How to Sterilize Sea Shells

Mel Frank

If you have a batch of sea shells that you either collected on your own or purchased, you typically want to sanitize the shells thoroughly. Whether you have a craft project, are giving the shells as a gift or are using the shells as home decorations, you want the shells to look their best.

Sterilize sea shells with bleach.

Sterilizing removes germs, bacteria and the foul odor often associated with sea shells. To keep the sea shells clean and odor-free, sterilize in a way that causes no damage to any of the shells.

  1. Fill a basin with equal portions of water and bleach.

  2. Place a pair of rubber gloves onto your hands, and gently place all of the sea shells onto the bleach water solution.

  3. Let the sea shells soak overnight, as this will sanitize plus remove any loose buildup and algae from the shells.

  4. Remove the shells from the basin with your rubber gloves on. Rinse the shells as you wipe the shells with a cleaning rag to remove any leftover buildup.

  5. Give the shells one final rinse and allow them to air dry. If you want to add a shine to the cleaned shells, rub a thin coating of baby oil or mineral oil into the shells.