How to throughoutly clean my tank and reels...?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Pat Erson, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hello dear APUGers,

    well I have a problem with my processing BW gear : I think it's contaminated with wetting agent residue.

    Consequently, during the processing itself my pre-soak water foams, my fixer foams and (that's more annoying) my developer foams and creates tiny bubbles that stick on the very end of my negs.

    The result is the very last image of my films has tiny white round stains and is therefore unprintable as is. Strangely the rest of each film is clean and bubble-free as it should be.

    So how can I get rid of this dirt and get a foam-free process? Toothbrush and soap on my reels? Bleach? Ebay*?

    (* = Ebay as in "sell your dirty gear on Ebay and buy brand new Paterson reels and tank) :laugh:

    Thank you!
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Give a good soak in biological detergent, scrub with a toothbush, then soak in Sodium Hypochlorite bleach, then was them again thoroughly. Gelatin builds up on the reeels that attracts wetting agent. Once cleaned alwys wash them well with hot water after use and they stay cleaner.

    I've Paterson reels over 40 years old that are still OK.

    Ian
     
  3. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Thank you Ian!

    "I've [used?] Paterson reels over 40 years old that are still OK"
    Mine must be as old and they're orange/brown...
     
  4. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

    Messages:
    605
    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Regina Canad
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a couple of brown reels that work fabulously - I have also found that spending 2-3 minutes cleaning after each round of developing (as opposed to once every 2-3 months) prevents buildup much more effectively. I use really hot water, some bleach (as Ian suggests) and take the 2-3 minutes to clean with scrubbing pads (not steel wool, the plastic type). The result is I rarely need to clean more than those couple of minutes.

    The other option is to have a $1 jug which is big enough to hold the film and use it only for wetting agent - develop the film, wash and then take film off the reels to sit in the jug for 2-3 minutes before hanging to dry. This way, there is never any chance of the reels becoming clogged.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,238
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Soak overnight in a 2% solution of sodium carbonate and then rinse thoroughly. The amount of carbonate does not have to be exact.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've some even older original and series II, the series II were excellent for colour processing as they use much less chemistry - I have quite a few including the multi-tanks :D

    Ian
     
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I pop mine in the dishwasher, on the quick setting together with my print dishes, print forceps and anything else that come into contact with photo chemicals. They come out 'squeaky clean' and loading a film afterwards is sheer bliss. No sticking at all.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    C41 final rinse is much worse that phtoflo in distilled water for sticking to the reels. I just remove the film from the reel and have a dedicated 500ml measuring cup for rinse agent. Now a $1.25 at the dollar store. inflation :sad:
     
  9. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Thx a lot for all the replies!

    I'll give them a try this week-end!

    Cheers!
     
  10. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I am bumping my own thread because I have news :

    I was wrong it wasn't a case of dirty reels and tank, the culprit was the developer! And more precisely the water used for mixing it. It was bloody hard and for a reason it made the developer foam in the tank.

    I realized this by accident when I decided to stop buying Kodak's D-76 and make my own. The first batch I mixed from raw chemicals was cloudy and milky and that's how I realized my water was not good.
    (the funny thing is my D-76 made from Kodak bags was always limpid... I guess they add a few things to the raw chemicals at Rochester).

    The plot thickens now : my "hard water" cloudy milky D-76 always gives me foam and bubbles on the negs... except when it's rested for a few days (say 10). After a short period it's much less troublesome. Go figure!
     
  11. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

    Messages:
    1,426
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Location:
    Plymouth. UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Adding 2 to 3 grams of sodium hexametaphosphate to the water for each litre of developer and before dissolving the main constituents should cure this problem.

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/store/cart/Sodium-Hexametaphosphate-100g.html

    Sequestering agents rarely get mentioned in threads about mixing developers from scratch.
     
  12. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for this... I've been struggling with foam for months now, event tried without wetting agent (and I god drying marks AND foam :sick::sick::sick:).
    I'll try distilled water for developer (at the moment I do the "stock" dilution with distilled water, then plain tap water for the final dilution) and see what happens...
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,899
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't see how hard water could induce foam in a solution that does not contain wetting agent, as fixer.
    With some surfactants, as soap (which is not used in processing baths), hard water even strongly reduces the foaming capability.
     
  14. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,451
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I think D76 in a Kodak package contains lots of water softner but boiling a kettle and letting it cool will remove lots or air and some hardness. If you mixing it from a formula with a scale Id recommend that.

    I try and stick with eg ID 68 which is buffered enough to ignore the hard water my faucet produces. I only boil enough to temper with cold faucet down to 45C or so.

    I never clean my Patterson reels some are 50 years old. They only get a rinse in photo flow or dish wash detergent.

    They are grubby looking. But if they are dry they load ok even with 220.
     
  15. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hey Laurent to make it clear : all these times I struggled with my dev I still used a wetting agent right before hanging the negs (Ilfotol at 1/200 works fine = no marks).
    Regarding the foaming/bubbles issue the problems disappeared if I dissolved the powder in distilled water (plus my D-76 is crystal clear).

    @ Keith : thx for the tip. I'll try it asap!
     
  16. marciofs

    marciofs Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The water here is very hard too so I buy distillated water. But the last film I developed I used filtered water to wash the negatives and it worked fine.
     
  17. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    881
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I occasionally had this problem when I hung film vertically to dry. Now I hang film at a 45 degree angle. Any bubbles now only have to get across the film not down the entire length. And the bubbles gather on the bottom edge of the film not the picture area.
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,899
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But why not horizontally (lengthwise) then? Would make even more sense in your concept.
     
  19. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Pat, I had the same issue with HC110, dunno if it still could be the water... I'll give distilled water a try anyway
     
  20. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    @ Maris : I had stains on my negs because of the foaming during the developement, not because of improper handling during the drying stage (yep the foaming was that bad between agitation cycles i'd remove the lid of my tank and "ssssssshhhhhhh" foam would pop out).
     
  21. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,706
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Don't pre-soak the film and don't use wetting agent. Try de-ionised water and keep things simple.
     
  22. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

    Messages:
    406
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have to agree with Maris that this sounds like a problem occurring during film drying. If the foaming was causing a problem, it would affect more than one frame. It tends to cause marks all along the edge of the film that was uppermost in the tank. I get foaming to a greater or lesser degree in my Paterson tanks. Im not sure what causes it, but thorough cleaning and bleaching for more than 24 hours has not removed the problem. I tend to use larger volumes of developer per film, and I don't see any adverse affects on the film. I do, however, get the marked last frame, and will try 45 degree drying. There was a thread about this before, I think referring to Photoflo in the title. I'm sure someone pointed out that some developers contain chemicals that have a tendency to foaming. I now just try to ignore it.
    Alex


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,899
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I guess the idea is to use the lower long edge as guide for any excessive fluid.
     
  24. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    881
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I've had that too. My answer was to use a bigger volume of developer. For example my Paterson tank asks 500ml to cover a 120 roll film. I use 600ml so that the foam layer is at the top of the developer pool and the film at the bottom of the tank is below the foam layer. The film and the foam meet only during agitation and the effect is momentary and uniform across the picture area. When I encountered last frame schmutz it was definitely due to hanging the film vertically and giving the bubbles no place to dry except on the last frame.