I have an antique collection from a client that unfortunately hasn't been very well preserved over the years. It's a real shame because it is a full collector's cabinet that was collected in Malaysia around the 70's. However some are still ok and I've been asked to present them in entomology frames. The colour hasn't just dulled over as I have seen on other collections - it's also gotten very dusty since the cabinet didn't have closed off drawers. I was wondering if anyone would have an idea as to how to "dust them off" so to speak? Or is it better to just leave it alone?
I will put the better specimen in the freezer for around 72 hrs to get rid of anything that might have infested it.
For dusty specimens carefully use a small paint brush and proceed with caution. I have managed to bring specimens from old collections back to pristine condition using this method. If any mould is present on the specimens dip the brush in acetone, it rarely comes back.
Post by livingplanet3 on Jun 24, 2021 14:48:26 GMT -8
I've found that the safest way to clean dust off of dried specimens is to take a standard spray bottle, set the nozzle to produce a spray with only mild pressure (between mist and stream), and then thoroughly spray the specimens to rinse away all dust. Then, allow the cleaned specimens to completely dry in the open air for perhaps 10-12 days before placing them back into storage or displays, just to ensure that any remaining moisture has fully evaporated. I've cleaned hundreds of beetle specimens in this way, that required very long drying periods after being freshly set, and accumulated some dust over this time.
Note however, that this method would only be suitable for insect specimens that do not possess a covering of scales - it can't be used for butterflies and moths. I'm not really sure how dust might be safely removed from Lepidoptera, but undoubtedly, there is some way of doing so.