Fixer bottle stains?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by yeknom02, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I keep my fixer (at working dilution) in clear glass bottles. (I understand it's not particularly light-sensitive, and the online store was out of brown amber glass bottles at the time anyway.) My latest batch started getting some black precipitate on the bottom and some gray staining on the walls of the bottle, although the fixer was not yet exhausted. Judging from other posts I found once, I think these are small amounts of silver or some silver compound that is, for whatever reason, prematurely falling out of solution (is "falling out" the correct term?).

    Anyway, after dumping the fixer out, the black particles at the bottom are easily removed, but the sides of the bottle are still cloudy. (I have found I can "wipe" the walls clean, but the bottle has a narrow neck, and my finger is only so long.) I've tried filling the bottle with some hot soapy water, some diluted Windex, and some diluted Clorox bleach. The walls are still cloudy, and I'd like to know how to get them clean. I want to know if this is possible, since I'd like to be able to store a different chemical in the bottle after I clean it. So any advice would be appreciated, especially methods that use household cleaning supplies rather than specially photographic chemicals that I'd have to order.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  3. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    When I use clear bottles, I stick them in the black plastic paper comes in, and use a twist-tie at the top. Not pretty, but it works.
     
  4. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    A bottle brush will do nicely. You don't have to be too fussy. From your description, my guess is that it is just silver plating out of the solution onto the glass. (That will produce a yellowish iridescent coating on the glass.)
     
  5. HowardDvorin

    HowardDvorin Member

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    Another home type cleaner is to put a teaspoon of uncooked white rice in the bottle along with some warm soapy water.Cap the bottle and shake like crazy.The rice acts like an abrasive.

    Howard
     
  6. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Gallon Chlorox bottles. Disposable, just ask your wqife to save em. You never have to worry about contamination.

    Agreed... The best answer so far was the bottle brush.

    .
     
  7. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Bottle brushes are good, available from laboratory suppliers, but also from home mde wine / home brew shops.

    I bought some small metal beads from a wine merchant - used for cleaning out wine decanters. They're just ball bearings, really, so maybe you could also buy some from an engineering supplier.

    Swirl them around with some soapy water.

    Personally, though, once I've used a bottle for fixer I'll never use it for anything else...
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  9. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I'm using Zonal Pro rapid fixer. I bought a pair of bottles before they went out of business. I might try making my own fixer from scratch after it runs out.

    I've also decided to keep it as the fixer bottle (rather than put something else in), but it would be nice to get rid of these stains. I might try the rice trick, and then buy a bottle brush if that doesn't work.
     
  10. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Household bleach should remove it, so will your bottle of undiluted indicator stop bath. Pretty much any common acid will eat the silver, and there is no chance of it eating the glass. There are exceptions, but not available at Home Despot.
     
  11. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    When you say household bleach, I'm guessing you mean undiluted? I tried pouring some bleach in water to act as a cleaner, but that didn't work.
     
  12. sarahfoto

    sarahfoto Member

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    To clean out old cordial bottles you can use spirit vinegar 24%. Don't know if it's called the same in the states but in Sweden it's used for lots of things. Cleaning out coffeebrewers, pickling etc. Could be worth a try?
     
  13. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    I use a revolving metal brush bottle cleaner (click on picture to enlarge):

    http://store.menietti.it/enotecnica...e-manuali/lavabottiglie-rotativo-manuale.html

    By pulling and pushing the end knob, the metal brush is put in a fast rotating and up-and-down movement. The brush will expand to fit any size of bottle. The bottle is also kept stable by the handle, which plugs into the bottle neck, so you don't need "a third hand" to operate. The cleaning effect of the metal brush is extremely strong and will remove even the most adhesive stains in few strokes.

    The item is easily found for sale in wine technology shops in Italy; I suppose it is available in the States too.
     
  14. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    It is indeed silver that has precipitated from solution.

    Some remains and will deposit on the next film or it will dump with the liquid fix and deposit. You will be able to abrade it off carefully when film is still wet but you risk scratching. It is metal. Once dry, it is there for life.

    Which is why as a low volume user I do not reuse film fix on film.