Mason jars to store dry chemicals?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by newcan1, May 1, 2013.

  1. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    I have acquired a sizeable amount of metol, hydroquinone, and potassium bromide, shipped in bags. I would like to store them in airtight containers. Anyone care to comment on using mason jars for this purpose? I don't think the containers need to be dark, do they?
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Mason jars should be fine, but Kilner jars with a rubber seal and spring lock might be better.
     
  3. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've used them for this duty and used a vacuum sealer to draw the air out and seal the jars. Seemed to work very well.
     
  4. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I use this for some chemicals - I fill them up to slightly overfull (yes a bit of spillage) and then put cling wrap/Saran wrap on the top and screw down the lid fully. Works for me and they stay on a bottom cabinet where it is nice and dark. If you really need it dark (and you might, since I mainly keep fixer in mine), spray paint them black.
     
  5. wy2l

    wy2l Member

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    As I remember, wasn't The Mason Jar the college newspaper of George Mason University?
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have used them for many years and as a chemist can say they work very well. No need for Saran wrap which could actually interfere with an air tight seal.
     
  7. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

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    I remeber reading that it is perferable to use a dark tinted glass containter to protect the contents from light and keep them in a cool dark place. Do they make dark colored Mason Jars?
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    About the only photo-chemistry which might be light sensitive are developers, and some of their components, and sensitizers. keep these in a cabinet with a door on it and you don't need to worry about the color of the glass.
     
  9. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    PET plastic (juice, soda, Gatorade, etc) are extremely good and available at your closest trash can for nominal 'cost'. Just wash and dry thoroughly. If chemical is light sensitive, just keep in drawer or cabinet. - David Lyga
     
  10. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    One caution: Mason Jars are used to store food. If you are putting possibly dangerous substances in them, make sure they are clearly marked. I'm talking idiot proof squared. (As soon as you make something idiot proof, they come up with better idiots.) I'm talking labels on the jar and lid and cabinet, tape around the lid, lock on cabinet, etc.
     
  11. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    I'd already thought of that, Allen. I'm even thinking of putting a lawyer in the closet just in case!

    The jars will be stored away from the home, in a commercial building where my darkroom is located, in a locked closet to which only I will have access.
     
  12. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I seriously doubt that today's children make any connection between a Mason jar and food. I would be more worried by what is kept under the sink just at the right level for small children. These contianers usually have brightly colored labels that are very attractive to little ones.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    One thing I'm not quite sure about....

    I thought about using mason jar as well for chemical storage. My concern is that lids that comes with these jars seem like they are really meant for one time use only.... After the lid and the screw top has been tightened down and stored like this for a while, the lid basically glues itself to the jar. An only way I can get these off is to pry it off, which deforms the lid often pretty badly. The screw top seem too flimsy to torque down now deformed lids, also.

    Have anyone actually used these for long time storage or in use that they may be opened and closed multiple times?
     
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  15. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    I use mason jars for my homemade jam. Yes the lids are made for one time use - for food. According to what I've read the rubber ring vulcanises when heated. For jam the jars are put in a gently boiling water bath for 15-20 minutes. You might try boiling the lids for a while to harder the rubber. The ring isn't meant to hold the lids tight for jam storage. That step and the created vacuum seals the lid tight to glass. The retaining ring just holds the lid in place for the water bath.
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I routinely keep such chemicals as sodium sulfite and sodium carbonate, which I buy in large quamtiities, in Mason jars. To get an airtight seal just snug the band down gently. You don't need to use a torque wrench on them. You can buy new lids which are not expenive.

    For canning these jars depend on a vacuum formed during the canning process. Air pressure keeps them tight. Once the jars cool the bands can be removed since they serve no other purpose.
     
  17. KennyE

    KennyE Member

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    United States Plastic Corp. Lima, Ohio

    1. Do not use Mason Jars for chemical storage unless you are using plastic lids or caps. Besides glass jars are too easy to break and crack.
    2. I have toyed with the problem of chemical storage for some time. I have used any and all types of containers and I have learned the hard way that uniform storage containers is the way to go.

