wash aid - home brew

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by patricia de roeck, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. patricia de roeck

    patricia de roeck Member

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    Just done a search on this and the most popular suggestion seems to be 1 teaspoon of sodium sulphite per litre of water - terrific because I've got plenty of it - just a couple of questions though - my tapwater is average ph so do I still need to use distilled water instead - also I realise its one-shot but will it keep for a couple of days in a lidded container or do I have to ditch it when I've finished the printing session?
    Thanks everyone. Patricia
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    just use regular tap water I been doing this for many years.

    lee\c
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Patricia, Sodium Sulphite is perfect in approx the strength your using, Agfa B&W paper data sheets also recommend sodium carbonate.

    I've never used distilled water to wash prints but I do carefully swab to remove all water from the emulsion surface before I dry them, so I don't get drying marks.

    Personally I would use a small domestic (de-ionising) water filter system rather than commercial distilled or de-ionised water. These are so cheap and start at around £12/$24US for a jug type used to filter water before using in a kettle, many houses install larger in-line versions to provide drinking water at a kitchen tap.

    I've not answered re-use but personally it's not worth it.

    Ian
     
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  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    If your tap water is reasonably clean, and most tap water in the US is, there's no need for anything else. Mix up the sulfite as recommended and use it. No wash aid at working strength has a long shelf life, so just chuck it at the end of the session.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It is worth bearing in mind that not all tap water is treated/purified. I know from experience as our tap water comes from a borehole, is safe to drink but undrinkable due to high mineral/salt content.

    If you get drying marks on your negatives then it is worth rinsing your negatives in distilled or de-ionised water, and if the water is particularly bad your prints as well.

    Ian
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Tap water is fine, IMHO. The only time I use distilled water these days is during the summer when the cold water runs too hot. I keep several gallons of distilled water available in the darkroom to mix up diluted developer, fixer, stop bath, etc., because the water will then be the same temperature as the stock solution.
     
  7. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I use sodium sulfite in tap water as a wash aid. My understanding though is that 20 grams/liter is the necessary amount, which works out to a scant tablespoon of sulfite not a teaspoon. Does anyone one know if this is correct?

    Richard Wasserman
     
  8. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The formula I have says to add in a pinch of sodium bisulfite, though I don't bother with it. If you use a lot of sodium sulfite, as I do, you can get it a lot cheaper than the photo store or formulary price by going to a regular scientific supply or chemical supply house. I get 50 pounds for 60 dollars. Or maybe it is 60 pounds for 50 dollars. Whatever it lasts a long time.
     
  9. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I buy the mentioned sulfites from this place:

    http://www.chemistrystore.com/index.html

    There may be a cheaper source but the prices here are pretty good compared to photo-designated chemical sources.
     
  10. BBMOR

    BBMOR Member

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    hey

    the home brewed washaid with bisulfit or Na carbonate or even salt, normal NaCl kan be used ,never use destilled or softed water for m ,the more salt in the water the better it can be used as a washaid ,seewater is the cheapest if you live close enough
     
  11. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    That place is great. thanks. Check the price of sodium carbonate as well.
    I will use them next time.
    Dennis
     
  12. schlger

    schlger Member

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    My reciepe is:
    110g Sodiumsulfit
    28 Sodiummetabisulfit
    5,5g EDTA Tetrasodiumsalt
    5,5 Sodiumcitrate

    Even with that reciepe in which the EDTA and the citrate serve as complexing agents for keeping the calcium und magnesium ions from tap water in solution, with my iron polluted tap water a white percipate may occur, that could rest as a grayish scum on the prints. So good tap water is fine but in my case I have to use reverse osmosis water.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Soon enough many will be living closer than they care. Dan
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    using sea water reduces washing times as well.
    but then you have to deal with all that plankton .
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Ian has mentioned Agfa's recommended sodium carbonate.
    On a pound for pound basis, IIRC, about 1/4 more equals
    sodium sulfite in capacity. S. carbonate though does not
    need to be chucked. So compare with S. sulfite which
    starts going bad as soon as the lid is off.

    I think sulfite is used in a fingers crossed manor. It oxidizes
    into the sulfate. With a most minute amount of certain
    elements in the water or the sulfite itself it will
    experience catalytic accelerated oxidation.

    Perhaps that is why Agfa never followed the pack and
    for many years recommended sodium carbonate. There is
    no ?"how shot is my hca?" from being exposed and stirred
    and in and out of the bottle. The only issue with carbonate
    is capacity. Agfa's 2% solution strength I'd think would
    yield about the same capacity as a sulfite based HCA.
    Perhaps Ian can add a few more details of the Agfa
    method. Considering the importance of an hca in
    reducing time and water needs the use of any
    HCA should be better defined. Dan
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    This is from the Agfa Data sheet for Record Rapid:

    A soda bath (1 % sodium carbonate solution) can be included for fiber-base paper, between fixer and final wash. This ensures that the fixer is washed off the paper surface faster and more thoroughly. This not only cuts down the final washing time by about 30 %, and in particular it increases the prints' durability. If a hardener-fixer is used, the soda intermediate bath is not recommended.

    L F Mason in his book Photographic Processing Chemistry mentions the use of Sodium Carbonate or Sodium Sulphite as a wash aid. Mason was head of research at Ilford.

    Ian
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Ian Grant;541001]
    "This is from the Agfa Data sheet for Record Rapid:"

    "A soda bath (1 % sodium carbonate solution) can be included
    for fiber-base paper, between fixer and final wash. This ensures
    that the fixer is washed off the paper surface faster and more
    thoroughly. This not only cuts down the final washing time by
    about 30 %, and in particular it increases the prints' durability.
    If a hardener-fixer is used, the soda intermediate bath is
    not recommended."

    That last sentence likely explains why sulfite is the usual
    base of HCAs. It works well and has a lower ph, safer for
    fixer-hardened emulsions. With today's pre-hardened
    emulsions sulfite's advantage is likely lost. I doubt
    Agfa would otherwise suggest carbonate. For
    myself a HCA which does age is advantages.

    The problem with carbonate is that it's use is not well
    spelled out; times, capacity, and ?. Dan

    "L F Mason in his book Photographic Processing Chemistry
    mentions the use of Sodium Carbonate or Sodium Sulphite
    as a wash aid. Mason was head of research at Ilford." Ian
     
  18. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    right wrong or indifferent, I have been using a two bath wash. My darkroom has water storage and disposal but not an endless supply for either so I have been putting my prints (fiber or RC) in a 5gal bucket full of water with a few tablespoons of sulfite for about 10 minutes and then in a large sink filled with about 25 gal of fresh water for another 30 minutes or so. I figure the leaching and thiosulfate concentrations will be very very small after this and so I am using this for now.
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=dancqu;541904]

    "That last sentence likely explains why sulfite is the usual
    base of HCAs. It works well and has a lower ph, safer for
    fixer-hardened emulsions. With today's pre-hardened
    emulsions sulfite's advantage is likely lost. I doubt
    Agfa would otherwise suggest carbonate. For
    myself a HCA which does age is advantages."

    That last sentence should read, ...does NOT age... .
    Carbonate that is. It does not oxidize.

    "The problem with carbonate is that it's use is not well
    spelled out; times, capacity, and ?." Dan
     
  20. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    LOL

    Um, what kind of food do they serve at the Chum Bucket other than Krabby patties? That's soooo funny.
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    mr. p WISHES he was serving krabby patties at the chum bucket,
    but he has been unable to swipe that secret recipe. :wink:
     
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  22. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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