Cheap Chemical Storage

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by marsbars, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. marsbars

    marsbars Member

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    Was just wondering if the use of clean 1 and 2 liter soda pop bottles for the storage of mixed development solutions. I know that they are clear but if one kept them in a dark place at all times would they hold for reasonable time.
    If not, any other good ideas for an inexpensive source.
     
  2. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    They are perfect for what you are planning to use them for.
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    That's what I use. It doesn't get much cheaper than that. Some rootbeer bottles are actually brown, too, but I use mostly water bottles because I don't drink pop.
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    For developers, I favor glass. I use IBC root beer glass bottles for my working print developer, and various others (mostly in smaller sizes, since I mix my own in 1-liter or smaller quantities) for stock solutions. I've started using plastic for some non-developer storage. Mostly these are former flavored water and iced tea bottles; some of them have nice wide mouths.

    FWIW, Ryuji Suzuki wrote this piece on plastic bottles. As per that page, be sure to avoid #2 (HDPE) plastic bottles for developers, since HDPE is gas-permeable and developers are sensitive to this. HDPE is commonly used in milk, orange juice, and some water bottles. #1 (PET or PETE) bottles are better for developers. This type of plastic is used in soda, flavored water, and some plain water bottles.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Oh, one other thing: I gather that the need to keep photochemicals dark is overblown. Most photochemicals won't be greatly damaged by exposure to light. I asked about this a while ago and got a list of photochemicals that shouldn't be exposed to light. It was a pretty obscure list, but I don't have it handy at the moment. I've stopped worrying about it.
     
  6. glaiben

    glaiben Member

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    I found a unique and useful bottle the other day. In developing color RA4 and reversal RA4 in Cibachrome drums, 3 oz water washes are necessary at several steps. Rather than pouring water in to measuring cups for each of these steps, I fill a margarita mix bottle with water - using the built-in liquor pourer one can pour like a bartender and measure the quantity by count rather than visual measures. It works great for relatively non-critical steps like water rinses or stop baths when you need 3 or 4 ounces. I suppose one could do it for dev and blix also, but I prefer those to be more precise, altho the counts are pretty darned accurate.
     
  7. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Just make sure they are well labelled and out of the reach of children
     
  8. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    In general, plastic is just fine. After all, that's what the manufacturers use to package developer concentrates.

    That said, it is probably prudent to consider how long you plan to store the chemicals when choosing how to store it. The plastic bottles that the manufacturers use are much thicker than ordinary soda bottles. There could be a difference in chemical composition of the plastcis as well - I haven't checked that.

    I generally use print developers as a one shot, so I don't worry about storage. I do store film developer (HC-110), and in that case I choose to use glass bottles. But the bottles I use are recycled beer or lemon juice concentrate bottles.

    Ain't no way I'm going to spend good money on bottles when I put a bin of them out for recycling every other week!
     
  9. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I like the Ocean Spray Cranberry juice bottles, both the round 4 liter and the square 2 liter. My wife drinks this every day and I have an unlimited supply of sturdy jugs which can be discarded after a couple uses...EC
     
  10. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    When we go to our local brew pub we buy Growlers of our favorite beer from them and when its empty(which doesnt take too long) I wash them out and use them for chemicals. They are dark brown bottles that hold about a gallon of chemicals.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Not as cheap as freebies, but for large quantities I for years have used heavy duty one gallon plastic gas cans; taking out the pour spout then glueing the plastic gasket in the mouth with silicone cement. They store on the shelf nicely; are impervious to anything; and have conventient pour handles. For freebies I use one liter dark green bottles from a German mineral water I like. A replacement plastic screw top works fine.
     
  12. TA-Reiland

    TA-Reiland Member

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    Wow, John - thanks for that! Sometime last year I had wondered if new plastic gasoline containers could be used to store photo chemicals. Can't remember now why I had decided against 'em.

    It's probably not a good idea to try used gas cans for that purpose, though. There's probably no way to wash them out well enough. They're inexpensive - buy new ones.

    TR
     
  13. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Personally, I am suspicious of plastic gasoline cans' permeability. I used to race motorcycles and the finicky motors would not start on gasoline if it had been stored in a plastic jug for more than 2 weeks or so...or in the plastic motorcycle gas tank, for that matter. You also had to drain the carburetor float bowl and let fresh gas in if they had been sitting more than a few days in any case. After realizing the jugs were letting my gas go "bad" (everything else ran fine), I switched to metal gas cans and never had any trouble again, even on gas stored over the winter.

    Now, water-based photochemicals are a far shot from whatever volatile hydrocarbons were diffusing out of my plastic gasoline jugs back in the day, but it's enough that I wouldn't go and spend money on new gas jugs for the purpose. I figure you can do just as well for free, with so many PETE juice and pop bottles that are thrown away every day. I've looked at the Blitz plastic gas containers at Walmart (they are an attractive shape), and I can't find a recycling symbol anywhere on them, although they feel like HDPE to me.

