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Neutralizing with baking soda...?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Alicia L, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Well, here is my ? I just bought a bottle of Krowtann and was looking the instructions over so I would know how to use it the next time I do a deer. Right now I have a deer in the pickle using directions that came with McKenzie tan. I plan to finish this cape using the McKenzie tan, but I noticed on the Krowtann bottle that it said to use sodium bicarbonate (???) (I can't remember the whole name right now). It also said you could use baking soda to neutralize, but if you did use baking soda, to use twice as much, compared to using the sodium bicarbonate. So, do I need to use twice as much baking soda when I go to neutralize my cape out of the pickle too? I guess what I am asking is, does that rule apply to neutralizing anything--to use twice as much baking soda as you would sodium bicarbonate when you go to neutralize? I will be neutralizing and tanning this evening sometime, so any help would be appreciated!
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Alicia, they are ALL the same thing. Baking soda, bicarbonate of soda and sodium bicarbonate are the same chemical compound. Use pH strips and determine when the mixture is neutralized. That means that the pH is at 7-8. Anything lower is still "acidic" and anything higher is "alkaline".

  3. Alicia, I'm with George. I test the bath after 15min with Ph strips and I use baking soda, not double, to neutralize when using krowtann. However I have found it takes at least 20min for it to become neutral,JMO. So test and you will know when to remove the hide.
  4. Thanks to both of you for your help! I will do that. It just confused me, because on the Krowtann bottle it said "if you use sodium bicarbonate, use ___, but if you use baking soda, use double that amount." I just didn't know what to do, or whether I was going to be doing it incorrectly, so... Thanks again! :)
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Why doesn't that surprise me? No wonder I rely on real tans. Good luck Alicia.
  6. ozark woods

    ozark woods New Member

    George is right in that baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. However, the reason we say double the amount if you are using baking soda is that the degree of purity varies from brand to brand. What we sell is labeled industrial strength sodium bicarbonate. Some store brands advertise the purity of their product. Baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) is just like many other products such as lacquer thiner, hydrogen peroxide, etc. that are sold in varying degrees of purity. Having not played around with all the different brands we advise to double the amount to be on the safe side. Its leaving it in to long that will cause problems. If you have any questions just call 800-467-0369
  7. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    I use baking soda from the store and I double the amount as per instructions. Everything comes out just fine...Like Ozark Woods said, it has to be the "purity" of the product that makes the difference. IM guessing the store bought stuff isnt as strong? So I just do what the instructions say.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Look, it's no secret that I'm no fan of this product, HOWEVER, that aside, I strongly object to ANY PRODUCT that would vary amounts of ANYTHING simply because one brand MIGHT not be as viable as another. When I went into the Air Force, LONG before EPA came along, we had a battery shop and when the battery life was spent, we routinely dumped sulfuric acid into a stainless steel sink. We had barrels of BAKING SODA and we had a dipper. We scooped the soda and dumped it into the acid and stirred it. After 5 minutes, we checked the pH. As soon as the pH got to 7, we reached in, pulled the drain and flushed it down the regular drain with a water rinse of the sink. WE knew that H2SO4 was now H2O and would not harm anything in the sewers.

    "If one scoop works, two will work better" is just irresponsible thinking to me. IF you are using Krotann, you should know what the pH levels desired are and what to do to insure that you've met them. I know that's a bit complicated for those of you who're looking for the instant cake mixing idea of tanning, but you'll never sell me on something that depends on guesswork.

    Just for shytz and giggles, I went to the grocery yesterday. I looked at the store brand and Arm & Hammer packages. One had "Contents: bicarbonate of soda" while another had "sodium bicarbonate" on it. Soth had no other ingredients as would be required by the FDA listed on them. Surprisingly, the store brand of baking soda listed the uses and stated that pH should always be a consideration and advised those using it to stabilize a pool should, after doing so, always add "1 tablespoon of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water each month. Water pH should always be between 7.3 and 8.4 pH". Then I went to the drug store and found the indigestion relief rack. Their generic "Bicarbonate of Soda" ingredients listed "sodium bicarbonate". NONE OF ALL THESE BOXES listed anything else and my implications were that they were all "pure".

