While collecting sea shells on the beach, the smelly effects of decay are usually not at the forefront of one’s thoughts. Unfortunately, many of the shells that are collected still require treatment before being used as an ordainment within the household.
If shells are not treated, they can smell extremely bad while the organic materials within them dry away. By applying the following instructions, any shell can be treated and added to your decor.
Place the shells within pot of boiling water and allow for them to sit within water for 30-40 minutes. During this time the interior organics will cook and loosen within the shells interior. After time has passed you can shake shell to eject the organism within.
Freezing the shell allow the organics this the shell to disconnect, and become easier to remove. Place shell within a ziplock bag and place within the freezer. Approximately 24 hours later, return to remove the frozen sea shell from the freezer and place within kitchen sink to thaw out. After 3 hours, return to shake shell to remove the organism within.
This is one of the fastest methods, but it can cause an unwanted odor within the microwave. Place shells within the microwave and heat for several minutes until the organism within the shell have been thoroughly cooked. Once completed, shake shell and pull at organism to remove from interior.
This substance works great at eat through organics within seashells as well as removing the "periostracum" that cover them. After removing the organisms with the above methods, you will want to place the shell within a mixture of bleach and water in equal parts. Allow the shells to soak for 24-48 hours as they become sterilized and stripped of odor.
As a household solution, hydrogen peroxide is a great substitute for bleach in sterilizing sea shells and removing odors. Fill bowl with hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts and place sea shell within solution. Allow the shells to sit for 24-48 hours before removing and drying off.
If you have time, and a great memory you can bury the shells within the backyard. Bury them at least a foot below the soil and provide 2-3 months for the organism within the shell to naturally decompose. So you don't forget the location, be sure to place a marker above the soil so you can easily return and remove the freshened seashell.