Helpful Hints from The Shell Hut for the Care and Cleaning of Seashells


Natural seashells have a beauty that is found only in our precious oceans and sandy shores. Here are a few hints to make your shells stay beautiful.

Never place your colored seashells in the sun for prolonged periods. The sun will eventually lighten any color the shells may have.

Unless your seashells are white, they should not be bleached. Use a small amount of dish soap with water to clean them if necessary. Use a soft brush to dust your seashells or starfish, such as a new clean soft paint brush. Exception: clam shells or mussel shells that you use for food or had for dinner may have a small amount of bleach and dish soap added to clean any food smells or oils from the shells. Soak them overnight, and then rinse well and the food residue should be gone in the morning.

Sand dollars and white starfish can be bleached again with a spray bottle of 1 part bleach and 3 parts water. Place in the sun (away from wildlife or bugs) to whiten even more. But try not to do this too often, as this will weaken the items.

DO NOT put baby oil on your shells unless you want a gooey dusty mess. DO NOT use vinegar, it will etch the shells. If you really need to make them shine, using a 100% cotton cloth, rub the shell gently and it will make your shells shine. We don’t recommend it but, if you have to have a glossy shell, use either a good clear nail polish or a non-yellowing acrylic spray.

Take good care of your seashells they will last Forever! Happy Shelling!