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Salt In A Soak Tan

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Trapper705, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Trapper705

    Trapper705 New Member

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    Just curious, What is the purpose of the salt added to a soak tan like ez 100? Does it somehow assist with the tanning process. Will adding less than a pound of salt per gallon affect the tan? Thanks for your input in advance.
     
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Acid swell it’s the reason salt is used in all tanning applications

    Follow directions please ! I get a kick out of folks who have no knowledge on chemistry and want to try and change products that have been designed for any purpose.
    This is chemistry and you ,I or anyone else shouldn’t mess with it cause it causes failure.
    It’s like baking . Add more of this or less of that and guess what? You failed !
    I may sound harsh but the folks who designed these tanning agents are chemists and know their work or product!
     

  3. It is my opinion that the two biggest reasons that a tan will fail is that the skin was starting to spoil before it went in the tan or that the tanning instructions were not followed.
     
  4. Trapper705

    Trapper705 New Member

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    I will follow the directions, as I always do. I am not a chemist. Please explain what is the purpose of the salt in the soak tan is? My understanding is that acid and salt help tighten and swell the hide for shaving, but chemically how does the salt assist with the soak tan?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    As Frank said, it prevents acid swell.
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  6. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Good morning trapper the answer to your question is the salt hydrolyzes the acid slows the process down and as some of the other replies have stated prevents the acid swelling one thing that I generally disagree with is the fact that they are using 1 pound per gallon this is not necessary to use 1 pound per gallon to hydrolyze the acid
     
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ez-100 is 1/2 lb per gallon not a pound so I’m not sure whose using a pound per gallon?
     
  8. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    A pound of salt per gallon of sounds like the person is pickling carp. LOL. I bought a tanning tank from Rienhart supply, haven't tried it yet. Looking forward to doing some hides soon. So far, The fishing guide service is going great guns, fishing to be had.
     
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    "Hydrolyze"??? Somehow that's not a word that seems appropriate here. In layman's terms, Frank nailed it.
     
    AZ~Rich and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  10. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Hey George with all due respect why is the word hydrolyze not appropriate in answering his technical question about salt I don’t know why Frank even mentioned easy 100
    Trapper ask a technical question about salt he did not ask a technical question about easy 100
     
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    First off, hydrolyze is the process of hydrolysis which means that the chemical composition of an element is dissolved in water (like pouring water on salt and converting a solid to a saturated liquid). The acid itself is unaffected by adding salt. The tannin agent is unaffected by the salt. HOWEVER, the cellular composition of the hide is highly reactive to the salt which acts as an astringent and prevents the cell from filling with water which WAS trying to hydrolyze the acid. I'm just a dumb country boy with only a 10th grade chemistry class from almost 60 years going for me. With that type background, I could certainly be wrong. Perhaps our resident chemist Cyclone can come on and educate me with more up to date information.

    I fail to understand your comment on Frank's response. Whether it's EZ 100, Lutan F, paint-on tans, alum, or good old battery acid, salt remains a critical part of the process.
     
  12. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Good morning George let me say I need to back up here in a little bit admit to the fact that I failed to notice and trappers first post that it was salt in an easy 100 soak tan I responded in my mind pertaining to salt and a pickle and I stand by my statement that the salt hydrolyzes the acid there by protecting the collagen from the rapid acid swelling
    I will just leave it at that
     
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'll continue to disagree until I hear from a bonafide chemist. I hope you'll pardon me as I'd never take the word of a taxidermist OR a tanner without fact checking information like that.
     
  14. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    So much confusion when it is not at all confusing process..

    I highly suggest that anyone who is attempting to tan anything spend a whole lot of time in the archives in this forum.. Some of the best in the industry have spent many a hour typing(explaining)anything and everything anyone would ever need to know about this subject...
     
  15. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Salt, I'm afraid, does not hydrolyze acid. Acids dissociate, the hydrogen ion(s) which is the acidic portion, separates from the acid molecule when dissolved in water. Acids will hydrolyze different materials, the collagen within hides being one of them. In fact, acid will completely digest a hide if left unchecked. Salt stabilizes collagen in the presence of acid and prevents digestion.

    For the purpose of acid in a tan, each tan is pH dependent, the crosslinking reaction between the tanning agent and collagen occurs at a specific pH or concentration of acid. The tan bonds with collagen as the pH is adjusted with base.
     
  16. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Active Member

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    So is it fair to say the reason to add the salt in layman term is ...

    "Salt stabilizes collagen in the presence of acid and prevents digestion."
     
    cyclone likes this.
  17. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Basically, yes. Make a pickle, for example, with too much salt and your hide will have a plastic like, stiff property. Too much acid (not enough salt) and the hide will turn out rubbery. Too long and the damage is irreversible.
     
  18. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Active Member

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    Thank you cyclone. Great information

    Thank you Trapper705 for asking a question of why much was learned.
     
    cyclone likes this.
  19. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Cyclones thank you so much I stand corrected while I totally understand what’s happening I certainly called it wrong I appreciate your detailed explanation I have experienced the no salt syndrome one time and my leather tannery are the operator forgot to put the salt in an hour and 45 minutes later the skins were the color of honey and very rubbery we added the salt ran the hides another 20 minutes on the drum and all was fine the end product The finished buckskin leather had no damage whatsoever
    And over 300,000 hair on scans we have never experienced the error in the hair on end of our business
     
    cyclone likes this.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Thanks Cyclone. I guess I know enough to be dangerous. Thank goodness you're around to keep things straight.