How long can a pickle solution last? (PART 2)

Submitted by bibs on 8/26/01. ( )

How long can I keep and use a pickle soulution if I use oxalic acid?
And if I can reuse it; How do I neutralize the skin without causeing acid swelling? What is the best acid for a pickleing? I tan with lutan-F. Would it hurt if I used 2 differant kinds of acid in a pickle or should acids never be mixed?

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This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 8/26/01. ( )

I've used Oxalic Acid as a pickling acid in the past and it's always remained very stable over a long period. In fact, it wasnt unusual for me to keep skins in it pickled for up to 3-4 months, providing I checked it for water evaporation, PH level, and stirred it every other day. It's a good pickling acid, and particularly good if you are located in an extremely cold area. The crystals dont freeze!

As long as you keep the PH corrected at a 1.5 - or at least below a 2.0, and make sure you have enough Salt in it (use a Salinimeter to check it) - yes - you can reuse it. Unless of course, it becomes dirty.

Obviuosly if you neutralize it in the pickle by adding Baking soda you will not be able to reuse it. I like to prepare a seperate neutralizing bath by adding 1 Oz. of Baking Soda to each 1 gallon of water I use. Soak the skin or cape for 20 minutes, then rinse well and tan! But I use EZ-100 now for all my tanning!

If I were using Lutan F I would simply rinse the skin or cape and go directly into the tan. "After" the tan I would bring the tanning solution's PH up to a 4.5 -5.0 using baking soda, and neutralize (Basify) it then for 1-2 hours. Then rinse, damp-dry and oil.

For your best value and excellent results I personally think Saftee Acid is probably the best acid for pickling available right now! But take for granted - I also sell it - so I may also be a little prejudiced about it!

Dont worry about swelling when you neutralize! Once you bring the skin's PH above a 4.0 - you are well out of the swelling range.

Mixing acids is normally not practiced. If you do - It's very difficult to know if they are compatible or not. If you must do it - observe the pickle after mixing in the other acid - if the solution appears cloudy - usually thats an indication they are incompatible and one of them is precipitating (dropping out) out of the solution. Normally however, most acids do mix OK together.

Bruce Rittel
Rittels Tanning Supplies

Another Question

This response submitted by bibs on 8/27/01. ( )

You said you use baking soda in your nuetralizing solution but did not say if you added salt. I read somewhere that a pickled cape should never be put into water without 40% salt or it may acid swell. Is this correct or did I get some wrong info?

Only when you go below a 4.0!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 8/27/01. ( )

Neutralizing or Basifying does 2 things - It raises the PH well above a 3.5, thereby taking the skin out of the range (0.0-3.5) where swelling occurs, and it also neutralizes the effects of the acid used to acidify the skin.

Yes - you're right that below a 3.5 swelling can occur, and salt should be used, but once neutralized well above that 3.5 you should be safe. No Salt.

One Last Thing

This response submitted by bibs on 8/27/01. ( )

Thanks! So much for the info. If I understand this correctly, I must add the salt to my nuetralizing solution? (1lb per gallon of water)


This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 8/27/01. ( )

No - as I mentioned, you are out of the swelling range when you neutralize (usually around 7.9) - there is no need for salt! Just Baking Soda!


This response submitted by bibs on 8/27/01. ( )

Ok I got now. Thanks so much for your help!

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