Cleaning working solution fixer bottle!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rhodes, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    The title says all, what's the best way to clean a working solution fixer bottle. Just wash with water, rinser several times, or should one use something to disolve the silver and/or the other cheamical residue?
    Since it is to be used again, do one must wash/clean before the new solution is stored?
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I few dumps of very hot water always works for me. It also helps to just fill the bottle a bit, maybe 1/4 or 1/8 then cap and shake hard. If its a plastic bottle a bit of squeezing on the sides may crack and loosen up material build up. Or maybe even drop in a marble, or some steel bearings.
     
  3. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I've found after a while the deposits get thick enough it starts to flake. A good handful of fish gravel in some hot water and spend some time shaking it vigorously will reduce the amount of loose stuff stuck to the insides.
     
  4. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Thanks. I forgot to say that it's a folding bottle, the correct term is faling me!
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Accordion bottle, most likely.

    Most here will recommend against these bottles, because they are almost impossible to clean properly, and because they are HDPE and leak air (which negates the expected advantage of an accordion bottle).

    My advice - don't bother cleaning - replace with a PET bottle (empty, cleaned soda/pop bottles work well).
     
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I kind of agree with the others, but for the sake of being comprehensive, I suspect that a dichromate/acid bleach would clean it right up.

    1% concentrated sulfuric acid (add acid to water, never water to acid)
    1% potassium dichromate
    distilled water

    Probably overkill though..
     
  7. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    You will just be substituting deposits, thats how the bleach works.

    Just use some house hold ammonia. If it is too far gone, pitch it. It's only a bottle....
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Could you elaborate? I have no problem being mistaken, but would like to understand exactly why.

    That formula is a glass cleaner, and also a bleach/solvent for metallic silver in reversal processing. Maybe the problem is that this isn't metallic silver in the bottle, but silver halide?

    thnx :smile:
     
  9. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    My experience with old fixer bottles is the deposits are usually sulfur compounds that are darn near insoluable. Needs to be scraped off most times.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    If it's an accordion bottle then toss it in the trash bin where it belongs. Two liter soda bottles work just fine, and when it's dirty you toss it and replace with another.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I find it next to impossible to get the grunge out of fixer bottles. That is why I use old milk jugs for fixer and when they get dirty with this stuff, I just toss them! It is not worth the effort to make good negatives and have them messed up with spots from this junk falling off the edge of the jug and getting into the emulsion and turning up as white specks on the print.

    Loose the jug!

    PE
     
  12. bernard_L

    bernard_L Subscriber

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    +1 ! ! It works !
    After trying sulfuric and acetic acid, sodium carbonate in hot water, ammonia... with zero effect, I poured some coarse sand into the glass bottle (with the warm sodium carbonate solution still inside). Shaking quickly detached the persistent black deposit from the walls of the bottle.
    Having a (brown) glass bottle is definitely a plus, allowing to check cleanliness.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    Dump it you will never be able to get the crud out of the folds. Ordinary household cleaners will not work. These accordion bottles are the worst idea ever. Instead use softdrink bottles or milk jugs. When these get too stained you will not feel bad in dumping them!

    BTW, these style bottles should never, ever be used for developer. They are often made of low grade, low density polyethylene which is very permeable to oxygen and carbon dioxide. This property defeats the whole idea of squeezing out the air.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  14. RPC

    RPC Member

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    Note the thread is 5+ years old.
     
  15. rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    I believe you just solved a problem I have that I couldn't figure out!
     
  16. tokam

    tokam Subscriber

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    I started using those concertina bottles around 1980. I think it was branded Falcon Air-Evac. The damn things were a pain to stretch and fill from new as they were very stiff. Had to soften the bottle with hot water, stretch it and then pour in the D76. Then, of course, you have to compress the bottle to bring the liquid level up to the top. Invariable I over compressed and spilt a bit before getting the cap on. To add insult to injury, after filling the bottle there were usually air bubbles trapped in the folds of the bottle which had to be tapped to release them to the top of the bottle.

    At this stage I didn't envision that they were gas permeable. Plastic was plastic and I assumed that nothing got in or out unless the cap was off. I think I used them 2 or 3 times before giving up and binning them over 35 years ago.

    These days soda bottles made from PET are the go. Working strength fixer and D76, (only powder developer I currently use), are stored in squeezed PET bottles with a double layer of cling film, (Saran, Glad Wrap), under the cap. Use them for one set of solutions and then chuck them. For the used fixer I firstly put a piece of steel wool, thumb size, into the used fix and leave for a few days. Filter the sludge with coffee filter which should have most of the previously dissolved silver in it and flush the remainder of the fix down the sink. The coffee filter is dried and disposed of in the normal waste stream.

    Looking forward to trying mylar wine bags soon for replenished XTOL
     
  17. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    Just for the fixer I use a jar made of glass. When too much gets deposited on its sides, I empty it, use paper to wipe the dirt away, wash it and then re-use it.
     
  18. mklw1954

    mklw1954 Member

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    For the last 5 years I've used a 1 gallon accordion bottle for storing Dektol paper developer stock solution and it's kept the solution good for up to a year. There's slight amber discoloring at the end but the working solution is fine. Otherwise, for other chemicals I use 1 liter PET plain seltzer water bottles.
     
  19. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Yes, I now use brown glass bottles to store the fixers. Still have a unused folding/concertina bottle some where.