Directions for EZ Tan

Submitted by Eric on 1/23/02. ( )

I usually tan with Lutan F, but am going to try EZ Tan. I received
shipment, but they didn't give me any directions for the EZ Tan. Could
someone help me out. Also how long do I leave it in the solution?
Thanks, Eric

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Rittel's EZ-100 Procedure

This response submitted by Ken Edwards on 1/25/02. ( )

Eric, here are the instructions for EZ-100 as printed in the WASCO catalog:

Rittel's EZ-100 Procedure

Preparing a skin or cape for tanning requires the same basic technique regardless of which tanning agent you may want to use for the actual tanning process. To simplify the preparation process, use five basic steps:

Step 1. Skin the animal. If it is still warm, open the skin or cape and allow it to cool for several hours.

Step 2. Flesh away all the meat, fat and membrane next to the flesh. For garment or trophy wall skins, light, thin skins can now be stretched and air dried, and then relaxed later for tanning. For taxidermy work, salting is recommended.

Step 3. Apply a heavy layer of non-iodized salt to the flesh side of the skin or cape. Fold it flesh side to flesh side, and hair to hair, and then place it on an inclined surface to drain for one to two days.

Step 4. When drained, shake out the excess salt and reapply another layer of clean salt. Again, fold it, allow the salt to penetrate the skin for 24 hours, and then shake out the loose salt. Or, spread the skin or cape out, or hang it open, allow it to dry while salted, then store it. Relax and tan it later.

Step 5. When you are ready to tan your skin or cape, place the skins in a strong brine solution and soak them for 24 hours or longer, until the skin is soft and completely relaxed. To mix the brining solution, use 2 lb. of non-iodized salt to every 1 gallon of cool water used to completely submerge the skins and capes.

Pickling Methods

EZ-100 is compatible with almost all pickling methods. It works successfully with Saftee-Acid, WASCO's Acid Bath Crystals (oxalic), sulphuric, formic, citric, and vinegar pickling acids. Choose the pickling method that best suits your needs. After mixing the pickle, stir it well and test it for a pH level of 1.8 before placing the skin into it. If you have a salinometer, measure the salt content as well. It should read 40% or higher.

Stir the skins in the pickle each day. Do not remove them until they are thoroughly pickled (at least three days). Remove the skins, drain for one hour, and shave them with a fleshing machine. Always return the shaven skins to the pickle for an additional 24 hours, to allow newly exposed areas to be completely pickled. Skins may be safely left in the pickle up to two weeks before neutralizing and tanning.

Remove the skins from the pickle and allow them to drain for one hour. Prepare a neutralizing bath by adding 1 oz. of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for each gallon of water needed to completely submerge the skins. Place the skins in this solution and soak them for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the skins, rinse thoroughly, and allow to drain for one hour.


Weigh the skins after draining. This is their wet drained weight. For every pound of skin, mix 2 quarts of water, 4 oz. of non-iodized salt, and 1/2 oz. of EZ-100 powder (4.5 level teaspoons=1/2 oz. of EZ-100).

EZ-100 tans best at a pH level of 4.0. Add small amounts of acid to lower or baking soda to raise the pH to 4.0 before placing the skin in the tanning solution.

Allow the skin to remain in the tanning solution for 16-24 hours (no longer). Remove the skin and allow it to drain for 20 minutes or tumble for 5 minutes to remove the surface moisture.

Lay the skin out flat and apply warm tanning oil to the flesh side. Fold the skin and allow it to sweat for 4 to 6 hours.

For taxidermy purposes, the skin can now be tumbled or toweled damp dry and mounted immediately, or frozen and mounted later.

For rug work, hang the skin to dry for a day or two. Before the skin completely dries, work the skin by hand or with a staking tool. Keep working the skin until it dries completely for maximum softness. Sanding the skin will also increase softness.

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