How to Polish a Turd

Whoever coined the phrase “You can’t polish a turd” was dead wrong. You can polish a turd, and the end result can be quite nice. You might even start a collection. Here’s the help you need polishing what has been passed.

Why Polish turds?

There are rumors and creepy eBay sales suggesting that Tom Cruise and Katie (now Kate) Holmes have preserved daughter Suri’s first poop by having it bronzed and mounted onto quite a snazzy plaque. Who knows if it’s true, but somehow, it doesn’t seem surprising, does it? I’m also reminded of the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, where one character was so obsessed with the group ABBA that he fished an “ABBA Turd” out of a toilet and wore it around his neck. Sound crazy? Sound extreme? Sure does, and yet, not surprising in today’s world.

A little more tame of the turd collectors are those who are fascinated with fossilized dinosaur dookie. Those polished turds get a big, scientific name which makes the collecting of them acceptable and not the slightest bit creepy. Those turds are called “corprolites.” And there’s a market for them, for the originals and the replicas. This brings me to why YOU may be interested in polishing some turds.

How to Petrify a Turd

Just sneak up on one and scream boo-boo! Ha-ha. But seriously, you’re not going to get a smooth and shiny end product if the base turd isn’t hard enough to stand up to the polishing.

Once you’ve selected the turd you want to polish, you need to dry it out. Think of how kitty litter seema to make cat poo dry and hard over night. Don’t trust that it’s perfect through and through in that short time, but you get the idea. You need to put your turd in something that will draw out any moisture and help it harden without changing its surface or form too drastically.

Some people use silica sand, (it’s from the same family as those little sugar packet-looking things that come in your new purses and shoes,) to preserve flowers and petrify wood in a matter of days. You can get bags of the stuff online for about $25. Put some in a bucket and then put your turd or turds inside. Cover with more silica, and let it sit for a week. The silica should shake off completely.

But silica sand is expensive and inhaling it over time can cause respiratory problems. The next best thing to use is salt. Besides Lot’s wife being petrified into salt, salt itself has petrified many things, as many are found in dried salt lakes all the time. For the same size bag of silica sand, you can get Epsom salts for about $3. You may have to adjust the time for the petrifying so you definitely want to use a good handful of turds and start testing one a day after a week’s sitting in the salt until you’ve found the desired consistency or hardness. The drier, the better.

How to Polish a Turd

The easiest way would be to invest in a rock tumbler. You can find them in department stores and online from $15 to $600. Many come with grit and jewelry mounts. They range from beginner to hobbyist and professional, come in different sizes, and are either rotary tumblers or vibratory tumblers. The effect you’re trying to get with a tumbler is to do in a short period of time what rivers and oceans take years to do. The coarsest rock can become smooth. Your turd is no different.

Using a Rotary tumbler

(rounder, smoother, and takes about a month to polish)

You’ll need:

  • the tumbler, of course
  • the turds, of course
  • silicon grit, it may come with a beginner kit, but you can find more in different sizes for different degrees of polishing
  • a polishing compound (like alumina or cerium oxide, according to
  • extra rocks to help fill the tumbler if needed
  • water

The steps

  1. Fill the barrel of the tumbler ¾ full with turds and use your extra rocks if you don’t have ¾ worth.
  2. Add water, but you don’t want to cover the turds completely.
  3. Add grit.
  4. Turn it on and let it tumble for one week. It is good to stop the tumbler and open the barrel every 12 to 24 hours to release gas build-up and to check on the turds.
  5. Remove the turds from the barrel and rinse off the grit, use a toothbrush if necessary.
  6. Fill the barrel as before and repeat the cycle again and again until your turds are as smooth as you want them to be.
  7. Lastly, you want to tumble the turds with polishing compound in place of water.

Using a Vibratory Tumbler

(maintains shape and texture, a fraction of rotary’s time to polish)

You’ll need:

  • the tumbler
  • the turds
  • extra rocks of varying sizes
  • grit
  • polish compound
  • soap flakes (like shavings from a bar of soap)
  • water

The steps

  1. Fill the barrel ¾ full with turds, add rocks if necessary.
  2. Add grit and water.
  3. Tumble (stop it and check the barrel everyday, add water when necessary.)
  4. When turd has achieved the desired smoothness, rinse.
  5. Return turds to barrel with a tablespoon of soap flakes.
  6. Add water and tumble for an hour.
  7. Rinse and repeat twice more.
  8. Rinse and return turds to barrel with grit, water and polish.
  9. Tumble for an hour.
  10. Wash turds thoroughly and rinse. Let dry.

