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Salt water pickle?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by CarrionCrawler, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    I skinned a feeder rat yesterday for practice, salted it with non iodized Sea Salt and then put in a jar of water full of the same salt. I don't have any alcohol (going to get some tomorrow) for it so I'm doing this instead. Will this salt water act like a temporary pickle for these two days? Or is it preserving it at all?
     
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    No. A pickle has acid in it. The acid is what pickles the skin. The salt is just to keep the skin from acid swell.
     

  3. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    Ah.. That does make sense. So, the salt water isn't preserving it at the moment though?
    Which does comes to remind me..

    I did have another question about pickling..I wanted to use a substitute for chemical acid. Would straight lemon juice pickle a pelt of a small animal?
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Apple cider vinegar will work better than lemon juice, which is citric acid, that will work, but vinegar has a lower pH, which is what you want.

    Salting removes the bodily fluids, removes moisture from the skin, that is why you salt, not because you read to do it, or was told to do it. Salting cures nothing, preserves nothing, it removes fluids for drying the skin for storage.
     
  5. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    Thank you, T. I'll definitely keep the apple cider vinegar in mind as a substitute.
    I'll have to get that alcohol tomorrow then, but I guess at least I got a lot of the oils off from the skin (I believe). I'll just leave it in the salt water for tonight since I can't do much else at this moment.
     
  6. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Not possible as all acids are chemical...

    You want to use white vinegar.
     
  7. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    By chemical, I meant harsh unnatural solutions they have at my local preservative store. I wanted to use something natural such as lemon I mentioned first.

    So are you saying white apple cider vinegar.. or just white vinegar?
     
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have used white vinegar with good success.
     
  9. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    Would the mixture of sea salt, vinegar and some water work as a decent pickle?
     
  10. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Yes, in the proper proportions.

    Why sea salt? Good ole white table salt will work...
     
  11. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    Well, my local grocery market sells only two kinds of salt so I don't have much of a selection.. It's either Sea salt without iodide, or just salt with iodide. Someone told me that salt with iodide eats away at pelts, and other forums had discussed that it wasn't good for the skins either. Is sea salt weaker than table salt?
     
  12. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Sea salt contains more impurities as far as tanning is concerned, use the iodized but your store should carry table salt without iodine as well..
     
  13. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    Mh, good point.. Though it is okay for consumption so the filtering process might make it just or almost as clean..not sure.
    I'll inquire about my store ordering some non iodized table salt though. Thank you for the info, it's really cleared some things for me.
     
  14. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Iodized salt will work. Won't hurt a thing....
     
  15. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Oldie but worth repeating...
     
  16. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.



    I wrote all that down in my note book as I know I'll need to remind myself of that a lot later [as I tend to forget things as I learn new stuff..]

    Sadly to say, due to not putting the rat skin it in the alcohol first [and then I let it sit 3 days in the salt water...] all the hair separated from the skin and just started falling out..Only thing I salvaged from this project was the skull which I cleaned out really well, let to sit in dish soap w/ water for 2 days, then cleaned it some more, then finally I just put it in some hydrogen-peroxide.

    Well, I sure as hell learned my lesson. :/
     
  17. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    You were doomed from the start, bad information from unprofessional sources. Lucky for you, rats are everywhere, and Cyclone is here.
     
  18. CarrionCrawler

    CarrionCrawler Advice is not destructive criticism.

    C'est la vie. Poor research is also the fault on my end. I shall divide and conquer though..with time. Practice, practice, and correct information.
     
  19. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    2,465
    23
    I was going to say the skin would be ruined in another day in the salt water but had to run, I figured someone would have posted that.
     
  20. You could look into skinning and doing a denatured-alcohol pickle and stretching to dry if you want a flat skin and are not concerned with it being plyable and flexible leather. (for the future.) The fur can come out soft with this method, but the skin will dry pretty hard; not a concern if you are mounting it or just want a flat to stretch over something for craft work.