Your family may keep some lobsters in your fish tank. However, these crustaceans will molt and leave their shells after a particular time.
Don’t throw these pieces away because you can make them into meaningful things. Furthermore, it’s an excellent way to keep the memorable time you have with your aquatic pets.
How to preserve lobster shells: This article will recommend some tips for this project.
Let’s discover it in detail!
How to Preserve Lobster Shells
Lobster shells are reusable. With the following guides, you can successfully preserve these crustacean pieces for a long time. Let’s see!
Before starting your project, ensure you prepare the following things in advance:
- Distilled vinegar
- Distilled water
- Clear-coat polyurethane
- A cloth
- A toothbrush
- A container
Here are simple steps to clean and preserve lobster shells. Let’s take a closer look!
Step 1: Clean the shells
Mix distilled vinegar and distilled water with a ratio of 1:1. Use this mixture to scrub the crustacean shells using a toothbrush carefully.
Step 2: Rinse the shells
After finishing the cleaning step, it’s advisable to rinse the shells thoroughly with distilled water to remove an unpleasant odor.
It’s worth noting that vinegar is acidic, so it will corrode these pieces if soaked too long.
Step 3: Soak the shells
Prepare distilled water in a container to soak the pieces for 24 hours. Ensure you place it in a cool and dry location without exposure to direct sunlight.
This way, it can dissolve all deposits remaining on the crustacean shells. After this time, lay these pieces on a cloth to dry them for many hours.
Step 4: Coat the shells with clear-coat/varnish
While you can do this taxicuticulary with your children, you should be the person to complete the final step.
Before applying the paint, ensure the shells are completely dry. Use a clear coat or varnish to coat it. You can apply a thin or thick layer, depending on your preference.
If you are unsure about the coat, you should visit a local home improvement store for advice.
Tell the experts you are doing a DIY taxicuticulary project and seek help and advice.
If you want to make these shells into jewelry like pincer earrings, you can drill some holes after drying them.
Afterward, you can coat these pieces with a clear coat or lacquer and let them dry completely before using them. This way, your jewelry can last longer.
Note: You can spray the shells with clear-coat polyurethane instead of varnish.
After that, let this coat dry. These pieces can also last for an extended time if you apply this product.
What to Do With Lobster Shells
Besides the above taxicuticulary project, you can use lobster shells for many purposes, as shown below.
Composting the lobster shells is a recommended environmentally friendly method of using these leftover items.
These crustacean shells have numerous plant nutrients, making them suitable for acting as fertilizer via compost.
Before composting these crustacean shells, crushing them is best to make them into fine powder.
Add this powder to a composting bin with other compostable materials such as vegetables, fruits, or kitchen scraps.
After the composting period, calcium and chitin in these shells will go into the soil and benefit plants due to their nutritional values.
Make Decorative Items
You may create beautiful ornamental objects to spruce up a space outside or inside your home.
You only need to clean and treat the shells by following the method mentioned above and paint them with your favorite color.
If you must trim them to accommodate a specific location, do it carefully to prevent cracking in areas where it will be ineffective.
Besides, it’s an enjoyable activity you can do with your children to pass the time and encourage creativity.
You can obtain sugar from the rigid external shellfish skeleton like lobsters, crabs, or shrimp and use it for medicine.
Chitosan helps treat health conditions like high cholesterol, wound healing, high blood pressure, or obesity.
Experts can process numerous crustacean shells to get chitosan. It will be a valuable medicine commodity.
Make Golf Balls
According to a study from the University of Maine, a student creates a golf ball by mixing ground-up crustacean shell powder with an adhesive substance to form the core.
This golf ball has a similar weight and size as a regular one, but it’s designed to play on cruises or a driving range on the ocean or lake.
According to international laws, dumping a golf ball into the ocean is illegal. However, balls from lobster shells are biodegradable for about three weeks.
Related: Five creative and helpful ways to reuse oyster shells
Can You Eat Lobster Shells?
The answer is No! Eating lobster shells is impossible since they are hard and challenging to chew and swallow.
While these parts aren’t edible, don’t worry if you accidentally swallow a shell piece, as they don’t contain toxins.
Yet, they may carry bacteria and have a low-quality flavor and a strange texture.
Furthermore, crustacean claws are hard and pointy. If they poke your cheeks or tongue or you swallow pieces into your esophagus, it’s painful.
Several videos and articles recommend tips for devouring a lobster properly, but none approve of eating the shells.
Instead of consuming these parts, you can use them for other purposes like composting them, making decorative items, or chitosan.
Can You Cook with Lobster Shells?
While you can’t chew and swallow lobster shells, you can cook and make them into other foods.
You can use these parts to make a broth to enrich different dishes, as follows:
- Lobster Bouillabaisse
- Lobster Fisherman’s Stew
- Lobster Salad
- Lobster with Fideos
- Lobster Américaine with Haricots Verts and Rice
- Lobster Broth with Porcini
- Favas and Peas
- Lobster ramen
You can refer to the following tips to make broth from these crustacean parts.
- Break the crustacean covers into small crumbs.
- Prepare the body by opening it and pulling the sac and feathery gills out.
- Crush the body to make it fit a stew pot.
- Add olive oil to a pot and heat it.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute them over moderately high heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Next, add the crustacean shells. Continue cooking them for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, garlic, and fennel. Stir them well and keep cooking for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add bay leaves, tomatoes, and parsley. Mix them well and add dry sherry or wine.
- Stir well and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until the wine vaporizes the alcohol.
- Add water until it covers all things in the pot.
- Bring to a boil. After that, turn down the flame immediately.
- Simmer for 90 minutes or more gently to make the broth full-flavored.
- Taste the broth. Add salt if necessary.
- Turn the heat off.
- Leave the broth enough time to cool slightly.
- Strain it via a colander.
- Store it in the refrigerator for two months. Otherwise, you can keep it in the freezer for three months.
Read more: Two ways to fix overcooked lobster
Do Lobster Shells Decompose?
The answer is yes. These parts are compostable in a compost bin like eggshells. These pieces provide calcium, chiton, nitrogen, and magnesium for a compost pile.
How Long Does It Take for a Lobster Shell to Harden?
After molting, the crustacean shell sheds and leaves a thin outer cover. It may take around two months to harden.
Will Lobster Shells Burn?
The short answer is yes. If you apply excessive heat when drying these parts, they may burn.
Why Is My Lobster Shell Soft?
Soft shells indicate that the crustacean has just changed from its old, constricting shell to a new one that provides more growth opportunities.
What Do Lobsters Do with Their Old Shells?
These crustaceans split their outer cover in half to grow and abandon the old one. This process is called molting.
You can watch this video to learn more about it:
The Bottom Line
In general, it is not as difficult to figure out how to preserve lobster shells as you think.
Besides, you can use these crustacean parts to compost plants, make decorative items, make chitosan, or make golf balls.
Hopefully, you will be successful with these detailed guides. If you still have further questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thanks for reading!