For older photographers only!!

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Michael J Davis, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. I was clearing out a cupboard the other day, and came across an ancient
    bottle of "Paterson Cleaning Solution" (for darkroom dishes etc.) I see
    it cost 3/6 !

    The label is extremely faded, but can anyone tell me what the active
    ingredient is? My normally sensitive nose is unable to detect any
    aggressive agent.



    Michael J Davis
    "I never have taken a picture I've intended.
    They're always better or worse."
    Diane Arbus
    Michael J Davis, Sep 3, 2008
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  2. Michael J Davis

    Geoff Berrow Guest

    Cleaning Solution? My dishes used to get a quick rinse and that was it.
    I'd have thought you'd need some kind of bleach to remove fixer stains.

    Evil stuff, fixer. A clear solution, the stain did not appear until
    much later when it was too late.
    Geoff Berrow, Sep 3, 2008
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  3. Michael J Davis

    Adam Funk Guest

    With a terminus ante quem of 1972, that stuff may not have any
    *active* ingredients now.

    The photography chapter of _Formulas, Methods, Tips and Data for Home
    and Workshop_ (Swezey, 1969) doesn't mention that (it's an American
    book and I suspect you have a British brand-name product) but it does
    have a recipe for

    Tray Cleaner

    ... Do not spill it on your skin, clothing, or surroundings, as it
    is corrosive.

    Water 32 oz
    Potassium dichromate 3 oz
    Sulfuric acid, concentrated 3 oz

    This book says you should use a lot of water after pouring this stuff
    down the sink, or "Better still, flush it down the toilet." (Note: I
    think H&S rules have changed over the past four decades.)

    It also has a "Two-Solution Tray Cleaner and Hand Stain Remover" that
    uses permanganate instead of dichromate, and some other gubbins, as
    well as (surprise) much less sulfuric acid.
    Adam Funk, Sep 6, 2008
  4. Hi Adam!

    Yes, that sounds reasonable. I was assuming that!
    Certainly potassium dichromate rings a bell, in a weak acid solution. (I
    think I've had some that was in acetic acid, too. So I think that's
    about right.
    Interesting. I guess it was to dissolve the silver deposits in the dish.

    Most helpful


    Michael J Davis

    Now with added pictures on

    The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
    Dorethea Lange
    Michael J Davis, Sep 7, 2008
  5. Michael J Davis

    Adam Funk Guest

    I still wouldn't drink it.

    I think the "Tray Cleaner" and the "Hand Stain Remover" in the book
    are both for remove silver deposits, but don't get them mixed up!
    Adam Funk, Sep 8, 2008
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