pot

This will be where you’ll be submerging the skull for bleaching. Make sure that the pot is big enough to fit the whole skull.

Tongs and Knife


Ready tongs of different sizes to handle the skull and to also remove tissue or muscle from it (if you will be handling fresh deer). The knife is needed for skinning any residue from the feet skull.

Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

Similar to what i did to clean deer antlers, you can use either house bleach or hydrogen peroxide, with both of them not harming or damaging the skull in any way. Make sure to use peroxide with at least 6% concentration, but do NOT use anything over 12%. Do NOT use chlorine as it would make the skull turn yellow over time.

Prepare about a gallon of water for simmering and for bleaching.

Coating or Lacquer

This will help keep your skull white and clean for an extended period. While you don’t need to coat it, I highly recommend it to protect the skull’s condition and its color.

Fire Pit

Prepare a fire pit that will fit the pot to boil the skull for cleaning and bleaching.

Fire Fit
Fire fit

After that, follow these steps to achieve the successfully bleached skull:

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Skinning

Using the skinning knife, sever the head from the neck, also cutting it away from any muscles or tissue from the body. Then, skin the head, beginning with its forehead. Remove the hide and excess tissue or patches of fur.

Using Dermestid Bugs
Using Bugs – Via:

Dislocate the lower jaw and remove it from the head. After that, begin removing all the meat from the head, from the brain, eyeballs, and tongue. Remove as much as you can until you can only see bone parts. To remove the brain, you can use a knife or clothes hanger, picking it away slowly. You can remove any small materials when simmering the skull.

Another way to remove all the meat is through decomposing it, either burying the skull or covering it in a plastic bag and cage, allowing it to be eaten by ants and maggots.

2. Boiling

Begin to boil the deer skull by adding it to a SIMMERING pot of water. Let it rest for half an hour and then scrape away any bits left over, as it will come apart quickly. Don’t over boil it! Let it dry for a few hours.

Boil Deer Skull
Boiling – Via:

3. Bleaching

Once dry, mix another batch of half part water and half part peroxide or bleach. Then submerge the skull (not the antlers) in the bath, letting it rest until it becomes very white. It might take a few days, but don’t leave it for over a week or the skull will disintegrate.

4. Coating

Once the skull is white and dry, add lacquer for a shiny, coated look that will preserve its color. Make sure that the skull is dry before coating it with varnish!

Once the coating is dry, you’re ready to mount the skull and display it in your home or sell it.

More Tips on Displaying Your Deer Skull

Now that you know how to bleach a deer skull, here are two extra tips you can follow for an even better deer skull display:

  • I would recommend you to clean and bleach your deer skull outdoors, and in open areas, as the chemicals, you will use to whiten it are strong. Don’t underestimate what the chemicals can do to your body, so be sure always to wear your protective gear.
  • I would recommend you to clean and bleach your deer skull outdoors, and in open areas, as the chemicals, you will use to whiten it are strong. Don’t underestimate what the chemicals can do to your body, so be sure always to wear your protective gear. While you can use a regular mount to attach the skull to for display, a new way to hold it up would be to use copper wire for a more hipster and relaxed atmosphere. Regularly clean the deer skull to keep its bright and white look.

In Conclusion

For hunters who want to showcase their kills or those selling deer skulls for business, you’ll want to make sure that you have the best-looking and whitest deer skulls that not only look clean, but beautiful mounted for your homes or establishments to look the best it can be! That means you’ll need to know how to clean and bleach the skull for the clean and professional look.

I hope that this article taught you how to bleach a deer skull properly. Now that you know what to do, you’ll be able to clean and bleach the deer skull yourself, saving money from professional services! So what are you waiting for? If you have a deer skull, you want to display, follow these steps and get the new piece of furniture you can proudly call your making.

If you enjoyed the article or have more tips on how to bleach a deer skull, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think. Don’t forget to share this article if you find this helpful or informative.

5 thoughts on “How to Bleach a Deer Skull: The Steps You Need to Follow”

    • Hi Stef,

      While bleaching is recommended to whiten the antlers, you can also opt to not use it. But since you say that the antlers have turned yellow, soak it in part bleach and part peroxide and wait for a few hours or a few days until it has become whiter.


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