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  1. #1
    Dave Krueger's Avatar
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    Household replacement for Photoflo?

    Just wondering of anyone knows of a replacement for Photo-Flo that can be found around the house. When I was a kid, I think I used to put a drop of dish washing soap in the water to get the water to sheet off the film.

    I always dip my film in distilled water with a couple drops of photo-flo in it, but sometimes I wonder if a wetting agent is needed at all. Maybe I should just dip it in distilled water and leave the photo-flo out?

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Krueger View Post
    When I was a kid, I think I used to put a drop of dish washing soap in the water to get the water to sheet off the film.

    I still do. Don't tell anyone though!

    I also use it as a plasticiser when mixing mortar.



    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  3. #3

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    You can do this, but do we know what's in the soap? Ivory is "99 & 44/100's pure". What is the other 56/100's? PE had quite a bit to say on this subject either here or on Photo.net and I agree with his reasons not to use household soap. Photo-Flo, IMHO, is much better.

  4. #4
    eclarke's Avatar
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    How about Jet-Dri????..EC

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    I also recall PE's comments on the subject on this site, but I don't have an exact pointer. Given the cost of real Photo Flo (or other brands' equivalent products), I don't see much point in using anything else except in unusual circumstances (say, you've run out).

    I have seen posts from people who use distilled water with no wetting agent at all as the final rinse. I've never tried this myself, though, so I can't comment on how well it works from personal experience.

  6. #6
    Dave Krueger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclarke View Post
    How about Jet-Dri????..EC
    Hmmm... Good question. I assume this is the stuff one uses in the dish washer. I don't know what we use, but it has a pretty blue color.

    And, it presumably serves only the wetting function, separate from the possibly harmful detergents.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by eclarke View Post
    How about Jet-Dri????..EC

    Some folks have written here that they do use this stuff, but again, what's in it?

  8. #8

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    One of PE's major points was that Photo-Flo adds, I'll call them preservatives for lack of more knowledge about the stuff, to the film and these "preservatives" help protect the film for quite some time.

    Yes, given Photo-Flo's very low cost and the fact that I went out and took the time to create what I hope are beautiful images, lovingly processed them in a darkroom, I'm not going to "just use soap" on my negs! For me, it's not worth it to go to all that trouble to save $.01 by using soap.

  9. #9
    Schlapp's Avatar
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    I have some Fotospeed rinse aid - only today it took the emulsion off my glass plate !

  10. #10
    Dave Krueger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    I also recall PE's comments on the subject on this site, but I don't have an exact pointer. Given the cost of real Photo Flo (or other brands' equivalent products), I don't see much point in using anything else except in unusual circumstances (say, you've run out).

    I have seen posts from people who use distilled water with no wetting agent at all as the final rinse. I've never tried this myself, though, so I can't comment on how well it works from personal experience.

    I agree that photo-flo probably isn't even going to register as a blip on the photography expenses radar, but I'm still curious.

    I would like to hear from more people who use only distilled water. I've always been afraid that the water drops would make the emulsion dry unevenly which could cause stress. But, I could be completely off base.

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