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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Home made reversal bleach and clearing bath from household chemicals?

    Is it possible to make a reversal bleach and clearing bath from items commonly found around the house/at the drugstore? I want to try and avoid having Sulfuric Acid around the house where it could be a potential danger to unknowing family members.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
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    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    If you have an automobile, the battery is filled with 37% sulfuric acid.

    Offhand, I know of no way to make a suitable bleach from household chemicals.

    PE

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    If I want to hide something, my darkroom is the place. Everyone in my household is afraid to come in there. Sometimes, so am I.

    It runs in my mind that tray cleaner can do the job. I don't know if that is right, or if the chromate type is still available.
    Gadget Gainer

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    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that If I make a bleach A soloution of Potassium permanganate and a B soulution of Sodium Bisulfate, when combined will essentially do the same thing as the Sulfuric Acid bleach soloution. Is this true? Both are fish tank chemicals, so they should be easy to get, and somehow don't seem as dangerous.

    *edit* Here is the link where I got this information. I'm hoping that I can get away with just using HC-110 as my first and second developer.

    http://www.photosensitive.ca/wp/bw-r...ocessing-notes
    Last edited by EASmithV; 04-23-2009 at 12:19 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: adding link
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
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    I used precisely that (potassium permanganate and sodium bisulfate) for a clearing bleach when I processed some B&W reversal movie film, and it worked fine. I don't remember the recipe anymore, but I had found a bunch that used sodium bisulfate as an alternative where sulfuric acid was called for. You can get sodium bisulfate from photographer's formulary without paying the terrible hazmat fees that are required with sulfuric acid.

    Also, if you ever need sulfuric acid and you aren't sure where to get it, look into boating and motorcycle stores. The batteries for both of those are often sold empty with a little plastic container of sulfuric acid in the box. You fill the battery yourself. I'm not sure what the dilution is, but that might be useful.

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    As I said above, automobile battery acid is quite pure 37% sulfuric acid and is sold in pint, quart and gallon containers at most auto stores and Home Depot in the US. It is quite inexpensive.

    Permanganate is quite good as is dichromate, but these are hardly household chemicals. The mix gets you right back to the problem and question in the OP. No household chemicals can be used, but the ones listed here will work as well as Sodium Bisulfate, but the latter is a bit less effective.

    Remember that Permanganates have a fairly high hazmat rating themselves. They can catch fire or explode on contact with glycerol and some alcohols.

    PE

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    I read somewhere that If I make a bleach A soloution of Potassium permanganate and a B soulution of Sodium Bisulfate, when combined will essentially do the same thing as the Sulfuric Acid bleach soloution. Is this true? Both are fish tank chemicals, so they should be easy to get, and somehow don't seem as dangerous.
    I wouldn't say that they "somehow don't seem as dangerous" . Sodium bisulfate is a strong acid salt and both the solid and its solutions are likely to cause burns. And as PE mentions, potassium permanganate is a very strong oxidizer that needs to be handled with care.

    *edit* Here is the link where I got this information. I'm hoping that I can get away with just using HC-110 as my first and second developer.
    Reversal first developers generally have high activity and need a silver solvent to reduce fog / density in the highlights of the finished positive. If you use HC-110 as your first developer and omit the sodium carbonate and sodium thiosulfate, you'll get very muddy-looking slides, probably with low effective film speed. You're welcome to try, but I think that you'll get better results if you use the formula that I specified on that page.

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    WHY? What is the upside? It is readily available. I ship it all over the world.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Permanganate is quite good as is dichromate, but these are hardly household chemicals. The mix gets you right back to the problem and question in the OP. No household chemicals can be used, but the ones listed here will work as well as Sodium Bisulfate, but the latter is a bit less effective.

    PE
    Well, when I said household chemicals it was in the spirit of hombrew processing techniques.

    From what I've read up on them, they are used in aquariums. So I guess, they can be household chemicals for Aquarium keepers.

    Anyhow, in the interest of self-preservation, I'd rather not use the Sulfuric Acid unless absoloutely neccessary, because I can sometimes be a bit sloppy.

    I've looked at several sources for the needed chemicals, and I think they are good enough to work properly;

    Bleach:
    -Potassium permanganate
    http://www.koienterprise.com/Argent-...nate-p-71.html

    -Sodium Bisulfate
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NaHSO4-Sodium-Bi...QQcmdZViewItem

    Clearing Bath:
    -Sodium Metabisulfite
    http://www.chicagolandwinemakers.com/some1lb.html
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  10. #10

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    I'm sorry, what does "I think they are good enough mean?"
    How do you measure "good enough?"
    Why would you not do everything to insure an excellent result?
    When used in the compound REVERSAL BLEACH, Sulfuric Acid is corrosive but no more dangerous than a good drain opener.

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