Cleaning a patterson tank

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Cheryl Jacobs, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    I always rinse my reels and tank right after using them, but still I have some junk building up inside the tank lid. I can't get to it to scrub it in any way I've tried. Anyone have suggestions?

    Thanks.

    - Cheryl
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    That's weird, I've been using the same tanks for years and have not had any build up at all. Maybe the dishwasher would work?
     
  3. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    I know there is special stuff (chemical) to clean tanks, but I don't know the name. Have a look on a photo webstore, Cheryl
     
  4. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I know that Jobo warns against using a wetting agent like Photo-Flo in their tanks because of an eventual build-up of [gunk] on the tanks and reels that is very difficult to remove. They suggest putting the Photo-flo in it's own resealable bowl and dipping the film through it after removing it from the reels.
     
  5. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    Never had any build up in my tanks.
    I'd try good old domestic bleach, brings trays up lovely so hopefully it'll do the same for your tank.
     
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Borax is a very good cleanser for many things. Mix it with water for soaking. Mix it half and half with baking soda and use it as a gentle scouring powder.

    Either may help.
    juan
     
  7. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    The Darkroom Cookbook contains a number of cleaning formulae-also I bet Photogs Formulary etc sell something useful.
     
  8. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Been there ... I haven't had any trouble, and I ignore JOBO's advice about wetting agents, faithfully. I think they might have the residue from a formaldehyde final rinse in mind .... I use Tetanal Color chemicals and they are advertised as "formaldehyde free".

    One thing that works effectively (I do this periodically, just in case) is to disassemble the reel and scrub the tracks with .., a tooth brush. Hmm... I wonder ... possibly tooth paste would be a suitable mild abrasive...?

    ... I just re-read this ... "Kodak PhotoFlo." Uh ... I haven't used that for many, many moons - I found bullet-proof residue (nasty brown "drips" on my negatives) when used as directed - so I switched to Edwal LFN. No more problems.

    That might have something to do with JOBO's recommendation.
     
  9. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Thanks. It's not the reels that are the issue, though -- it's the lid inside where I can't reach to physically scrub it. The reels are easy enough to scrub free with a toothbrush. :wink:
     
  10. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I don't use photoflo either maybe that's why I don't get junk. So Cheryl do you use photoflow.
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I'd mark that toothbrush _very_ clearly if I were you . Although you'd probably notice an peculiar taste fairly quicky :Sick: .

    When I started using my Jobo for B&W recently I checked out the FAQ on their site. I saw the "Why shouldn't I use wetting agents in my tank?" question and assumed that it must have to do with foaming. Later, when I actually read the answer it mentioned the "gunking up" of the tanks, even stainless ones. Frankly, after decades of working in dozens of commercial darkrooms, I've never noticed a problem but I'm new to using plastic tanks and reels and I'd just as soon 'de-reel' my film before wetting it anyway.

    I use Kodak Photoflo for the sole reason that I haven't had a problem with it so far. After hanging the film, I remove the excess by running a folded piece of photo-wipe down each side of the film. I've been happy with the lack of water marks and haven't seen any bad effects, at least for many years.
     
  12. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    I have used photoflo in my tank, but not with the lid on! No photoflo has ever touched the lid, and that's where my problem is.

    Oh, and the toothbrush in question is kept downstairs in my darkroom, and is very scary looking. Not gonna be confused for a viable one. :wink:
     
  13. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Cheryl ya just gotta quit letting your kids use your tanks as jello molds LOL.
     
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  15. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    Funny. I've been using the same Jobo daylight plastic tank for decades, and never had anything to clean (besides standard wash).
    But I've never used photoflo, also.

    But Cheryl states the lid haven't seen photoflo..

    ??

    Jorge O
     
  16. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I just tossed out that Photoflo idea because I saw it on the Jobo site. I, and apparently no one else, have ever seemed to have actually seen this problem in real life. It kind of sidetracked the discussion from Cheryl's real problem.

    Kodak made a system cleaner for commercial labs. Nasty Yellow stuff but it worked good. There are probably others and maybe even household solutions. Since you can't get to it to scrub it, I suppose that you will need to soak and rinse the lid, maybe repeatedly.

    One nice thing about the Jobo lids that I use is that you can disassemble the light trap and reach every bit of it.

    Good Luck and if you find something that works, be sure to let us know.
     
  17. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  18. lee

    lee Member

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    that yellow nasty stuff Kodak had was somesort of potatisum fericynde (sp?) and fixer. Generally it is very close to Farmers Reducer. It will eat (bleach) the silver stains. I have used it to clean trays. The really nasty stuff is called Systems cleaner. I am not sure that they sell this anymore.

    lee\c
     
  19. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Yeah Lee, Black silver stains in trays would disappear instantly on contact with that stuff. Farmer's reducer makes sense.
     
  20. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Hmm. Ok, I can try Coke (or at least Dr. Pepper) and I have some farmer's, too. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  21. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    I use a sink/tank cleaner called PhotoFinish, made by the same guys qho make PEC-12 www.photosol.com. My tanks are clean, but there's gunk down the center of the inside of the spindle. If hot water and photofinish doesn't dissolve it, I feel confident that fixer won't dissolve it either. Kind of like curing a frypan :smile:
     
  22. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Actually, the reason I'm concerned about getting it completely clean is that I've had some bizarre banding on some negs that I can't identify. I've ruled out every other cause I can think of. (I posted the problem on apug awhile back, and nobody else could identify it either.) So, this is my last idea. Once I get the tank / lid absolutely clean, if I'm still having the problem, I will be at a total loss.
     
  23. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Sure it's not surge marks? Or a light leak?
     
  24. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    I know it's not a light leak. Not sure what you mean by surge marks?
     
  25. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    The lid itself? Do you mean the black "intermediate" lid ... lightproof, where one can insert that silly little shaft to "rotate" reels? ... or the red "outside" lid that seals the whole works?

    Either way... I do use some rather powerful "stuff" as a last resort (haven't done that for a while): Edwal "Tank and Tray Cleaner". The labels says,, "Contains Sulfonamic Acid (?). USE GLOVES."

    That will take the plating off a *solid* brass monkey....
     
  26. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Ed, the spindle isn't for agitation (took me a while to learn this). But rotation of the reels inside the tank is not uncommon, and turbulence around the axis can be caused, leading to density variations along the length of the film -- "surge marks."

    The solution is to use regular inversion agitation, and avoid partially-full tanks