    I actually store film and paper developer stock solutions in empty wine boxen--the kind with a mylar bladder inside and a pour spout. They take up very little space, hold 5 liters, and don't let air in contact with the solution, even as you draw arbitrary doses. I can't speak to their keeping properties on any scientific grounds, but it has been working for me and you can't beat the convenience.
     
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  15. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Pop bottles are fine. For me, they work as well as glass. They cost nothing, and won't shatter into hundreds of tiny, sharp shards if you drop one. Clear or colored, that's your choice. I think the amber thing is overblown. Don't store your chemistry on a sunny window sill and you won't have a problem.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If you'r a wine drinker or know people who are and 3 ltr wine boxes are available in the U.S then the dispenser in the silver winebag can be removed after the wine is finished and the silver bag flushed out and filled with chems. Squeeze the bag until the liquid is at the neck, replace the dispenser, put bag back into the box and you have a light proof, shatterproof and air proof container that can dispense liquid in very accurate and spill free quantities.

    pentaxuser
     
  17. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    Some are heavier than others. Mine are much heavier plastic than the gas can I bought at the hardware store last week. I have stored film and paper developer in the same gallon-size cans for going on twenty years now. Greatest discovery I ever made. I retired my sole, remaining brown, gallon-size dark glass photo chemical darkroom bottle to the corner of the darkroom. I broke all the others over the years and want to preserve at least one. I have gallon plastic photo chemical bottles, too; but the gasoline jugs have handles.
    Of problems with chemicals: since I store nothing in them more volatile than D23, Ansco 103, and Eastman F-24 fixer, and AC water, I don't have that problem. I certainly believe they are at least as well-suited for darkroom chemistry storage as the empty Dr. Pepper bottle.
    And, besides, the red color looks kinda purty, too.
     
  18. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    For film solutions I re-use 1 and 2 liter brown bottles of wine. I feel better using glass than plastic for chemical storage. Dark is always better than clear for developer solutions. Yes, I drink the wine, wipe out the wine label and replace it with a new one reading developer type and date.
    Oh, for smaller quantities of developer I drink the beer and re-use the Grolsh 330 ml bottles because the cap is tied up to the bottle and has a good rubber gasket. At the end of the day I'm a happy camper even if my photography goes blur...:D
     
  19. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    As my son now lives in RI, I need to get up there to put together a generous supply of empty Growlers. :D

    Bob H
     
  20. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    For sure... I get mine at TRinity Brewhouse, downtown Providence. The Best burgers,brews and growler bottles!
    http://trinitybrewhouse.com/ontap.php
     
  21. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Yup - got to arrange "Operation Growler" soon. Thanks!!

    Bob H
     
  22. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    In my industry (Toiletries) you'll often find microbially sensitive stuff, especially that based on food products delivered in them. Ideal. The compounders can dispense what they want without the attraction of having to stick a hand through a big thick layer of green fur that complains when you disturb it!
     
  23. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    I one time I read in a magazine that the Amber bottles were chemicaly netrual while "SOME" clear bottles could not be...
    For the difference in price ($0 at the time) it seemed like a good idea to save brown bottles. Back then the local drugstore would often have some they were throwing out. I think I still have some of those.

    I have sonce added some brown bottles from a website that sells suplies to the soap and fragrance folks. you want to search for "amber boston rounds"
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You can paint the bottles if they need to be darker for some reason. You can also easily squeeze them, which is nice. Additionally, you can find them in 1 L size, as well as a zillion other sizes. Beverage bottles generally have much better air seals in the cap than Kodak bottles, and certainly better than Ilford, with their seals that seem impossible to peel off cleanly. Make sure they are labeled well for safety, and so you don't forget what is in them......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2009
  25. srs5694

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    I did this a while ago with some clear glass bottles. The paint eventually started to peel away, which made a mess, and some of it got into the bottles, which of course is bad. I don't recommend this. IMHO, it'd be better to wrap bottles in paper or aluminum foil if you're concerned about making clear bottles more light-resistant.

    I assume you're referring to squeezing plastic bottles to expel unwanted air. That only works so far, and only with some bottles, but I suppose it works well enough up to a point. Note that photo stores sell accordion bottles that are designed with this sort of thing in mind. I have yet to see any real person actually recommend them, though. They're difficult to clean and the ones I've seen are made of HDPE, which isn't a desirable type of plastic for developers. I bought a few of these when I first started doing my own developing, but I ended up putting them out with my recyclables.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    I didn't mean to imply that these can act as accordion bottles; just that you can squeeze out the small air space that results from solution loss from chemicals sticking to papers, trays, films, and tanks.

    I don't paint bottles myself any more, as I have pretty much been convinced that it is not necessary. However, I have lost only a flake here and there off of the bottles I still have. Hardly a nuisance to me.