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Problem using sea salt

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Eldpuma, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Eldpuma

    Eldpuma New Member

    I have recently had major problems with some lamb skins that became rubbery after pickled in salt+citric acid.
    What I have come to is that it must depend on the salt?!?
    I had to buy a bag of sea salt instead because normal salt was sold out that day in the store. Thought it would be good - more expensive than the usual too! ;)
    Googled and found now some info that made me concerned:
    Sea salt is naturally rich in iodine and has a salinity of approximately 55-60 percent - the rest are trace elements, minerals and moisture.
    Is there anyone else who also has experience of using sea salt?
  2. I haven't used sea salt, but it could be your problem. I just wouldn't use it anymore if you think that's what is causing the problem. The simplest way to find out would be to pickle something else in regular salt and see what happens.

  3. Eldpuma

    Eldpuma New Member

    Ok, thanks for the reply. :)
    Thought at first that it was the neutralization which did not work but then I remembered that hides even had salted down with sea salt a few months before they went into the bath with citric acid and the sea salt.
    It seems not at all to be common practice to use sea salt in this way? But I thought it would be ok because it's used to salted fish and meat for food .. :'(
  4. Oh well, atleast you didn't ruin a bear skin. That would really suck!
  5. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    It could very well be the choice of salt that you chose. Just because a product says "salt" on the label doesn't mean that it is suitable for tanning purposes. One wouldn't use tanning oil or Oil of Olay in a automobile engine just because it has "oil" on the label, would we?

    Your statement of rubbery hides leads me to believe that you might have either over neutralized or under salted your solutions by 35 to 40% if you followed a solution recipe.

    In other words, not enough information to blame it on the salt alone.. but a pretty good clue as to more flaws in your system.