Wash prints in 100F water?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dave Martiny, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Dave Martiny

    Dave Martiny Member

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    I live in Phoenix, and this time of year, my cold water tap will run at 100F, give or take. For film, I cool down a gallon to my film processing temp of 68F and use the Ilford wash method, but for prints, I don't see that method as practical. I use Ilford MGIV RC, and after developing and fixing at ambient room temp, (75-80F), I've reluctantly gone ahead and washed my prints for the usual 2 1/2 minutes in water this warm (hot?), seemingly with no ill effects. I usually tone at a later session, so the prints are again subjected to another 2 1/2 minutes of hot washing. They seem to survive, but it's a little scary. I'd hate to stop doing darkroom work in the summer, but I wonder if I could have some problems with the prints later on.

    How warm is your tap water in the summer?

    Would you wash your prints in 100F water?

    Any alternative suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Dave
     
  2. trexx

    trexx Member

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    I'm in Tucson
    in the 90-95 range
    Do it all the time. First I do a standing water rinse at about 80F then a wash aid then running water in a vertical washer for fiber or tray for 5min for RC.
    I do not attempt to cool my film chemistry to 68. I use it at what ever Room Temperature happens to be. adjusting time has always given me better results then trying to keep temps stable.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Probably not a good idea. Gelatin emulsions are much softer and prone to damage in hot water.
     
  4. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    You should be fine with the RC paper. Some papers are more sensitive to hot washes than others. Just try it, handle it gently, keep the time down and handle it by the borders and I'm sure it will be fine.
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    RC papers were designed to be processed in machines that run at fairly high temperatures. You should be fine with a short wash at 100F. I would be very concerned if they were fiber-based papers. The emulsion might start to lift.

    Peter Gomena
     
  6. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    You can always run a test with scrap prints. Fix as you normally do, then wash in 100F water for 2, 4, 6 minutes and see what happens!

    Peter Gomena
     
  7. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Well, my take away is pretty much always the same in specific matters of the workplace – ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

    While I don't overly concern myself with the longevity of plastic prints, it does take some time to wash the hypo out of them, and shortening the paper manufacturer's recommendations is never the best idea. It seems that 2.5 minutes is pretty short of recommendations. I have seen RC de–lamination, particularly around the margins, at warm temps before.

    As an aside, some fiber papers, notably Kentmere, are very susceptible to damage if "overwashed". The edge between sufficient archival washing and potential damage, at normal temps., can be frustratingly thin. Washing at shortened warm temps. would certainly cause concern as to their "archival" potential.
     
  8. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I have never had to deal with that issue.
    According to the local weather guessers, we are haveng the warmest summer in these parts since 1955. Today, my tap water is running at 70 F. Some years I have seen it as high as 79 F.

    Bob
     
  9. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    I live in Palm Springs so you and I have the same things to deal with. I don't now the water temperature in my darkroom, but I turn it on and let it run for a while to get it cooled down at least a little. Your problem may be that your water piping may be in your attic space so getting it cool means that you need to run the water for 5 minutes in order to get "ground water temperature" to your sink rather than "attic water temperature". The other thing is that once you get ground water temperature to your sink, unless you keep it running very frequently, as soon as it sits in the attic piping, it starts to heat up again (and does so very quickly). FYI - when I turn on the cold water in my house, if it hasn't been turned on yet in the afternoon, the temperature of it is as hot as the hot water (over 120 degrees).

    I use Ilford MGFB paper almost exclusively and haven't seen any differnce between prints done in the winter when the temps are cooler. For film, I cool the developer temps down to the high 70's (PMK Pyro) and wash with the same process as with prints. Sometimes, I'll fill several pitchers with water and let them sit on the back of the darkroom sink so I have a little more control with the wash temp for film.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Run ice in your water.

    Jeff
     
  11. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I live northeast of Seattle, Washington in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

    This time of year my cold water tap will momentarily peak at about 67F/19.4C. Mid-60s is the norm for the bulk of the summer months. During winter it drops to around 43F/6C.

    No, but I've done it in 80-85F/27-29C water when I lived in Southern California years ago. Fiber-based, too. Those prints survive today and at least look to be OK. Can't see them on a molecular level, though...

    Still water wash cycles in tempered water? Believe me, I know what a pain high temperatures are.

    Here in the Northwest this year (to the left of the mountains) we are having one of the coolest summers anyone can remember. Because everyone here is used to 10+ months of continuous bad weather every year, they tend to jealously guard those 8- weeks each summer season. But this year they didn't come.

    One of the weather guys on TV went back and checked and said we'd only had a "78 minute summer" this year. Meaning that temps had hit 80F/27C or better for only that many total minutes.

    Right now it's in the lower 60sF outside. I have a small electric heater going in my basement darkroom as I type this, just to take the chill off...

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
  12. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    If you use a washing aid like Heico Permawash, the washing time can be much shorter than otherwise. That will make it unlikely that the paper suffers any ill effect at elevated washing temperature.

    Also, the higher wash temperature might help clear the residual fixer faster than usual.
     
  13. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I often wash Ilford RC paper in warmer water than 100F/38C - just to try and speed up the wash

    Never yet experienced a problem - Ilford papers are very good for their mechanical robustness

    Not sure I would do it to every manufacturers paper though, I have had some very soft FOMA papers

    Emulsion feels "greasy" when handled just before it starts to slip off the backing paper

    Martin
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It may be that resin coated B&W isn't as tough as RA4 paper - I don't know - but RA4 is processed at about 95F without problems and it seems that others are able to confirm that Ilford RC can stand it.

    pentaxuser
     
  15. Monito

    Monito Member

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