Truly Tanning Snakeskins: Tan-a-Snake vs. the Glycerin/Alcohol Method

Truly Tanning Snakeskins: Tan-a-Snake vs. the Glycerin/Alcohol Method

Glycerin/Alcohol Method

This has been a popular method for treating snakeskins.  However, the roles of these two products may not be fully understood.  So here is an explanation.

When mixed together, alcohol prevents the skin from decaying until it dries and it also thins the glycerin.  What the glycerin does though, is act as a humectant - it encapsulates the water molecules in the snakeskin and prevents them from evaporating.  Yes, it keeps the skin pliable, but it is NOT a tan.  Over time, the glycerin will evaporate out and the skin will become dry and brittle and will eventually rot.

If the skin is soaked in water, the glycerin will wash out.


Tanning is the process of treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather. Tanning permanently alters the protein structure of the skin which prevents it from decomposing and turns it into a stable material. Our Tan-a-Snake kit produces a true snakeskin leather.  With the 2-step system, Snake Tan actually tans the skin, while the Snake Oil softens the skin.

 Snake Tan Bath

The benefits of using Tan-a-Snake

  • Tan-a-Snake keeps the skin clean and bright looking.
  • It is an actual tan - turning the skin into leather.
  • The tan will not wash out.
  • The skin will be soft with lots of stretch and no oily feel.
  • NO pinning or stapling necessary! The skin will dry flat without curling.
  • Perfect for flat skin tanning or tube skin tanning for taxidermy.
  • It is easy to use - the full tanning process, from fleshing to drying, will be complete in 3-4 days, depending upon the size of the snakeskin being treated.

 Oiling Snakeskin

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