should u clean shells before selling for safety/health reasons

shellGL
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shellGL
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Joined: April 11th, 2018, 9:11 pm

May 13th, 2018, 5:15 pm #1

Should you clean shells before selling/sharing for any health or safety reasons such as bacteria?
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Marlo
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Marlo
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Joined: November 12th, 2005, 10:28 pm

May 14th, 2018, 6:32 pm #2

Complicated question.  Clean the animal out - yes.  Clean the exterior - maybe.  If covered with live flora/fauna - yes.  Clean the exterior to look better - depends upon likes/dislikes of the collector.  If worried about bacteria, brush off dirt, etc. and a light bleach bath for a few hours. 
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shellGL
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shellGL
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May 14th, 2018, 9:43 pm #3

Thank you for your informative reply. A light bleach bath seems like a good idea. Would this be a 10% solution of bleach left overnight? Also, is there anyway to know if there is an animal stuck inside an old shell?
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Marlo
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Marlo
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Joined: November 12th, 2005, 10:28 pm

May 14th, 2018, 10:44 pm #4

The smell test is good.  If in doubt, set in container (I use the square Tupperware) with apex down and fill aperture with some water.  Let soak over night, empty and sniff.  If there was animal, you'll smell it.  Squirt into aperture with water pick/hose/shake to get animal residue out.

Bleaching depends on what and how much to be removed.  Bleaching will clean a lot of dirt, but also will eliminate gloss and dissolve the periostracum.  It won't remove coral, barnacles or a lot of "hard" deposits.  So, depends what you want to achieve.  If you just want to sanitize, a 50/50 solution for an hour is plenty.  Size and thickness of shell also matters. Bubble shells I bleach for only 5-10 minutes. However, what ever ratio you use, take the shell out of the solution frequently, rinse and brush to see where you are.  You can always soak longer, but you can't reverse the harm of over bleaching.  Experiment and use your least prized shells at first.  
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shellGL
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shellGL
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Joined: April 11th, 2018, 9:11 pm

May 22nd, 2018, 11:02 pm #5

Thank you for taking this time to provide this helpful information.
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