Stained Developer Tray

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by David Ruby, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I'm not sure if it's actaully stained, but after I started using Kodak Polymax developer a few months ago, my developer tray started looking like there is silver residue or something in it. I didn't think too much of it until I recently noticed that this residue can come off onto my prints or my tongs. It seems to wash off of prints pretty easily in water, but I'd rather not have to worry about it getting onto the image where I won't see it until later possibly. It's easy to spot on the borders or the back.

    Is this normal? Is there anyway to avoid it (other than possibly using a different developer)? Thanks.
     
  2. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I believe it happens with most (if not all) dev. I've been using Ilford and at school we use Kodak and yes the trays get like that after a lot of use.
    I have seen formulas for cleaning this off. I think it was in the "Darkroom Cookbook". A handy book to have around. If not posted by the time I get home tonight, Ill dig it out and "pm" it to you.
    Some else here may have the info on hand
     
  3. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    This will happen regardless of the developer used. There was a tray cleaner available in the UK but I think the company went bust. I had a cleaner made up for me many years ago that contained sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid and another chemical that I've forgotten and I'm still using it. I've also used ordinary household bleach and after washing the residue away I placed some used fixer in the tray, after swirling it around the tray I washed it again. This was necessary to prevent the tray from staining immediately when I next filled it with developer.
     
  4. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Sulpho-cromic solution should celan your trays

    Sulfuric acid + Potasium Dichromate (can;t remember the proportions)
     
  5. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Actually, just a little house-hold bleach in some water in the tray will clean it up for a little while, I think the formulary has a cleaner that they sell.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Regular household bleach (Clorox, etc.) is quite inexpensive and very effective at cleaning most stains caused by photogaphic chemicals. Just dilute it about 1:10 with water, fill the tray and allow the solution to work for about 30 minutes. Increase the strength of the solution for stubborn stains. Rinse the tray well before using it again for processing prints.

    Sandy
     
  7. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I'll give these suggestions a try. I may be imagining it, but I swear I didn't get a hint at a stain when I was using Dektol. Maybe my trays were just getting conditioned!! Thanks all.
     
  8. Leon

    Leon Member

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    www.retrophotographic.com sell one too - it's called silver skivvy. can be used as a farmer's type soution for spotting prints and cleaning print borders too.
     
  9. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    My developer tray is stained. It is hard to tell exactly how much because it is black. I wash it pretty well after each session in soap and water. Are stained trays a problem? Or is it mostly a cosmetic thing.
     
  10. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I think the stains are getting on my prints once in awhile. They really shouldn't touch the bottom of the tray enough to pick up a stain, but once in awhile I think it does. My tongs also get stained from rubbing the bottom of the tray, and they transfer to the prints I think.

    Now that I think of it, I don't think I had the staining problem until I started leaving the developer in the tray overnight with plastic wrap over. Now I pour it into a small container in between sessions (if is is still fresh that is).