Newby Question on Chemicals' shelf life...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Jed Savage, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Jed Savage

    Jed Savage Guest

    So I just couldn't handle it any more. I broke down today and bought
    an enlarger! I've been thinking about it for a while now and foaming
    at the mouth looking at B&H pages everyday. Today one of my
    co-workers realized I was a photographer and said he had a darkroom
    setup he never uses any more. Sold me a Beseler Printmaker 67 and
    various darkroom supplies for $150.00! Timer, trays, filters, easle,
    2 dev tanks, and more! >;D

    Anyway, all I need is to figure out a crude bathroom setup and get
    some chemical. Which brings me to my question. What's the shelf life
    on mixed chem? I've heard different things from different people -
    the lady at the local camera shop here said 24 hours. But I'm guess
    now she meant left un-covered. I'm thinking I'll get everything dry
    and just mix what I need at the time. I'm not going to go all out and
    get a scale or anything like that, but I thought I'd ask for
    suggestions here.

    Also, I'm curious about safety. Are the fumes pretty unhealthy? What
    about flamibility? Or using my fingers in the trays?

    Oh... one more thing... and why can't I buy indicator stop-bath

    Thank all!

    Jed Savage, Nov 18, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Cool my first used setup cost 300,...about the same type
    a Durst M600.
    Thats for working solution in the tray uncovered. Covered I have used
    dektol with acceptable results (for somethings up to three days) in the
    winter (my darkroom in the basement is cold).

    Stock solution mixed from the powder
    should be good for at least 1 month for Dektol.
    Film cleaner is probably the only flamable and rather nasty smelling
    stuff, you may want an exhaust fan but fixer, acid stop does not both me.
    Most bathroom have an exhaust fan. Some of the prefab darkroom fans
    have adapters so you can hook to a board with a hole cut and put it in the
    Considered hazmat,....really sucks Imop.
    Gregory W Blank, Nov 18, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Wow, quite a good deal!
    Well, thats different.
    You have to seperate the shelf life of stock-solution and working solution.
    Stock solution of developers keep quite a while, several month if keept in
    a light and air thight bottle. Some - like Rodinal - can be used for years.

    Working solutions should only be used for a few hours. Rodinal working-
    solution degenerates whithin one hour, most paper developers degenerates
    in about a day when keept in a tray.

    Don't worry about the shelf life of stop-bath - it's less than a cent
    a tray. So use fresh one.

    Fix - well, it's most propably exhausted before it degenerates.

    Well, open the window after you finished your work in the darkroom.
    The fumes aren't very healthy but nothing to worry about when spending
    only a few hours a week in the darkroom and open the window every 2 or 3

    Don't use your fingers in the trays.

    Don't know, never used one - vinegar acid is much cheaper.

    Christian Kolinski, Nov 18, 2004
  4. Jed Savage

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Usually tells on the package. Developers should
    be used immediately; they oxidize quickly (within
    For working solutions. Stock solutions generally last
    3-6 months.

    Life of chemistry (other than working solutions for
    developer, hypo clearing agent and other solutions that
    oxidize quickly) depends on darkroom conditions and
    storage. Cool conditions and glass bottles facilitate
    longer lasting storage.
    Packaged chems should be mixed by the package. Don't divide
    and "mix what you need" with powders. Concentrates are
    different and can be mixed as needed.
    Probably shouldn't smoke in the darkroom anyway.

    Immersing hands in chemistry depends on personal
    susceptability to various substances. basic developers,
    stop, fix are generally benign. Pyro can make some people
    ill. Selenium toner is toxic and gloves are generally
    advised for long term exposure.
    Try or
    Tom Phillips, Nov 18, 2004
  5. Jed Savage

    Tom Phillips Guest

    I'll sometimes store dektol working in a full,
    tightly sealed glass jar for 2-5 days. Even
    then it oxidizes...
    Tom Phillips, Nov 18, 2004
  6. One shot...hours

    I'm thinking I'll get everything dry
    I use both the Ilfod and Agfa paper developers, both of which come in
    bottles, work well, and will keep for years. And for film, learn the
    benefits of HC-110.

    YMMV. I know people who faint at a whiff of acetic acid, but none of that
    stuff bothers me. Just use the bathroom fan.

    Are you trolling?

    Or using my fingers in the trays?

    Ixnay ofn the ingersfay. Use the latex gloves if you MUST get your hands
    Who cares? Use vinegar, or Kosher salt.
    Dickless Cheney, Nov 18, 2004
  7. Kosher Salt ? Interesting.
    Lox anyone :)
    Gregory W Blank, Nov 18, 2004
  8. On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 13:36:37 GMT, Gregory W Blank


    nov1804 from Lloyd Erlick,

    You can use Lox on your prints but they will attract

    Lloyd Usenet-Erlick, Nov 18, 2004
  9. ....

    nov1804 from Lloyd Erlick,

    There is no need for a darkroom to have "fumes". There
    are darkroom products sold that smell badly, but even
    these are unnecessary. It is easy to do all ordinary
    black and white darkroom procedures free of odor.

    It is also easy to do all normal processing with zero
    chemical-skin contact.

    Danger of fire in the darkroom is always an issue in
    the sense that it is always something to keep in mind
    in normal life. But normal darkroom materials are no
    special fire hazard. Whether you're working in the
    kitchen or the darkroom, safe practice is a must.

