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How to Preserve Turtle Shell #Clean #BestWays #Decompose #Legal

Losing a pet can be something you would not be comfortable with. But, that is the truth of life, and no living being can avoid death. However, once your pet dies, preserving its remains can be something you would perhaps want to pay special attention to. One such option you might have been looking forward to would be to find how to preserve turtle shells. So, let us explore the right prospects for preserving the turtle shells rather effectively.

How to Preserve Turtle Shells

The best way to preserve the turtle shell would be to cover it with clear varnish or Polyurethane on both the inside and outside. First, you need to apply the varnish or Polyurethane in an area that has good ventilation. Then, let it dry completely before you store it.

How to Clean and Preserve Turtle Shells?

Even when losing the pet turtle can prove to be a huge concern, you would want to preserve the turtle shell for eternity. If you are looking to preserve the turtle shell for a prolonged period of time, you will need to follow a few precautions and steps to ensure that the turtle shell is not damaged.

Here are the steps involved in how to preserve turtle shells effectively:

Take the Shell Out

Cut off the shell of the turtle carefully. If you are not much comfortable doing it, you can take help from an expert who is capable of doing it. First, wash it in hot water to kill off any of the bacteria that it may have. Next, wash the entire shell and leave the insides in hot water. Make sure that you are using bleach for the purpose of cleaning it.

How to clean and preserve turtle shells

Clean the Turtle Shell

This should be one of the excellent options to ensure that there is no contamination in the shell in any way. This has been considered to be one of the crucial steps, and you need to make sure that it is free from dirt, grease, and insects. One of the best options to clean it up would be to use a combination of borax, water, and some salt. Mix them all well and immerse the turtle shell in the mixture for an hour. Rinse it off after an hour. Next, you can submerge the shell in a vinegar solution for an hour and then rinse it off.

How to Clean the turtle Shell

Vinegar on turtle shells has been observed to be a great option to take care of the needs you may have in adequately cleaning up the shells and using them for a wide range of applications. Vinegar can be an excellent option for cleaning the hard water on the turtle shell. Fill it up in a bowl with distilled water, and add up a few teaspoons of vinegar to it. Using apple cider vinegar is a good option in this context.

Apply Disinfection

The next step would be to disinfect the shell from all the ingredients and impurities. Make sure that the shell is completely free from free of any bacteria, fungus, or mold. You can make use of any good alcohol-based cleaning solution.

Apply Varnish and Polyurethane

It is the most crucial step in how to preserve the turtle shell. It can be a time-consuming process, and you need to take enough care in handling it effectively and efficiently. The varnish and Polyurethane ensure that the shell is protected from being scratched.

Do Turtle Shells Decompose?

Yes, the turtle shells do decompose after the turtle dies. But, the process involved in the decomposition of the turtle shells takes a lot of time. The soft tissues such as skin and organs begin decomposing rather quickly, but the harder elements such as shells do take a lot of time to decompose. The overall turtle decomposition happens quite slowly.

That is precisely why it is quite possible to stop the shells from decomposing and preserve them if you do take a few precautions and apply suitable options to safeguard the shells. The shell remains intact even after the entire set of organs decomposes. Eventually, the shells also begin decomposing – but that process can take a few years. You can apply a few preservation techniques to ensure that the shells can be preserved for eternity or at least for a more extended period of time.

What to Make Out of a Turtle Shell?

The turtle shells can be used for making a more comprehensive range of artistic products and art pieces. Some of the options that should prove to be effective can include (in case you are wondering What to do with empty turtle shell) –


Divination is one of the commonly used options in China. The turtle’s shells have primarily been used for fortune-telling. The turtle shell is heated up, and the cracks developed in the shell are used for telling the fortune.

Turtle Jelly

Turtle Jelly is one of the standard options used in the Chinese region. The jelly created with the turtle shells is used for medications. It has been estimated that China does use over 200 turtle shells per day for making turtle jelly. It is believed to flush toxins from the body and can treat acne, cancer, and insomnia.

Decorative Objects

Turtle shells are frequently used for making decorative objects. For example, they have been used for making decorative boxes, combs, brush handles, earrings, and jewelry. You would also find the use of gold, silver, and even mother-of-pearl for making the turtle shells one of the excellent options for decoration.

Is it legal to Preserve a Turtle Shell?

As long as you are not killing the turtle to preserve and make use of the turtle shell for medicinal and ornamental purposes, it is allowed to preserve the turtle shell.

In any case, it may be worthwhile to get in touch with the local authorities in your region to find if preserving the turtle shells is allowed. People may simply raise the turtles to have turtle shells, and this is definitely illegal in every possible way. Even selling turtle shells is illegal. You can perhaps use the shells of your pet turtle if it has died a natural death. However, we recommend asking your local authorities.


How can you clean and preserve the turtle shell?
The best way to clean and preserve the turtle shell would be to take out the shell and place it in a borax solution. Vinegar on turtle shell can be one of the best cleaning options to remove hard water effects. Never use the bleach for cleaning the
Do turtle shells decompose?
A turtle shell can eventually decompose, and it will take a considerably lesser time than the turtle’s body. In fact, an average turtle shell will take around 50 years to decompose completely.
Are turtle shells bulletproof?
The turtle shell is not bulletproof. It isn’t a dead cell, but the turtle shell consists of nerves and blood supply. In fact, a turtle shell is made of 60 different bones that are connected together. That would mean the turtle shell is not bulletproof, and any injury to the shell can make the turtle suffer or even die.
How to shine a turtle shell?
Shining a turtle shell can be pretty easy if you use vinegar on turtle shell. Before that, you have cleaned the shell with distilled water. Add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the distilled water. Apply this mixture to the turtle shell with an old soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure that the turtle shell is completely dry before applying the mixture.
Is the turtle shell really hard?
A turtle shell is a unique construction in the nature. It is made from around 50 to 60 bones and other organs such as ribs, vertebrae, and shoulder bones. All this together forms a unique construction to form a hard external shell.

Concluding Thoughts on Cleaning & Preserving Turtle Shells

Cleaning and preserving turtle shells can definitely prove to be one of the most challenging choices. That would be more so if you have lost your favorite pet turtle and now want to preserve the turtle shell as a means of saving it for eternity as a mark of respect to the departed pet.

The tips on how to preserve the turtle shell as outlined in this discussion should help you get access to an easy to use option for the purpose. However, before proceeding with the techniques on how to preserve the turtle shells, make sure that you have taken care of the legalities of doing it as per the laws in your region.

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