Cleaning storage bottles

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DimDim, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. DimDim

    DimDim Member

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    Hi,

    It's more then 4 years ago since I introduced myself in this post.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum53/13518-greetings-belgium.html
    The photography time stopped in between and went to renovating our house and getting 2 cute children but I'm up and running again, new darkroom operational including a small still life studio corner for my Linhof.
    Yesterday I checked the state of my chemicals supply and most of my (glass) bottles have quite some stains inside.
    So I wondered if there is an efficient way to get rid of that dirt. I figured that shaking them with a water and sand mixture might remove a lot but it's risky if a grain would remain in there and end up in my film tank.

    Any (chemical) suggestions?
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    A long soak with household bleach, otherwise a scrub with a bottle brush.
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Sometimes they cannot be removed, it all depends on what caused them to form. I've used Bob's method above with moderately good success, but some used glass bottles have ended up in the recycling bin because of persistent stains...

    - Randy
     
  4. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    A chemist I used to know cleaned the urn from the coffee maker in the lab with acetic acid, overnight soak. I don't know the dilution, but the urn was spotless in the morning. He said it was a great cleaner.
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    Instead of sand, the old guys I knew used a packet or two of BBs. For myself, I use the gravel made for aquarium bottoms.
     
  6. jwil6969

    jwil6969 Member

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    You could also try a product called Photofinish Soft made bt Marblehead Labs of Falmouth, MA. It is a thick blue colored
    paste that you put in a bottle and mix with water. Let sit , usually over night and rinse. Use it for everything in the darkroom works great. On hard stains it may take more then one application.
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I'm not so enviromentally friendly. Wear the right PPE, and add 2/3 full bottle worth of hot water. Add 10-15mL of galcial sulfuric acid, and loosely fit the cap. Agitate over a sink while holding with nitrile gloves.
     
  8. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Rubbing alcohol works pretty well for the tar from RA-4 developers.
     
  9. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    Many good suggestions; I will add another. I have let the bottles soak overnight in water and common dishwashing soap; I then scrubbed them with baking soda and a wire brush; I've also used household powder cleaners with success.
     
  10. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    This has generally worked for me, too. If this doesn't do it, I trash the bottle. As you said, better safe than specks of whatever on the film.
     
  11. kiku

    kiku Subscriber

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    A couple of tablespoons of "sodium carbonate" (aka soda ash or washing soda) in a gallon of very hot water; fill your bottles and let stand overnight. Should do the trick. Howard Tanger
     
  12. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Another idea.....

    I use mt 2 liter and 1 liter soda bottles.

    I've found the chems. don't react with the plastic.

    The cap seals real well which allows for a fairly long life. I have 2 yr. old stock ID-11 that still works just fine.
     
  13. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    Gee, :D I guess I'm a little extreme!
    I use Muriatic acid (HCL) when I need it really clean. Outdoors of course and with Personal Protective Equipment. :wink:

    In fact I have a bottle used just for cleaning. I keep reusing it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2009
  14. DimDim

    DimDim Member

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    Thanks for all the hints. I will combine them according to to the state of the bottles.
    Also my home made reversal bleach kept the bottles clean after all those years. Perhaps I can reshuffle that into the dirty ones.
     
  15. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I've often wondered if it matters whether or not the storage containers are really clean. If you're re-using them for the same chemistry (i.e. fixer, developer etc - not necessarily the same brand) how much will residual stains, (after a good soak and rinse, of course) affect the new batch? My gut tells me that any effects would likely be so minimal that they'd be hard to see in a final print. Having said that, I'm no chemist - as I have proven countless times on APUG !!!

    Bob H
     
  16. DimDim

    DimDim Member

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    Probably true, but you'd be amazed what piles you can gather in about five years :smile:
     
  17. wogster

    wogster Member

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    The other issue of course, I can use chemical X to remove any possible stain, the question is, does chemical X leave any invisible trace behind, and does that affect the chemicals that will be stored in the bottle.
     
  18. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    You're absolutely right Paul. I usually wipe down the darkroom counters with dilute bleach after a session and often wonder if it's all cleared after I rinse them off. Who the hell knows ??:D:D In the end you do what you think is best and don't lose any sleep over it. There's enough important things for that !!!!!

    Bob H
     
  19. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Okay, heres the fix for your bottles--Efferdent. Just drop one or two tabs into the bottle with water and let it set over night. Next day, give a rinse in very hot water. This will disolve nearly anything you can think of, including tar.

    Rick
     
  20. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    And just how will I clean my teeth :D:D:D

    Bob H
     
  21. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    In a studio in which I worked as a printer, the old darkroom rats insisted we empty the developer tray first at end of day; then dump the contents of the stop bath tray into the developer tray, slosh it around, then put it in the sink to wash.
     
  22. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    All of the suggestions have merit. But why not keep it simple: the old trick of a packet of BBs, then rolling them around in the bottle of hot liquid works and has no possible ill effects, other than being a bit slow. As i mentioned before, I found the gravel used in the bottom of fish aquariums worked extremely well. A small bag of that costs very little. End of problem.
     
  23. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Yep - I remember that John. But then I thought, (and I try and avoid that - gives me headaches!!) all that does is neutralize the alkaline developer and if there's any trace of stop left in the dev. tray - your next batch s messed up. It's like I was saying earlier in the thread - I use something to clean up - then I worry whether I've cleaned up the cleaning agent properly. :tongue:

    I've decided to just keep taking the meds - a nice single malt with a touch of ice. After a few of those I just don't give a rats rump. :D

    Bob H
     
  24. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [ a nice single malt with a touch of ice. After a few of those I just don't give a rats rump. :D

    Bob H[/QUOTE]
    *******
    Ahh, yes. And some Stolly, for drying negs; and for Stolly Wolly cleaning, too. The Stolly can be used to clean the lens on an Olly, too!!

    BTW, those old lab rats did everything "wrong." Smoked (although mainly chewed) cigars in the darkroom. Left FB prints in the stop all morning--and fixed them before going to lunch; carried 100 rolls worth of uncut 120 negs slung over the shoulder from room to room.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2009