I use PowerADE* PET bottles. If you fill them to the very top they are just shy of a liter. I've been mixing all my chems as 1 liter and then just fill the bottle. Leaves the solution a little "strong" but has given me no problems.
These PowerAde bottles seem to be made of a heavier PET - probably to keep well in outdoor vending machines in all sorts of conditions. Much sturdier than soda bottles and easy to handle. I have Ilford Multigrade developer in one from about 18 months ago that I've neglected to throw out but it looks fine and I recently tried it and seems to work just fine. Store everything in a cool, dark location.
(PowerADE is Coca-Cola's competitor to Gatorade - if you have a soccer playing child you go through this stuff by the truckload. Gatorade bottles are not nearly as good - stay away from them.)
Silly question probably, but I've been wondering: how can one tell readily if HCA has gone off and lost its effectiveness, short of doing some sort of chemical test? I have a bunch of Kodak HCA I mixed up some months ago and I don't go through it very fast.
Originally Posted by Terry Christian
You've got to stop hijacking threads and doing a bit of research on your own before posting questions like this - please.
To answer your question though: It took two seconds to find the following:
As you can see, Kodak states the life of HCA is 3 months for stock solution in a bottle and 24 hours for working solution in a tray. Working solution in a tank/bottle will last one month. Capacities are also there.
HCA is largely sodium sulfite and oxidizes quickly. Mix it one-shot if you can. Although mixing part of a package of powdered chemicals is considered bad practice, I think you can get by with doing that with HCA with no ill effects. I once measured the volume of a package of HCA and then just divided by the appropriate numbers to come up with a volume / liter number and used that to mix working solution one-shot. Weighing would be more precise.
I now mix my own wash aid from sodium sulfite and metabisulfite: 1 Tbsp sulfite and a pinch of metabisulfite per liter. I use Kodak's capacity numbers.
I sincerely thank you for the valuable information, but I do generally do quite a bit of research before posting and I wasn't truly hijacking a thread. I simply wished to know others' experiences with the breakdown of HCA in the kinds of containers being discussed and how one might tell if it is still viable, so I felt my question wasn't completely out of place. I was already aware of Kodak's tech document, and wasn't asking about Kodak's stated figures.
I suggest a bit of temperance before blasting others over their perceived faults. So that more ado will not be made over this nothing, this will be my last word on the subject.
I use dedicated 1-gallon plastic spring water bottles for mixing film developer, fixer, and paper developer. Just mark off the 1-gallon mark with a waterproof Sharpie pen.
However, the chemicals are then put into 1-liter plastic seltzer bottles squeezed to eliminate air. I use spring water and seltzer bottles because there are no chemicals adsorbed onto the bottle walls, they protect the chemicals for the maximum 6-month storage period, the caps are sturdy, the thin walls are good for adjusting solution temperature in a water bath, and they don't cost anything. They are stored in a plastic tote so they are away from light.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)