Shelf Life of packaged chemistry

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MikeGates, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. MikeGates

    MikeGates Member

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    HI all!

    What is the shelf life of packaged chemistry? I picked up a bunch of darkroom equipment at a surplus auction last spring, and scored quite a few packages of powdered chemistry--mostly Dektol, D76, & Fixer--as well as a number of bottles of Rapid Fix and miscellaneous other stuff.

    Should I toss it out? There's no telling how old it is.

    Mike in Alaska
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Depends. I wouldn't toss the paper developer. Just make it up and test. Worst case you waste some paper. Likewise I'd test the fixer. If you're worried about it use it for the first bath of a two bath setup. The film developer would worry me more but you could test that to.

    It's going to depend on the packaging and storage.
     
  3. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Two things come to mind. How much did you pay and is it worth the trouble to you?
    If your looking to squeeze out every last value of $ paid or you want and/or enjoy testing, then test it. If you can't be bothered or don't really care, then toss it.
    If in doubt, test or toss.
     
  4. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    We're using some Dektol in my darkroom which is from very old packaging (Kodak). It looks a bit darker than normal fresh stuff, but the two parts combine and have, seemingly, no problems whatsoever. Not sure exactly how old it is, but I think it might be old enough for a driver's license, if not legal consumption of alcohol.
     
  5. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Try it..you may like it.

    Package dry chemicals have a considerable lifetime. Mix some and try it because it may be very good. As far as bottled rapid fix try a fixer test to find out. Fixer exhaustion and washing test reagents are a very worthwhile investment.
     
  6. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    can you describe a fixer test? I have some 2-year old rapid fixer that I would hate to throw away if I can validate its good. Thanks.
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    fixer test

    I have a fixer testing kit from Photographer's Formulary. It is nothing more than a 19% solution of potsssium iodide in distilled water. To use you add 5 drops of fixer and 5 drops of water in a small container . You put in 5 drops of the fixer test. If you get a yellow/white precipitate your fixer is exhausted. If you get a slight white milkiness you are getting a false positive reading.

    If you have or buy Postassium Iodide and add the equivalet of 19grams to enough distilled water to make 100ml you have the reagent. Keep in a small brown glass bottle. 6 months plus shelf life.