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This is a photo of two shell fragments of my ever growing/invading shell collection. The fragments are examples of the same species of whelk.

I’ve been reading on various shelling blogs (my new personal fave being iloveshelling.com) about how to clean and store your shells (who knew that there’s a proper method?).

Many make mention of using mineral oil or baby oil (which is nothing more than mineral oil with added fragrance) to give shells a shiny look, and to bring out the colors. I was a little skeptical (after all, it doesn’t do anything to the kids when I use it on them!), so I decided to experiment on a couple of fragments that I didn’t mind (potentially) ruining.

The one in the foreground (the smaller fragment, slightly to the left) had baby oil rubbed on/into it (the shell was very dry, and literally soaked up some of the oil). The other is “au natural,” having only been washed in tap water (no soap! Learned that the hard way!).

The results are amazing. Now I suppose all of my shells are going to get the “spa treatment,” and will start smelling “baby fresh!”