Washing RC Prints Without Running Water

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by lns, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. lns

    lns Member

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    How can I wash RC prints without running water?

    I just set up a portable darkroom in a small basement bathroom. There is no bath, however, for washing the prints. There is a tiny sink, but it is not big enough for even 8x10 prints. A print washer is not possible right now, due to the lack of budget, plumbing and space.

    So I started off by washing my prints, two at a time, in a tray using a fill and dump method. I put the prints in a tray of water, agitated a bit, changed the water and repeated it. I did this for 5 minutes total, with 3 changes of water.

    Can I cut the wash time down to 2 minutes, which I know is enough for RC paper in running water? Or is there any other method that works?

    Thanks very much for your help.

    -Laura
     
  2. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I'd think you would need more than three changes of water in 5 minutes. Can you just drop the prints into a bucket of water and then when you've finished your printing session take them elsewhere to wash them?
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That is what I do. I put the tray of prints with a Kodak siphon in the bathtub.

    Steve
     
  4. Dave Pritchard

    Dave Pritchard Member

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    Does your bathroom have a porcelain appliance on the floor with water in it?
    I'm not suggesting that you put your prints in the crapper, just in the tank. Take the lid off the reservoir. Minor mineral deposits can be removed using a brush (don't use the one already in the bathroom). Put the prints in the tank. Agitate once in a while. Flush to change the water.

    I'd expect to set prints in with a curled edge down, so they stand up in the water.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2009
  5. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    Do your prints come out already toned??

    Sorry! Couldn't helpt it! I swear!
     
  6. lns

    lns Member

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    Thanks very much for all your thoughts.

    1. I am trying to avoid the washing elsewhere option. The only tubs in the house are on the second floor, but the darkroom is in the basement. The real problem is, I don't think I can leave RC prints in a hold tank or bucket for hours, and then just wash them in a big batch. Can I? Ilford's RC processing instructions say to avoid wet times exceeding 15 minutes. Assuming that's overly cautious, how much time can I safely hold them in water?

    2. Cool idea about the toilet tank; I never would have thought of that. I'll check it out. There's not much access to the toilet tank, because I put the enlarger on a table on top of the toilet seat, and the toilet is set into a niche. But it's a really nifty idea.

    -Laura
     
  7. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    Wirelessly posted (Palm TX: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D050; Blazer/4.3) 16;320x448)

    I have about the same problem, and I have opted for washing RC prints afterwards somewhere else in the house (actually one floor lower). In my experience it is no problem to leave the prints for 1,5 or 2 hours in a waterbath (a wide bucket in my case) with any negative effects. When you keep them there for a longer time however, they tend to get curled corners that stay even when dry. How about doing a test for a period of more hours? I might try it myself one of these days.
    Hans
     
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I throw my prints in a tray of water. When there gets to be a lot of them in there I go rinse them off for a few seconds and hang them up. This might not be enough washing, but most of them get canned anyway
    .
     
  9. lns

    lns Member

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    I do know a guy who left RC paper in water overnight by mistake. He returned to find the images had floated off the paper. :smile:

    I really appreciate hearing that a holding tank/bucket should be okay for two hours. That's great.

    -Laura
     
  10. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've left Illford MG RC in a tray overnight, and it didn't separate or anything. The dilute fixer mixed in bleached the image slightly, but it needed to be lighter anyway.
     
  11. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Pretty common to just dump RC prints in a bucket and then wash and hang later. Make sure you've got atleast 10L or so to help offset residual fixer.
     
  12. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    3 changes of water, interleave for 60 sec in each bath. Fill a second tray while you are interleaving the first.
     
  13. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I stack my prints in a holding tray

    When I have accumulated enough or want a break, I take them out and if they are RC rinse them under running water.

    For FB I put my archival washer in the bath tub and carry the wet prints up to it in an otherwise empty tray.

    I have found it wise not to try and move even part filled trays of water round the house - the carpets took ages to dry

    It’s probably not the best idea to leave a whole evening or days worth of prints accumulating to be dealt with in one go.

    Given enough time RC will start to delaminate - but you have to apply serious neglect to achieve this

    Practically, I find leaving a few wet/damp prints to dry is not a problem - there are usually plenty of places to put them - but a whole sessions worth in one go (YMMV)?

    Martin