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Citric acid comparison?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by agua3777, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Is the citric acid (crystalline, food grade) offered on Amazon/E-bay the same formula as the citric acid offered by taxidermy suppliers? After searching the forum, and find a couple people have asked this question before. But they didn't receive a confident answer. I've already purchased citric along with degreaser and tan but being a businessman and cost conscious, I. have to wonder if I'm wasting $$. Does anyone know if the concentration is identical or if the suppliers include any additional additives? The cost difference is as much as half the price.

    P.S. One could argue that cost conscious would dictate sending skins to a tannery.... And I would agree. My interest in mastering tanning stems from a desire to understand all phases of taxidermy, (including the basics). I feel being a "Taxidermist" requires a working knowledge of all phases of our craft, otherwise I'm just a specialist. So I'll process a small quantity of capes/back skins for my own personal use and experience.
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I agree. When a taxidermist knows from experience the tanning process, it allows one to be more understanding towards what a tannery goes through and also, just how fragile hides can actually be. I started tanning for the same reason. Also, I could tan and mount a deer head in a fraction of the time it takes to get your capes back from a tannery. Knowing how to tan can also help you if you choose to offer rush jobs. As for citric acid, I don't use it so I sadly have not researched, but I plan to.

  3. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    Hi Jeff V.

    If the instructions say to use 3 Ozs. of Citric Acid per 1 gallon of water. plus 1 Lb. of Salt - rest assured it's the same strength as the other Suppliers offer. Considering the skins or capes will likely take up a little of the Acid in solution, 3 Ozs. of it usually compensates for this, as well as keeps the pH of your pickle about 1.5 - 2.5 pH! A good working range for pickling!
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ditto with Bruce. That's all I use for my bears and it's food grade and cheaper.
  5. ysb123

    ysb123 Member

    I ran short awhile back and went to walmart and bought all they had citrus acid for canning. it worked fine..
  6. Thanks to all who replied. I wondered when ordering, decided to go with the tanning suppliers product thinking it might be necessary for compatibility of the overall process (I'm green concerning tanning and pretty clueless when it come to tanning systems). Thanks to your experience and input I won't make that mistake again. Gracias!
  7. gunner62

    gunner62 Gunners Buckhorn Taxidermy

    Jeff check out a online company Called Bulk Apothecary , 50lb of citric acid $75.75, if you order $250.00 you get a 15% discount which pays for shipping I just got 6 bags, Citric is all I use.
  8. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    Additionally experiment with different products and try to learn what works best for you. As Bruce stated your main factor in the pickling process is your pH and maintaining that for the required time. I learned that some products hold a pH longer than others which is very beneficial as I tan in batches and cannot always shave all my hides in one sitting during the pickling stage. If I use oxalic acid I can basically go on vacation and not worry about my pH dropping whereas when I use citric acid I need to monitor it more closely and occasionally add acid to maintain the required pH daily. Citric acid is lower in price but if I have to use more to achieve the same result as oxalic acid then I'm going to use oxalic acid. It really is up to you and what you like to work with. I keep them both on hand. Same with tanning solutions. Use what works best for you and how your shop is set up.
  9. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    jeff the less you can buy from supplies companies the better. I believe the real money in taxidermy is on the the supply side. lol mostly kidding but it seems like that at times. I basically only order forms and a few other specialty items from the supply companies other then that i find it else where.
  10. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I understand and also try to do the same. I am sure if looked into we could find just about anything from non taxidermy supply companies. I guess it comes down to convenience. Shipping rates are what kill me.
  11. Twinrivers, I totally understand what you say about holding a ph , however oxalic can burn you and it it does that to you it can do the same to the skin , I use enough citric to get to ph 2.5 -2.8 then add oxalic to get to 16 - 1.8. Talking in metric here, I make a 100 litre pickle, this will handle 20 kg of heavy asiatic deer hide, if not maintained this will even out at about 2.8 , the other way I have done things is to mix 2 parts citric ( granulated) to 1 part oxalic , add this to a 100 litre float until 1.6 is obtained , with the same skin content this solution will level out at about 2.3 , final figures will vary with different types of skins, 50kg citric & 25 kg of oxalic last me about 18 months, for those who use citric alone try adding a bit of oxalic, it will make you citric supply last a lot longer, this = more $$$$ in your pocket,