Feathers are beautiful and natural and can be used for crafts, costumes or as decorations around the house. Picking one up in the park and using it can be dangerous, though, as it may be unclean or even diseased. Sanitize a feather you find before using it for anything. You can dry clean feathers with a few simple materials.
How to Sanitize a Feather
Things You'll Need
Gallon-size plastic zip-top bags
Fill the plastic bag with 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of cornmeal and 3 tbsp. Borax. Borax is a natural substance sold in powder form as a multipurpose cleaning agent. It can be found at almost any store that sells cleaning supplies.
Place the feather in the bag. If you have more than one feather to clean, place them all in the bag at the same time. Zip the bag closed and make sure it is completely sealed.
Shake the bag for about 5 minutes. Do not shake it extremely vigorously, or you may damage the fragile feather. The contents clean the feather and remove any dirt or anything that may stick to it. The borax sanitizes the feather and makes it safe to handle and use in crafts, art projects or as a decoration.
Remove the feather from the bag and shake off any excess powder.
Use a soft brush to smooth out the feather and return it to its original form. Lay the feather on your hand and brush along with the natural grain of the feather. Do not use a hard brush or you may ruin the feather and make it unusable.
Protect your hands with rubber gloves and use antibacterial soap to wash them after you handle the feather. Check your feather periodically to see if it needs to be cleaned again.