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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Heico Perma Wash as a clearing agent for palladium prints

    I have been using Heico Perma Wash for clearing palladium prints (Na2 process) for some time now. I make up three 1/2 gallon clearing baths at the recommended dilution of 3 ounces/gallon and bathe (with continuouis agitation) an 8x10 print 5 minutes in each bath. After clearing an 8x10 print the first bath is yellow, and I replace it with bath 2 and mix a new bath for bath 3. The previous bath 3 becomes the new bath 2. Previously I used Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent. Visual comparison of prints cleared with Perma Wash to prints cleared with KHCA suggests that Perma Wash is as effective as KHCA---no yellow stain is visible on prints cleared with Perma Wash.

    However, and a big however, is the Perma Wash (which does contain at least some sodium sulfite and does leave the print in an alkaline condition) really removing the iron compounds, and is the Perma Wash-cleared print as permanent as the KHCA-cleared print? To my knowledge there has been no testing of Perma Wash as a clearing agent. I have talked to several pt/pd printers who believe it is suitable as a clearing agent, and I have written to Heico about the matter but have not yet heard back from them. It certainly is convenient and does away with the annoyance of stopping or delaying a printing session to mix up more powdered clearing agent.

    Any thoughts?

    Wayne
    Wayne Lambert
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    www.waynelambert.net

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Wayne, you're replacing the bath after each 8x10? I think you're being extremely conservative and that it can be used for much more. Rinse your print for 10-15 seconds in running water after the developer and then go the clearing. In fact, I rinse mine after every bath for 10 seconds. Stan Klimek suggests this in the Arentz book appendix he wrote...

    As far as archival-ness, I couldn't answer that for you...if the clearing agent (check the MSDS) is sodium sulfite and a bit of sodium metabisulfite, then it's basically the same as Kodak HCA, and should be absolutely fine for archival purposes.

  3. #3

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    Apr 2006
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    Paul, good point; dumping bath 1 after one 8x10 may be too conservative. My source for this procedure was the lab assistant at Arentz's workshop who sort of equated yellow clearing bath (even slightly yellow clearing agent) with exhaustion. Is there any research on when a pt/pd clearing bath is exhausted (ala fixer in Ag printing)? That would be helpful, but perhaps the concept doesn't apply. I do a 1 minute fresh-water rinse between KOX developer and clearing bath 1. I would have to rearrange things a bit, but I could do rinses between clearing baths.

    Re the composition of Perma Wash. Like so many proprietary formulae the MSDS only shows a few ingredients; the rest are listed as "Trade Secret." The chemical family is shown as "Sulfites," and the two named ingredients are "Ammonium Sulfite, Monohydrate, less than 20%" and "Sodium 2-Ethylhexyl Sulfate Ethylhexyl Sulfate, Sodium Salt, less than 5%." On the bottle the label only says "Contains Ammonium Sulfite and Sodium Sulfite."

    Wayne
    Wayne Lambert
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    www.waynelambert.net

  4. #4

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    Wayne...I like to set my trays up (dev, citric acid, hca, hca, wash) and use an extra tray I keep on the side for the rinses.

    Re: the HCA...I looked up the MSDS and saw what you mention. To tell the truth, I'm thinking of just using homebrew HCA from now on for my film and my pt/pd process. As long as you're clearing the unexposed emulsion, you should be fine.



 

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