    I purchase all my storage containers for my chemicals from USPC, they are inexpensive; plus they provide outstanding service to you when needed.

    I use the following storage containers for all my chemicals and reordering extras is a snap.

    #66737 32oz/950cc packer jar with 53/400 wide mouth opening @ $00.84 ea.
    #66735 16.9oz/500cc packer jar with 53/400 wide mouth opening @ $00.46 ea.
    #66339 53/400 caps with liners, for jars listed above @ $00.14 ea.
    #66734 8.5oz/250cc packer jar with 45/400 wide mouth opening @ $00.30 ea.
    #66156 45/400 caps with liners, for jars listed above @ $00.11 ea.

    You can start with a small order and add to it, replacing all your odd and end containers with uniform jars and bottles designed for chemical storage.

    Also, USPC have a huge line of plastic labware at very low cost.

    I also purchase the following for storing my stock and working solutions.
    #66150 32oz round poly-e jugs/ with white cap @ $00.64 ea.

    I was able to completely uniform and clean up my chemical storage area for as low as $60.00; over a two month period.

    KennyE
     
  18. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I don't use mason jars in the DR, but do use them a lot for dry food storage, no problems with the lids sticking or removing and replacing them.
    For dry chem storage, there is no reason IME that they shouldn't work well.

    +1 on container standardization for the DR, my standard is rectangular bottles to maximize shelf space, but I've not standardized the source, FWIW.
     
  19. KennyE

    KennyE Member

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    bdial, in part I agree. Mason jars were invented for canning. But even in canning, whether it is at home or industrial, those lids and caps do rust and corrode. With chemical storage, it just may do it a bit faster. Glass is good, but in a busy dark room they can hit the floor in a flash. Chemical and glass every where.

    Also, USPC does have rectangular chemical storage bottles. I purchase some for that reason as well. I have a narrow rectangular cabinet and I wanted to maximize its use. Here is the information if you want to purchase some. They are inexpensive and the caps comes with the bottles.

    #66560 16oz wide mouth oblong bottle cap size 43/400 @ $00.71 ea.
    #66559 8oz @ $00.58 ea.

    I am a retired researcher, it is my first passion and my wife is my second, with everything else falling somewhere far behind. I collect information, lots of it.

    KennyE
     
  20. fotch

    fotch Member

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    In fifty years of darkroom work, I never have drop or broke glass of any kind. Is this just fobia some have?
     
  21. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    I have no problem with glass. I'm going to use mason jars for now - but will take KennyE's advice for the longer term and replace them when feasible with plastic jars.

    I still have some dry chemicals from the early 80's in plastic jars but with metal lids - they have held up very well, so again for now, I'm just going to use the mason jar lids.
     
  22. KennyE

    KennyE Member

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    fotch:

    You are indeed a very lucky person. For fifty years.

    Hell, I drop beer bottles all the time in the bar. It is not my home, but it happen. Taken out trash, bumping against a table or something. Maybe it is because my wife love to collect glass, ceramic, and china figurines.

    Fobia..., I have a few.
    I am afraid the government is going to take my guns away.
    I am afraid the health insurance cost will go through the roof.
    I am afraid the North Koreans just may decide to grow some balls and blast us.
    Fobia..., just a few

    But good luck. Fifty years and counting.

    KennyE
     
  23. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    KennyE, those are not phobias, they are rational concerns. But I am still going to use metal mason jar lids, and if that keeps you up at night, that would be a phobia.
     
  24. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I purchase sodium sulfite in bulk and lately it comes in plastic bags (!) . I immediately transfer all of the sufite to mason jars for storage. I re-use the jars that the spaghetti sauce comes in. This seems a perfect solution. Glass does not "breath".


    Oh, I also use real glass beakers when processing film...just seems natural. Yes, I have broken one and yea, it made a mess...no biggie. Can't let little stuff like that change your life.
     
  25. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    BradS, I like that. I certainly use enough spaghetti sauce in any given week.
     
  26. RPC

    RPC Member

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    I store my color developers in mason jars, filled to the top and the developers last for years that way. KennyE, can you do that with plastic?