Shelf life of powdered chemicals

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Tom Gardner, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Tom Gardner

    Tom Gardner Guest

    I have assorted foil pouches of Kodak stuff that has to be 15+ years old in
    the darkroom. Is it still good?
    Tom Gardner, Dec 16, 2003
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  2. Tom Gardner

    Jazztptman Guest

    I have assorted foil pouches of Kodak stuff that has to be 15+ years old in
    the darkroom. Is it still good?<<

    Tom, it really depends on just whch products and how they were stored. Very
    warm or humid sotage can gradually destroy the contents. The paper/foil
    packages Kodak has used the last several years have just been replaced by a
    newer plastic material which they say gives a better seal around the edge and
    lets less air leak through.

    If any developers still look reasonably white when opened and the powder is dry
    and not caked or sticky, it is most likely good to use. Fixer or anything else
    like hypo clear or sepia toner should be good as long as the pouch isn't moldy
    or have mildew. Just remember that all chemicals eventually break down and
    decompose with time.

    Jazztptman, Dec 16, 2003
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  3. Tom Gardner

    Tom Gardner Guest

    Let's see...a gallon each of fix, microdol and d-76. All the powder feels
    free and no stains on the pouches. I guess I'l mix it up! I haven't been
    in there for a long time but now have the urge. Lots of cobwebs everywhere.

    Tom Gardner, Dec 17, 2003
  4. You have to open it and try it. The metalized paper packets
    were supposed to be impervious to air and moisture, however
    many of them develop small leaks.
    If the powder inside is white or off white its probably
    OK. If brown toss it.
    In the dim, distant, past Kodak used to package chemicals
    in hermetically sealed cans. That stuff can stay good for
    Richard Knoppow, Dec 17, 2003
  5. I have a problem with that last statement. You mean to tell us that even
    sodium chloride will break down and decompose with time? I don't think so.
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 17, 2003
  6. Kodak used to do a lot of things right in the dim, distant, past...
    Depressing, eh wot!

    Dennis O'Connor, Dec 17, 2003
  7. Tom Gardner

    Jorge Omar Guest

    That was before the marketing mentality took over.
    Serious, if a stored product last decades, when the customer needs it he
    will not buy another, since there's the old one. Otherwise...

    Jorge Omar, Dec 17, 2003
  8. I think packaging cost had more to do with it. the
    metalized paper was supposed to be impermeable to both air
    and moisture, it isn't. The cost of using these bags instead
    of steel cans is considerably less. Kodak has just changed
    over to a metalized plastic which is supposed to be more
    imune to developing pinholes and cracks. Also, the new
    method of packaging uses a single sheet which is folded over
    and sealed along one edge and the ends where the old paper
    bags were in two sheets, front and back, which had to be
    sealed on both sides. This eliminates one seam.
    The old cans were probably better but I don't miss the old
    wind-off strips. I have a badly scarred finger from one of
    Richard Knoppow, Dec 18, 2003
  9. Tom Gardner

    Jim Phelps Guest

    Sadly, Kodak in Europe only recently stopped selling Microdol and D-76 in
    cans. Still quite a bit in cans around. Check out Fotoimpex and Foto
    Brenner ( and ) if you want to

    Jim Phelps, Dec 18, 2003
  10. Tom Gardner

    Andrew Price Guest

    Unfortunately, Fotoimpex no longer has it in the cans, either.
    Andrew Price, Dec 18, 2003
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