How to Get the Smell out of a Dried Starfish

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 qt. 70-percent isopropyl alcohol
  • Pail
  • Paper towel
  • Heavy objects

Starfish make interesting and meaningful souvenirs of seacoast vacations. Tourists and beachcombers generally collect starfish for their intriguing shapes and designs. Since starfish are animals, they develop an odor after they die. This odor gradually intensifies until starfish are properly preserved. Simply drying starfish in the sun does not eliminate the odor; they must undergo a soaking process before going on display. Promptly get the smell out of a dried starfish using alchohol.

Pour 1 qt. of 70-percent isopropyl alcohol into a pail. Submerge the foul-smelling starfish in the undiluted isopropyl alcohol.

Soak the starfish in the isopropyl alcohol for 48 hours.


Remove the starfish from the isopropyl alcohol. Place the wet starfish on a paper towel in direct sunlight to air-dry.


Lay heavy objects on the starfish’s legs to keep them from curling up. Do not place anything on the starfish’s legs if they are already stiff, as they may break.



  • Never collect live starfish. Leave them undisturbed in their natural habitat.


About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images