My procedure for film uses bits of what others have mentioned.
Basically, I try to use and re-use as few graduates as possible, save and except I dedicate one graduate to developer.
I also re-use and replenish chemistry, so I need to keep the funnel clean as well.
I keep my work area clean by working inside 11x14 trays, and on top of a plastic base for a dish drainer.
As I work through the procedure, I just rinse the graduates and funnel in 20C water after each step.
When I get to the wash step, I take advantage of the fact that I have a double sink. Washing is assisted by short periods of standing soak, so I just take turns doing a rinse of individual items during those soaks.
Once the film has finished washing and the photo-flo step, I wash out the reels, tank (all parts), trays and drain pan in water as hot as I can stand.
I don't use soap during my regular routine, but once every few months I'll run everything through a dishwasher without detergent or rinse aid.
Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I had a similar problem, only having one water faucet. I bought a 4 way brass hose splitter, so now I can wash film/paper while still having access to water. One of the smarter darkroom items I've purchased.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
What an interesting and informative thread.
As others have mentioned, it's a little easier to clean as you go with roll film in tanks. Printing is a little more labour intensive, and in my case, since my print room is in a cellar without running water, involves carting all my trays up through the trap door in my kitchen and giving them a good, hot rinse.
The real problem is that my printing sessions often end at 2:00 A.M., and I don't like to wake the War Department by running too much water at that hour. I will say this... once a tray is stained, it is really hard to clean. DON'T use abrasives! Occasionally, I'll use my wife's... er, I mean, an old toothbrush to coax grunge from the bumps and channels in a soiled tray.
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
After 15 minutes of film washing, I hang the film to dry. Then I wash, or rather splash, with lukewarm water only,without any soap, all graduates, funnels, tanks, spirals, thermometer, zone vi film washer. I let all of them to air dry overnight on an old hand dishwashing rack, and then store them the next day on their reserved space on the shelves, ready for the next developing session.
Also, I wipe with a wet paper towel the old Gralab 300 timer to make sure that there is no contamination on it, followed by wiping with a dry paper towel. The part of the sink used during the process is also wiped by a paper towel. These towels are disposed of outside the darkroom, I am afraid of airborne chemical dust.
I'm fortunate to have a permanent darkroom with everything but a floor-level drain (I rely on a siphon that always breaks). I rinse the graduates as soon as I pour them in the trays, so at the end of a session they are already clean and in place for next session. As soon as last film or print has pretty much finished fixing, I open the curtains and start the dev and stop tray cleanup. I rinse the thermometer probe and clamp, I pour the fix and selenium toner into their bottles. And I carry the trays from darkroom sink to laundry tub to dump and rinse. They go into the drying rack and everything is where it needs to be next time.
The one thing I learned worth sharing, when washing 11x14 trays under running water, turn the tray around so the bottom faces the wall when washing the bottoms and then turn them with the inside facing the wall when washing the insides. That way you don't get your shirt and pants wet.
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Fortunately enough I have a permanent darkroom in the basement. When it comes to print development I use two identical trays for each solution. One tray holds the liquid and the other one is used as a floating lid. In this way I can just leave everything as it is until next printing session. In order to prevent excessive smell and dried in chemicals, I just rinse the bottom of the floating tray with cold water when I pick it up.
This has worked perfectly and I have been able to keep chemicals printing ready for over a month.
I rinse, detergent wash, rinse again, dry, and put away everything at the end of a darkroom session. But it's not really a chore because I have to wait 45 minutes for my archival washer to do its work and it helps pass the time. And if something goes wrong I know for sure it isn't chemical contamination from dirty trays or measuring jugs.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
I just don't make a mess to begin with... I live by the wet/dry sides and keep it that way.
I worked in "romantic" situations where fixer crystals were on the phone, and enlarger knobs... nothing romantic about that.
A clean darkroom, is a productive one. I mix powdered chemistry on the back patio.
Here here... I concur. I use cleanser once a year to clean the main sink, and that's about it.
Originally Posted by PeteZ8
Make your cleaning worth it. Make a lot of prints. Why make a messy kitchen for one dish while you can make a whole meal with left overs.