How to Whiten Sand Dollars

Sand dollars naturally have holes in them through which you can thread some string.
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Sand dollars: those delightful little echinoderms that can be collected during a family trip to the beach. Of course, they're not quite as pretty and white when you first find them in the sand. Luckily, it is not hard to turn them into lovely souvenirs. Here is how to whiten sand dollars.

Whiten Naturally

Clean the sand dollars thoroughly by placing them in a container of fresh water.

Change the water often, until the water the sand dollars sit in remains clear.

Lay the sand dollars on a flat surface outdoors.

Allow them to sit in the sun for a couple of days where they will whiten on their own. Be careful not to leave them out for too long as they could turn brittle.

Whiten with Bleach

Mix a solution of bleach and water, if you want to whiten the sand dollars faster.

Soak the sand dollars in the bleach solution for a few minutes. Do not leave them in the solution for more than ten minutes or the sand dollars will start to crumble.

Remove the sand dollars from the bleach solution and rinse thoroughly.

Place the sand dollars on a flat surface and allow them to dry.

Repeat the bleach solution steps if the sand dollars are not white enough.

Preserve the whitened sand dollars by brushing the surfaces with a solution of equal parts of glue and water.


Treated sand dollars can also be painted or airbrushed. Display your sand dollars naturally or use them for such crafts as wind chimes, shadow boxes or other craft projects.

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