Imagine you have just walked home from the beach with a collection of sand dollars. All that you can now think of is bleaching them to spread them as decorations in your living room. But the challenge is how to bleach them so that their colors are durable. In other words, bleaching sand dollars is not just about spraying a whitener here and there. There is a science to making them decorative.

What are Sand Dollars?

Simply put, sand dollars are a species of flat sea urchins. They are recognized by the star stamp on them.

  • In all probability, they are dead by the time they reach the shore. For further simple understanding, sand dollars are sea animals that belong to the family of other creatures like starfish and sea lily.
  • These animals have a hard skeleton made of calcium carbonate. They eat with their hair and fine fuzzy spines on their body. In addition, sand dollars use a set of teeth on their jaws to chew the food captured.

This set of sea creatures is carnivorous and is able to move with the help of holes on its body that allows it to push the water. Finally, they are called by their unique name not because they can be used as currency but due to the fact that they resemble silver coins. The following is a good educational video on the basic features of the sand dollar.

  • Sand dollars are sea creatures belonging to the same family as starfish.
  • They get their name due to their resemblance to silver coins.
  • This sea animal is carnivorous and feeds with the help of its hair and spikes.
  • It is carnivorous. Finally, the skeleton of this sea creature is made of calcium carbonate.

How to Bleach Sand Dollars?

Unlike shells, sand dollars give a nasty odor if not treated properly. They come with a smell that turns rotten with time. Therefore, it is essential to bleach them in order to preserve them.

  • Start to find a flat surface to keep it on. Wipe it softly to clean off any sand that may have got stuck on it at the beach. It is important to know that you should wipe the cloth over it very gently or else it may break.
  • Next, place the sand dollar in a bucket full of water and add some bleach to it. Keep the sand dollar inside this bucket for about 24 hours.
  • Finally, after a day inside the bucket with the bleach, bring the sand dollar out and dry it in the sun. What you will get is a sparkling new sand dollar. Watch this video for detailed instructions.
  • Sand dollars can be dirty looking when you collect them initially.
  • Pick up the sand dollar and place it on a flat surface. Wipe it gently with a soft cloth to remove any sand on it.
  • Place it inside a bucket with water and bleach for 24 hours. Take it out after a day and dry it in the sun.

How do You Bleach Sand Dollars at Home?

3 simple steps and the sand dollar you have collected from the seashore are all set to add sheen to your living room. First: Wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Second: Place it in a bucket full of clean water for a decent period of time. Third: Dry it out in the sun for the desired result.

  • Wipe, Soak in water, and Dry are the 3 steps to bleach them at home.
  • Wipe with a soft cloth.
  • Keep in clean water.
  • Dry in the sun.

How Long do You Keep Sand Dollars in Bleach?

When you bleach the sand dollar to make it looks white and adds sparkle to your living room, make sure to keep observing it every few hours. In other words, since the sand dollars are brittle and break easily, they have to be handled with care. In addition, the skeleton is made of Calcium Carbonate, making it vulnerable if exposed to chemicals. For instance, if the bleach is added in more than the required quantity, the shell of the sand dollar may start dissolving. Therefore, there is no set rule on how much time the sand dollar should be bleached. It is dependent on the way it reacts to the bleach in water.

  • The time required for bleaching a sand dollar cannot be determined in advance.
  • The sand dollar can dissolve if bleach is not favorable for it.
  • Therefore, constantly supervise during the bleaching process.

Finally, Some Tips on how to Bleach Sand Dollars

  • Use a soft cloth to clean the sand dollars.
  • Do not leave the sand dollars in water for too long.
  • Use bleaching chemicals that do not damage aquatic material.
  • Supervise closely the time sand dollar is inside the bleaching solution.

How long do you soak sand dollars in bleach and water?

Once your shells are completely clean, take them out of the fresh water and lay them on a towel to dry while you prepare a solution of half fresh water and half bleach. Soak your sand dollars in the solution. Set a timer and only allow your sand dollars to soak in the bleach for 10 minutes or less.

Can sand dollars bite you?

These pale, clawless crustaceans don’t attack humans, but we included them because people incorrectly use the name “sand flea” to mean sand flies and other biting insects.

What is inside a sand dollar?

This shell is called a test and is the endoskeleton of a sand dollar, a burrowing sea urchin. The shell is left behind when the sand dollar dies and its velvety spines fall off to reveal a smooth case underneath. A sand dollar’s body has five jaw sections, 50 calcified skeletal elements, and 60 muscles.

Is finding a sand dollar good luck?

Any beachcomber who finds Sand Dollars along their stroll considers it a lucky omen! They aren’t likely to be found on many beaches, but there are several spots around the United States where you’ll find them, including one of my favorites, Wingaersheek Beach, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

How do you tell if a sand dollar is alive or dead?

So how can you tell if the sand dollar is still alive? If you turn it upside down and see those tiny spines — and they’re still moving — it’s definitely alive. Those spines fall off quickly after the sand dollar dies, according to the Sanibel Sea School.

Are sand dollars worth money?

Like everything else, they are worth whatever you can get someone to pay. Someone with a salt water aquarium might pay something for a living one, perhaps $5 to $15. Now let’s look at the highest amount of sand dollars that people ever put on them.

What happens if you break a sand dollar?

How much is a black sand dollar worth?

Sand dollars are actually burrowing sea urchins. When they wash up on the beach and are bleached by the sun, they look like a large silver coin, hence the moniker. And if you break open a sand dollar, five dove-shaped pieces emerge. Doves are often used in art and literature as a symbol of peace and goodwill.

Why do Sand Dollars die?

How long does it take for a sand dollar to die?

They have no or very little value. For a living sand dollar, people might pay $5 to $15 for keeping it in the aquarium.

How long does it take for a sand dollar to turn white?

How can you tell how old a sand dollar is?

Most people see sand dollars only after they’ve deceased. 1 When it dies, its skeleton (the “test”) becomes bleached by the sun, turning it white, and the small spines fade away.

What is the biggest sand dollar ever found?

During their average lifespan of about 10 years, a sand dollar is actually a living organism, and is a cousin of sorts to other echinoderms like sea cucumbers, sea stars (also known as starfish) and sea urchins.

Are Sand Dollars easy to find?

After 24 hours your Sand Dollars should look white!

What is the best time to find sand dollars?

Scientists can age a sand dollar by counting the growth rings on the plates of the exoskeleton. Sand dollars usually live six to 10 years. Sand dollars usually crowd together over an area.