    I really don't care what any of you use to treat your hides. If it works for you, then I'm happy for you, the industry and your customers. But what I WON'T buy off on is playing with chemistry. Taking liberties with chemistry invites dangers to yourself and to others. If you do it on one thing, what makes you decide that pouring a bit of Clorox into the toilet after you've just poured Drano in is a bad idea??? Trust me, the chlorine gas is likely to assure natural selection works. Stop playing with chemicals you don't understand.
  9. ozark woods

    ozark woods New Member

    George,years ago in the beginning, I played around with a couple of the store brands. One worked about the same as our Industrial Grade sodium bicarb and one did not. I will repeat, it is the time that is the critical part of neutralizing as long as there is sufficient sodium bicarb present. The skin can only neutralize at a rate so fast. I will repeat again, if there is not any difference then why does ours say "Industrial Grade" and Arm and Hammer store brand advertise there purity of product. Bottom line, it works !
  10. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    ozark woods, What pH do you want in the finished skin?
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Thank you Monte. I guess I'm not good at brevity. LOL
  12. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001


    USP grade 1 (food grade)

    Industrial grade

    Anything that is food grade must adhere to strict standards for impurities. Industrial grades can have varying amounts of impurities..usually higher amounts of impurities than food grades.
  13. godawgsrw

    godawgsrw New Member

    So... if you walk into a pool supply company and ask for a bag of Sodium Bicarbonate and they hand you a container that says exclusively "Alkaline Increaser" (with no mention of Sodium Bicarbonate anywhere on the label) and tell you that it is exactly the same thing as Sodium Bicarbonate... would that serve the same neutralizing purpose as Sodium Bicarbonate?
  14. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Ask for the MSDS of the product. Look for the "COMPOSITION / INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS" section.

    For example this one from Omni says it is 100% sodium hydrogen carbonate...another name for sodiuim bicarbonate. Probably industrial grade, but my guess is that you're going to pay a lot more at a pool supply co..

  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    LOL Savage River. If they aren't "master taxidermists" they sure are "master salesmen" aren't they. Yes, if your water's acidity is too high, you can add bicarbonate of soda to "increase the alkalinity" to bring the pH back to the neutral reading. That's not to say that their product isn't some form of lye which will continue to take the acid level past neutral to the alkali readings, however. Check the pH. Baking soda should be about 8 - 8.5 so it can't take an acid much farther than neutral to begin with. Lye, conversely at 12, could make your water just as "hot" as acid. Baking soda is a "safe" method of reducing acidity.

    Thank you Cyclone. I couldn't find a link to prove that food grade was more pure. It's good to have a resident chemist around at times. LOL
  16. godawgsrw

    godawgsrw New Member

    Thanks for the info... I will do just that. I think it was about $10 bucks for 10lbs and the 50lb was about $35. I havent compared, so I have no idea how that stacks up to the other. Thanks again.
  17. ozark woods

    ozark woods New Member

    Whatever the differences are in the two we know in our use with our product that you will use half as much industrial grade sodium bicarbonate as you would baking soda to get a consistent end result. That being said we gave the makers of the sodium bicarb that we sell a call, and talked to them about it. They said both products are basically the same thing the only difference is the grade of coarseness ( the size ). We were told the finer food grade was for use mostly as deodorizers or in foods.
    The other coarser Industrial grade was used for ph adjustments. These are the same classifications stated in the link on cyclones post. So, its not a matter of purity, it is matter of which one is made to adjust ph and which one is used as a food additive.
  18. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    It's also a good reagent for reducing the alkalinity of solutions...it is classified as an "acid salt"....


    I'd guess that the industrial grade is also much less expensive than food grade..
  19. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    Once upon a time, we had an extensive thread on sodium bicarbonate in the old archives. Apparently that thread has been pre-empted as it no longer shows in the Google index.

    The abbreviated version. Sodium bicarbonate IS sodium bicarbonate.

    Laboratory grade, medical grade, food grade, "etc", to rumen buffer grade, are ALL produced at the same time in the manufacture process.

    The particles are simply sifted for size and packaged accordingly.

    The largest particles being the rumen buffer grade. Now if you don't know what rumen buffer grade is, then we will all join in song and sing, "Where have all the cowboys gone?".

    If you already know what rumen buffer grade is, then you will know to get your sodium bicarbonate at the feed store, or co-op. I imagine with the increase in shipping costs it is probably about $15 for a 50 pound bag these days.

    While you're at the feed store, and saving money, pick up a bag of steam rolled oats, or rolled race horse oats. Keep one of those paste board cylindrical containers around, and as it gets emptied out, fill it back up. Kids and company will never know the difference.
  20. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Ozark woods, what pH should we have in the finished, neutralized, tanned hide ? Also, what should be the pH of the tan bath when you first put the hide in it?

    This information should be most helpful to people when learning to use this product. Thanks