Polished Turd Care

To spruce up your polished turds, take a soft cloth like one you’d use for polishing silver. Put a drop of mineral oil on the cloth and buff your turd until it shines.


  1. Potty says:

    I don’t believe it – surely the turd would disintegrate to dust if tumbled or rotated with stones?
    I would suggest the drying technique would indeed work well, but for polishing I would suggest yacht varnish, with gentle sanding between coats. I doubt a dry turd would stand up to any aggressive treatment.

  2. Lea says:

    Can I send you guys some turds in the mail and you could polish them for me?

  3. Andrew says:

    I don’t understand how you could tumble a turd without it crumbling to pieces, unless it was already fossilized? Doesn’t make sense; I have tumbled many things before and a turd wouldn’t stand up. I can see other ways as mentioned above, perhaps “varnishing,” but tumbling doesn’t seem to work. Please explain more!!!

  4. Poofy says:

    I wonder the same about the tumbler. Not that it would disintegrate your turd, but rather that you would find a hardened trail has outlined the walls, or it would splatter. But I guess it works.

  5. Andrew says:

    I want to see pics of one of these “polished turds.” I just don’t believe this.

  6. Antonia says:

    I thought this was quite an interesting aspect of the process:

    “It is good to stop the tumbler and open the barrel every 12 to 24 hours to release gas build-up and to check on the turds.”

    Gas build-up? Now that sounds like the most dangerous aspect of this process . . . . or at least stinkiest . . . .

  7. Jessmika says:

    This worked very well. I now have one of my dog’s biggest turds placed like a trophy on a mantle, as well as a picture of my cat. It is a very good technique that should be experienced throughout life. :)

  8. Thomas says:

    Everyone knows that turds require dry tumbling using ground walnut media impregnated with rouge (this also adds colour). Turds and water simply add up to diarrhea! I would also add micron-sized precipitated silver powder as an antiseptic measure – no point in taking chances, is there?

    I agree with the idea of varnishing, but only after proper polishing and really only to prevent rehydration.

  9. Hott Babe says:

    Sometimes I like to takes pictures of my poop and look at it later. Then it reminds me of what it smelled like. You know, I’m just like, “its my turd and I want to smell it now!!” But this idea might help remind me as well, so thanks for the helpful hints-gotta get myself a tumbler! :)

  10. Irrated-Bowel says:

    I have a warped sense of humor. I also have IBS. Most of my life I thought it normal to have a bowel movement as rarely as once every 3, 4, 5, days OR MORE! I used to have this boyfriend and when I mentioned this, he just went nuts. So began my reeducation on “normal.” Now I think “normal” is daily evacuation! I eat BRAN BUDS at 51% fiber. I am taking supplemental enzymes and probiotics. Having a BM is the freaking highlight and joy of my day. Having a non-annoying consistence is having a gold medal winner event. Peanut butter type BM of a million wipes; some dry and hard you’d think it could be mounted in a setting and pass for a diamond. You just never know with IBS. So turds are a favorite topic of mine to my husband’s utter horror. I am like, ‘why should I suffer alone.’ I found a book called the “Poo Log” and its names of types of poo about made me laugh up my spleen. So I have said about a particular memorable BM moment, well I should shellac it as a memento of this most notable occasion. But this is a joke and an empty threat. It is beyond mentally ill and psychotic to ACTUALLY do it. My Poo Log has pages to journal my fecal matter and draw a sketch of it. Again, it’s a joke. A book ya get or give to someone who gives TMI about their BMs.

  11. Me says:

    Mythbusters did an episode awhile ago where they polished turds by hand using different grades of sandpaper to achieve a glossy finish. They showed that it could be done, but that not all turds would work well for polishing. I forget which one they said they felt was the best, but they viewed the concept as definitely plausible.

  12. Mudblown Bliss says:

    The vibratory tumbler technique works very well to my surprise. Last NYE, I was hosting a party and gave all in attendants a piece of me — they were informed that they were simply home made candy bars. I did add some peanut butter, salt and powdered Nesquick to the tumbler before the polishing process began. My homemade dumplings were quite the hit at the party and had several people ask for the recipe, I just chuckled and said it was a secret. It was especially enjoyable watching my wife’s parents devour my butt muffins with such enthusiasm and glee, even the grandmother (94) got in on the feast de la poo while I myself didn’t partake in the fun. Mmmmm mmmm mmmm, turds!!!

    This did not really happen, I just thought it’d be a funny, possibly believable story, lol. Yes, I know I have a twisted sense of humor.

Leave a Comment