Those brown toners are used very dilute. Likely the
sulfur is an easy catch for the sulfite. The sulfur
oxidizes the sulfite to a thio - sulfate. Dan
How long can I be saving HCA? I use the powdered kodak HCA packets and just use a tablespoon per liter and have been dumping after every session no matter how many prints I run through because I was told that it oxidized in a matter of hours. Am I wrong in dumping it or can I use it for a couple days? I'm switching to the Ilford Permawash liquid because its all I can get here soon but I still have one last packet of Kodak HCA.
You should be able to get sulfur at a druggist, or a farm supply store.
What happened to the theory that HCA is worse than residual hypo? Maybe that was only for the formulae that contained peroxide.
Back to your original post I'm very surprised that you had any chemicals left in the paper, in 45 years of printing I've never seen what you are describing.
As I said the chemicals used in wash aids / HCA are extremely soluble in water and wash out very easily.
Only two things spring to mind, first the prints aren't being washed properly, maybe they are sticking together, or you have exceptionally hard water. I'm more inclined to go for the latter explanation.
Oh I put a date on the washing in sea-water, perhaps I shouldn't have assumed WW2 :-)
HCAs on the market that has me ready to switch to
Agfa's recommended sodium carbonate based HCA.
A study quoted in a post to rec.photo. darkroom
recently told that sodium sulfite was, IIRC the exact
words, "as good as any other". That is, not any better
than some others. I suspect Agfa's recommended
sodium carbonate is as good as sulfite and it
does not oxidize. Agfa's instructions may
still be on the WWW. Dan
It turned out to be the hard water. Thanks.
The Agfa pdfs might not be all findable on the web. I have some of them. FWIW, this text is cut from the most recent pdf on fibre paper:
Soda intermediate bath
A soda bath (1 % sodium carbonate solution) should be included
for fibre-base paper, between fixer and final wash (time: 3
minutes). 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
In the unlikely event that hardening fixer is used, the carbonate is not recommended because its alkalinity would negate the hardening which is pH dependent. I wonder if the alkalinity would leave the paper emulsion softer which might make it vulnerable to some toning processes.
If you prefer a low pH level HCA try this
EDTA4Na 12g or DTPA pentasodium salt (solution) 25ml
Sodium sulfite 200g
Sodium bisulfite 6g
Sodium citrate 4g
to make 1000ml stock solution
dilute 1+9 for working solution