mix for auto tanner

Submitted by tootie on 1/22/01. ( )

I use the auto tanner with the alum and would like to buy the alum and salt locally.I understand you can buy the alum at garden supply stores.But what exactly do i need?Is it ammonium aluminum sulfate or plain aluminum sulfate?How do i know if its low iron? Do i have to add sodium carbonate to the mix? Thanks for the help. tootie

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This response submitted by John C on 1/22/01. ( )

Where does everyone get the idea it has salt in it? or ammonium? Sodium carbanate would raise the pH and cause slippage.
Look for the purity on the label at the lawn store if not there order the Stuff from Steve or a chemical warehouse, when ordering from warehouse they will supply you with a purity test list. HAve the list faxed to you so you can see and het the low iron gauranty if it worries you. John C

alum tan

This response submitted by mike d on 1/22/01. ( the_taxidermist@yahoo.com )

I have been using the autotanner for three seasons, and I
mix my own tanning chemicals. I buy alum from a local dairy
supply, and also salt.
For each gallon of water used I add 8 oz of alum and 10 oz
of salt(also about 1 tablespoon of sal soda).
With an alum tan in the autotanner you should not be concerned
as to ph, but more so about specific gravity; which is a
factor governed by the amount and purity of your alum.
Buy a Baume hydrometer from Bruce Rittel and use it to check
your solution strength, try to keep it at 7.8 to 8.0 on the
Because the likelihood of any two purchases of alum being
the same in purity and strength is not certain; check your
solution mix every time you buy a new supply of alum and
adjust the proportions if needed- the most important thing in
an alum tan is to use a solution that starts out at 7.8 on the
hydrometer to assure even consistent tanning! To much alum and
you overtan, losing stretch; to little and you under tan,
likely losing hair or causing skins to deteriorate before
complete penetration of the tan.

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