    I have placed articles about these matters on my
    website, under the 'technical' heading in the table of

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Usenet-Erlick, Nov 18, 2004
  10. Jed Savage

    Jed Savage Guest

    No, I have another room (besides the bathroom) I was thinking of
    converting into a darkroom eventually, but there's a water heater in
    there. So my concern is with the pilot light. I doubt the fumes
    would be concentrated enough even if they are flamable as I'll be
    venting anyway.
    Jed Savage, Nov 19, 2004
  11. Jed Savage

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Pilot lights can be _very_ bright if they go to a
    full burn. I'd say fog. I'd move the water heater
    frame around it.
    Tom Phillips, Nov 19, 2004
  12. Jed Savage

    Jed Guest

    The heater is actually in a closet, so it won't be too hard to mask any
    light coming from it. I just don't want to end up blowing myself up. :p
    Jed, Nov 19, 2004
  13. Jed Savage

    Jed Guest

    Kosher salt? You're joking right?

    I've heard of using vinegar... also citric acid from a grocery store.
    Seems pointless though as stop bath is so cheap. The only reason I
    would use anything "home-made" would be to get rid of odor.
    Jed, Nov 19, 2004
  14. Jed Savage

    Tom Phillips Guest

    It's not cheap if you have to order glacial acetic acid,
    which is what a lot of us prefer and then dilute to 1-2%
    stop bath. Hazardous shipping charges apply.

    White distilled Vinegar = a 5% solution of glacial acetic
    acid. Odor is the same.
    Tom Phillips, Nov 19, 2004
  15. Jed Savage

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Typical film/print chemicals are not flammable.
    But probably a good idea to seal it off from
    the room.
    Tom Phillips, Nov 19, 2004
  16. Jed Savage

    Jed Savage Guest

    I'd use citric acid for oder problems.
    Jed Savage, Nov 19, 2004

  17. nov1904 from Lloyd Erlick,

    'Kosher salt' is a term invented by people like my
    grandmother, whose English was limited but who knew
    what they meant. Meat has to be put through a certain
    procedure before being consumed, in order to be
    considered Kosher (literally, 'clean', fit for human
    consumption). Part of the procedure is rubbing the meat
    with what my ancestors came to call Kosher salt. The
    term was not meant to denote salt that is Kosher, but
    salt that is used to render meat Kosher. Kosherizing
    salt, as I used to joke with my mother. It was (and is)
    sold in grocery stores and supermarkets in small
    containers, often marked (you guessed it) Kosher salt.

    Darkroom workers might be more familiar with the actual
    scientific name for Kosher salt, which is citric acid.
    I don't think my grandmother's vocabulary included
    either 'citric' or 'acid'.

    I wouldn't buy citric acid in this form for two
    reasons: first, it is vastly overpriced in small
    containers (I bought some for C$3.00 a kilogram, so
    it's cheap, but I had to buy 25 kg to get that price),
    and second, some brands of something as amorphously
    termed as 'Kosher salt' might indeed turn out to be
    salt (sodium chloride) that is considered Kosher.

    Getting rid of odor in my darkroom has been a very
    important activity for me.

    At first I deleted acetic acid stop bath, because
    citric acid makes an absolutely odorless solution. That
    alone justifies its place in the darkroom, as far as
    I'm concerned. I still like vinegar on my French fries,
    but it's been many years since I liked that odor in my
    darkroom. Over the long term I found several odors that
    became abhorrent. Acetic acid is one, but sulfur
    dioxide is by far my most detested (I'm sure sulfur
    dioxide is the gas most people call 'fumes' in the
    darkroom). Sulfur dioxide is generated by combining
    sulfite and acid; I used to dribble both into my sink
    practically under my nose, which sulfur dioxide bites.
    So no more acid of any kind, no more smell.

    Anything in the darkroom that I don't like is nothing
    but an impediment to getting in there and doing my
    work. Smell is a fatiguing factor, in my opinion.

    In addition, if we want traditional darkroom activity
    to survive, the next generation should get a good
    impression when they visit someone's darkroom. If I
    show some kids my darkroom when they come by with their
    mothers for a portrait, I don't want Mom's nose getting
    bitten by 'fumes'. Those kids probably wouldn't become

    Lloyd Usenet-Erlick, Nov 19, 2004
  18. Wait something isn't Kosher about all this:)

    In the Giant the sell big boxes of Kosher Salt (I know its
    Kosher because it has Jewish star on it :-D


    Its big crystals and is
    sea salt that's been blessed by a Rabi.
    So techanically its Kosher Salt as well?
    Gregory W Blank, Nov 19, 2004
  19. This is news to me - will have to check out the kosher section in our
    local store. In addition to darkroom work, I cook and bake quite a
    bit - I buy Mortons kosher salt, which is indeed NaCl, with minimal
    additives, and coursely ground. I also use an ingredient 'Sour Salt'
    in some recipies which I believe is citric acid.

    I believe that meat can be Koshered with either.

    Mark in Maine, Nov 19, 2004
  20. Things used to be considered kosher if a rabbi blessed
    them, now I seem IIRC that the manufacturers only have to
    have a have a document stating that a rabbi somewhere endorses or
    blesses the product. That is in order to call the item "kosher".

    So theoritically if your brother is a Rabbi and he blesses your
    camera you could have Kosher Kodachromes :-D
    Gregory W Blank, Nov 19, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.