Cleaning Clam Shells

I'm often asked via social media or email how do I clean old clam shells? 

So this is a quick post on how I've managed to do it with the ones that I found last year that had been sitting in a shed for over 20-years.

Before photo. Absolutely filthy isn't it? I love the barnacles on this one.

And another one. Not so bad.

I did a little research online but there were some techniques that seemed quite harsh. Such as using hydrochloric acid or blasting with a water gurney. I was too nervous about going down either of those routes as I didn't want to damage any part of the shells including all the lovely barnacles. 

So I came to the conclusion that the least invasive way was to simply use bleach and water. 

I was a bit hesitant at first to use too much bleach but it didn't seem to work. So I learnt not to be shy with the bleach! 

Fill a container up of 50% water & 50% bleach if the shells are particularly dirty, making sure that that the shell is completely covered with the solution.

Then forget about it and leave for 3-days. 

When it is time don some gloves, take the clam shell out and put into another container of just water. Leave this for a day and then take the shell out and leave in the sun for a day to get rid of the bleach smell. The sun will also naturally help whiten the shell. 

You can of course do this at a quicker pace if need be. 

and look how beautiful these shells are now…..

Simply stunning aren't they?

These and more are available for sale.

Due to Australian regulations, clam shells can only be sold within Australia


  1. I have come across a beautiful clam shell in my travels this week and have it soaking in a bucket of bleach as we speak. I always do this with coral or shells and works a treat, glad I am on the right path! :)

    1. oh you will have to do a post on your finds. would love to see Ashlea x

  2. I have collected clamshells along the river by me. And they are absolutely beautiful. This method to clean them works wonders I love it.

    1. That's wonderful to hear. Thank you for your message. Sally

  3. all my reasearch will finally come to an end, many thanks


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