The first thing you worry about after bringing home shark teeth is probably how to care for it so that this prized possession of yours does not lose its beauty over the coming years. The thought of caring for something that used to be a part of a magnificent creature that prowled the ocean waters once upon the time does seem a tad intimidating, but honestly, it is not as hard as it seems. By cleaning your shark teeth fossil you get to preserve it for a long time.
Here is how you go about the cleaning:
1. Start by gently washing your newly found fossils with water as it is easier to get rid of dirt and debris on the shark teeth fossil when it is wet. It is always difficult to prepare it for cleaning if completely dry as the dust and debris tend to dry on it. In your fossils were found in stream or ocean, you can put them in a bucket of freshwater so that the debris soaks off.
2. The cleaning mix you will need depends upon how dirty the fossil is. Fossils that are almost clean with little debris on them will need just a few drops of mild dishwashing soap and warm water. You may also use vinegar and water to clean your fossils if they have white organic material on them. A cleaning mix of 10 percent vinegar and rest water will suffice for the above. The fossils with a relatively higher amount of debris on them will require 25-75% vinegar to the water mixture. Please note that vinegar is acidic and may damage some fossils. Always test your vinegar solution on a broken specimen or on a small area of an item you want to clean to determine if your solution will damage the fossil.
3. Before cleaning the shark teeth fossil with freshwater and vinegar mix, remove the debris that comes off easily using the picks. Be gentle as you don’t want to break the tooth.
4. Lightly scrub the fossil using a toothbrush to get rid of the deposits. Keep a grout brush handy for stubborn ones. With a clean paper towel, wipe the tooth off.
5. After you are done with the cleaning, rinse or wipe off the fossil with freshwater. The fossil origin and size will determine if a fresh water soak is needed and for what duration. Ocean / beach material should be soaked in fresh water. Whale teeth, lemon shark, and bull shark fossils need to be soaked for about a week. If you have a fossil that is about 5 to 10 pounds, at least 2 weeks to maybe a month of soaking is required. Change the water once every day.
6. Dry your shark tooth properly and give it a little shine using an old sock.
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