Darkroom in one's house: too smelly?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tbm, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. tbm

    tbm Member

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    My sister is considering setting up an informal darkroom in a spare bedroom in her one-story house to both process film and make prints. Is there a risk of permanently contaminating the house's carpeting, fabrics, etc. with the chemical's odors?
     
  2. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I've never had any problems with permanently contamination. Openning the windows and giving the room a good airing seems to solve the problem.
     
  3. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    There are ways to minimise odour, like using a citric acid stop instead of acetic acid. Some chemicals do pong a bit (like Agfa Viradon) but unless you're doing nothing exotic, photographically speaking, then regular airing of your darkroom should suffice. BLIGHTY
     
  4. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    My darkroom is in a spare bedroom. With two 6" fans blowing air out of the open window (via a light-trap) no smells reach the rest of the house at all. For my own comfort I use low odour fixer and stop bath in any case and most of the really smelly chemicals, such as some toners, can be used in daylight with the windows open. I have wood effect laminate on the floor - carpet is not a good idea for dust reasons. I would suggest removing or covering any existing carpet in the room where chemicals are in use, but that, plus effective air extraction and blackout over windows and doors is all that is really required.

    So, basically, nope: running a darkroom inside the house, as long as you can vent air to the outside, will not cause any problems with smells or contamination.

    You might want to look at this thread to see what others have done: http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10966&highlight=darkroom+picture.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  5. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    My darkroom is in a closet - the fixer (TF-3) is the smelliest - but a weak ammonia smell is not an unfamiliar smell in the house. I use a water stop bath - or a VERY weak acetic acid or citric acid. Some deverlopers have a faint smell - but the citric acid ones are oderless.
     
  6. tomishakishi2

    tomishakishi2 Member

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    I had a darkroom in a spare room with a carpet. I had no real issue with dust (and I am seriously messy). Hoover once in a while....

    I use a Nova slot processor. This massively reduces odour, as I have found out when doing 20x24 prints in trays before. Selenium toner indoors is really bad news unless you have windows to open. I do mine in the garden when the weather is nice (once a year in the UK).

    I currently have my darkrrom in a garage with an uncovered concrete floor. I also houses gardening kit etc. I still dont have a problem with dust, as long as the negs are stored in slips elsewhere. The only problems I have had with dust has been changing bags. Garages with entry and exit via the garden and soil covered shovels and tools are fine!

    Tom
     
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    My darkroom is my kitchen. 'nuff said?

    If not...then let me say that I develop film, expose and develop contact prints, and tone prints in there, and that as long as I'm careful to wipe everything up when I'm done (which one should do, especially in a kitchen!) there is no lingering odor problem.

    (Please avoid the desire to tell me how wrong it is for me to use my kitchen as a darkroom. I'm aware of the risks and I'm doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.)
     
  8. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Kitchen ... darkroom ... kitchen ... DARKROOM !! It's the same in our house depending if it's my wife or me your asking :D
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A trick to having an entirely oderless darkroom is
    to keep post developer chemistry at or near a neutral ph.
    With an oderless and fumeless darkroom, ventilation ,
    which I've never considered a must have,
    is even less a must have.

    Developers of any of the usuall types are oderless.
    Toners, used for esthetic and archival reasons, are many.
    Toning is often a post darkroom activity. Dan
     
  10. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Seems to me the problem would not be one of odor, but one of slopping chemicals onto the carpet! Which is VERY easy to do!!! I'd put down some sort of plastic carpet runners in the area of the 'wet side' and that should do it.

    My darkroom is in the basement and my exhaust fan vents only into the rest of the basement. No problems with chemical smells! :D Of course I have not done any toning yet, either! haha :tongue:
     
  11. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    For many years, the upstairs bathroom was "Bath by appointment only." Fortunately my wife was addicted to photography also.
     
  12. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Darkroom smells are the least of the worries in our home if my hubbie has had a burrito for lunch.
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Smelly cat boxes are worse.