How long to powder chemicals last?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by thisismyname09, May 31, 2009.

  1. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    I just got a bunch of darkroom stuff for $5, including a ton of powder developer (dektol) and fixer (kodak universal fixer). The containers look at least 20 years old, are they still good?
     
  2. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    Also, I've got some film cleaner and undiluted stop bath. they're both liquid, but I've read that stop bath, simply being an acid, should last for a rather long time, but i'm not sure about the film cleaner.
     
  3. Cruzingoose

    Cruzingoose Member

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    Old Powders

    I've got lots metal cans and glass jars of DK60aTR, Polydol and Dektol, DK72 and fixer and a bunch of other canned powders that work just fine. Probably 50 years old and still use them occasionally today. As long as the powder is mostly white, not clumping or very discolored, they are most likely useable. I did have some very old D76 in paper bags that when opened were brown so I just tossed them in the mulch.
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The very old metal cans kept the contents fresh for a long time. The old style bags, not so. The new style Mylar bags might be ok, but they haven't been on the market that long so who knows? The stop bath will be fine. It has an indefinite shelf life. The film cleaners I've seen are volatile solvents. They'd be fine too as long as all the highly volatile components are still there and haven't evaporated out. Fixer might be good. Mix it up and if it smells like sulfur, it's at least starting to turn. It might work, or it might not. Depends on how far gone it is.
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I have used pretty old Dektol, never had a problem as long as the powder was still white and still a powder. I would go ahead and give it a try as long as it looks good.
     
  6. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I had a friend in the same spot, including some canned Dektol. It was kind of the colour of brown sugar and when mixed looked a bit like pond water. Still developed prints just fine! I would test it before using it on film, but it is probably good.
     
  7. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    It depends on what kind of product are you considering...
    Now Kodak prints the expiration date on every powder package and it's 3 years from the date of manufacture.
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    It depends on the chemicals. If kept well sealed and dry, something like Dektol or DK-60a will keep just about forever. Glycin becomes unusable after a couple of years, but few others have poor shelf lives if kept sealed, cool, and dry.
     
  9. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    I have got a can of Microdol-X (for 600ml) together with an Agfa Isolette camera. I think they are both of the same age: End 50's beginning 60's.
    If I shake the can with Microdol-X you can hear the powder.

    Do you think the Microdol-X (maybe 40-50 y.o.) can be still used? :wink:
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Open it up and find out. But you know, I have a couple of cans of the stuff of about the same vintage. I'm leaving them as is. Fresh stuff is cheap, and the cans have more value as collectibles to me.