Reusing C-41 Bleach
I find myself perilously low on C-41 bleach and was wondering what people think about reusing the bleach. I use Fuji-Hunt chemicals with the separate bleach and Fixer. I processed some film today and saved the bleach. I gave it a rinse between the developer and the bleach, then saved the bleach. I use a Jobo CPA-2 and can give it more or less time if need be.
I have quite a bit of RA-4 bleach. Is it possible to use this bleach instead if I run out and haven't gotten the C-41 bleach yet?
Thanks for any help you may be able to give on this issue.
You can reuse c41 bleach almost infinitely. Its best if you regenerate it (kodak makes a product for doing so,) but even without regeneration it should be fine. I recently regenerated and reused a set of bleach for the third time and it was fine. It worked out to 144 rolls of 120 in 5L of bleach, and I will regenerate and use it again I think.
You can also aerate the bleach to regenerate it. Shake the devil out of a partly filled bottle and let it settle awhile before using. Unlike developers, the Fe-EDTA bleaches thrive on aeration. You should definitely use a stop following the developer and/or a rinse to avoid contaminating your bleach and to prevent raising its pH. By the same token, it is probably not a good idea to reuse RA4 bleach beyond a single printing session, as it is considerably reduced in strength from film bleaches.
By denying the facts, any paradox can be sustained--Galileo
Ed and MTS, thanks for the info and why the hell wasn't I told of this before?.
When I bought my original chemistry about three years ago, I had to buy two 5lt bottles of concentrate and it has lasted this long. I recently checked out the price to replace this bleach and promptly feel out of my chair.
I have about 1lt of used once bleach and about 3/4lt of of fresh working bleach.I think my plan will be to reuse this bleach two more times, aerate this bleach and try to regenerate the bleach with a volume of the fresh bleach.
How will I know when the bleach is beat and is it possible to re-bleach film that has not been bleached properly.
Thanks for your help and any other info that you might have.
I believe PE has written before that RA4 bleach-fix is most effective for color negative use when mixed at twice concentration and pH lowered to about 4.5, IIRC.
Using ferricyanide bleach is a much cheaper alternative, but must be used properly or disaster can result.
Search the archives to find more info on both of these alternatives.
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I actually replenish at normally about 5ml per roll or so. A gallon jug goes a long way.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I do find Flexicolor Bleach III drops in activity over time, I replenish it according to the manual. Although I am running low too.
You can use the RA4 bleach fix as a bleach then fix by using 1/2 the amount of water with each part, so 1L of part A which might be used with 1L of part B to make 4 L of working solution would be mixed as follows:
Originally Posted by RPC
1 liter of part A + 500 ml of water to make 1.5 L of working strength
1 liter of part B + 500 ml of water to make 1.5 L of working strength.
This is 3L of solution not 4 which would be used for paper. Use extended times, and make no pH adjustment. Use a 1% stop bath if possible.
Capacities of C41 bleaaches are posted on the Kodak web site and in the kit stuffers but here are some hints.
All of the bleaches use up any halides present and so not only must you shake it to aerate it, but you must add some Bromide or Chloride. Also, the pH tends to drift up or down depending on whether you use no stop or use a stop, so the pH must be reset to its original value.
Remember: Aerate, add some Ammonium Bromide or Ammonium Chloride and adjust the pH with Acetic Acid 28% or Ammonium Hydroxide 28% as needed.
For the red bleaches, you should also add about 1 gram per liter of EDTA Acid, and neutralized with Ammonium Hydroxide. For Bleach III you should do the same but there is no real source for the NTA.
This is the extended version of my previous shorter posts on this.
Is this PE's Bleach Regenerator?
I have, on a 3x5 index card, the original Blix formula for color paper dated 10-66! In fact, I have 2 formulas, one mixed from scratch and one mixed from premade Ammonium Ferric EDTA (hand made stuff by John Surash and Keith Stephen, the patent holders). I also have the complete draft of my report describing how it was designed, how it intersects with and avoids BP 991,412 and a copy of the letter of transmittal that went from me in KRL to KP for the first manufacturing trials.
Now, if that ain't a bit of photographic history, nothing is. And, if it does not certify me as an expert (ex is a has been and spurt is a drip under pressure), I don't know what will.
So, yeah, it is my own formulation and if I could get NTA I could whip up a bleach III formula! I do have a real working Blix for film as well. One that keeps!